Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories

1996 – Part 1.3: Journey – Trial By Fire

Steve Perry was back with Jonathan Cain, Neal Schon, Ross Valory and Steve Smith and Journey was rocking again after a 10 year gap, thanks to no small part to John Kalodner. Kevin Shirley is producing and this album is a return to form.

“Message Of Love” has a Chorus inspired by “Separate Ways”. As far as opening tracks go, it’s excellent, a great way to re-introduce the band in the 90’s and while other bands were removing guitar solos, no one told Neal Schon about it as he goes to town on this one and re-introduces the world to guitar solos.

“One More” has a groove that could have come from a Faith No More album. And what made Journey famous originally is how they could change styles within an album, as “When You Love A Woman” shows a their R&B Ballad roots.

“Forever In Blue” has this “Best Of Both Worlds” style riff to kick it off before a familiar Journey like Chorus kicks in.

“Castles Burning” has the guitar front and centre. A sleazy bluesy rock song with an arena rock like Chorus. It’s by far the heaviest track on the album.

“Still She Cries” has some wonderful guitar playing on it for a ballad and Perry as usual delivers a stellar vocal.

The second half of the album didn’t rock as hard as the first half, but each song has some cool Schon moments.

“When I Think Of You” is a ballad, and not a favourite, but Schon is playing some memorable melodic licks.

“Can’t Tame the Lion” is a great rock song with excellent guitar passages that remind me of Vito Bratta.

“Trial By Fire” feels like a jam over a Smith/Valory groove with Schon playing jazz like leads and chords.

A back/hip injury to Perry derailed the subsequent tour and by 1998, Perry was out of the group and Journey went into different versions before settling in with Arnel Pineda.

Then there was a fight over the Journey brand, as Ross Valory and Steve Smith tried to take control of the band name. While that was happening, Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain also fell out as Cain found religion and didn’t want to play the Journey songs anymore as it went against his faith, which infuriated Schon.

But hey, money talks and they made up and Journey is rocking again.

Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music

Seperate Ways (Worlds Apart) = Message of Love

This is one of my favourite  Journey song.  They even cloned the chorus and called this new song Message of Love (that was co-written with hit maestro John Bettis) on the 1996 reunion album Trial By Fire.  It was probably the reason why the album went platinum.

This song came back into my life, because I used the Journey version to put my little guy to bed.  He has now moved on to Coheed and Cambria and Stone Sour for sleeping music, which also works well with me.

And then I just kept on hearing this song covered by other bands on hard rock / metal releases, most recently Asking Alexandria and the metal band DeverauX.

It’s the whole package at the start that hooks you, the keyboard intro, with the heavy guitar and drum patterns underneath it.  And then you have the six syllable staccato chorus melody.  Even Message of Love is identical.

Someday love will find you  = Baby can you hear me (from Message of Love)
Break those chains that bind you = Can you hear me callin’ (from Message of Love)
One night will remind you =  Baby can you hear my (from Message of Love)
How we touched  and went our separate ways = Message of Love (from Message of Love)

If he ever hurts you = Baby can you hear me (from Message of Love)
True love won’t desert you = Can you hear me callin’ (from Message of Love)
You know I still love you =  Baby can you hear my (from Message of Love)
Though we touched  and went our separate ways = Message of Love (from Message of Love)

Check em out and enjoy.

Seperate Ways – You Tube

Message of Love – You Tube