Way back in 1975 I was a big fan of Starcastle. They were a darn good band from Champaign, Illinois. I saw they were coming to the Riviera theatre in the Uptown area of Chicago. They weren’t headlining, they were opening for some band named Journey. Journey…. Journey, I knew the name but AH, yes, that’s the new band with Ex-Santana members, Neal Schon on guitar and Gregg Rolie on keys and vocals. They also have Aynsley Dunbar on drums and Ross Valory on bass, Cool. I’m going! So I called up my buddies Carl Adduci and Chuckie Garcia and grabbed some tickets.
Starcastle was great, I expected that. What I didn’t expect was to be completely blown away by Journey! I hadn’t heard a note of their music before the show. After the show…they just might have been my new favorite band. Man, were they good.
For those of you that only know Journey from their Steve Perry era hits, this was something completely different. They could have actually used a different band name after he joined. There was no comparison. This stuff was unbelievable for its time.
This sound was a progressive, guitar driven almost space-rock sound. Minimal vocals (on most cuts) and a feature of long building, scorching solos by Schon. So please, I don’t want to hear any “Journey Sucks” comments from people that don’t know this sound. If you didn’t like this sound, then that’s OK, but please don’t compare apples and oranges.
The title track “Look Into the Future” was THE standout cut. Clocking in at over 8 minutes, It was a great showcase for Schon and for Rolie. His organ playing and vocals delivered.
“On a Saturday Night” was the one song that did continue to be on the bands active playlist for some time after they changed their sound. That song did have some commercial aspects, along with another killer Schon solo.
If you listen to this album, make sure you check out the riff in “I’m Gonna Leave You.” Tell me that Kansas didn’t borrow more than just a little of this song for “Carry On My Wayward Son.” Yeah, I thought so. I remember saying WTF when the Kansas album came out right after this.
They also do a pretty cool remake of the Beatles “It’s All Too Much.” It was a live highlight as well.
- “On a Saturday Night” (Gregg Rolie) 4:01
- “It’s All Too Much” (George Harrison) 4:06
- “Anyway” (Rolie) 4:12
- “She Makes Me (Feel Alright)” (Rolie, Neal Schon, Alex Cash)3:13
- “You’re on Your Own” (Schon, George Tickner, Rolie) 5:55
- “Look into the Future” (Schon, Rolie, Diane Valory) 8:13
- “Midnight Dreamer” (Schon, Rolie) 5:14
- “I’m Gonna Leave You” (Schon, Rolie, Tickner) 7:01
- Gregg Rolie – vocals, keyboards
- Neal Schon – guitar
- Ross Valory – bass
- Aynsley Dunbar – drums
- See our write up of the first Journey album
- See our write up of the first Starcastle album
- Listen to Look Into The Future via the Cool Album MySpace Page
- See more tasty albums from 1976
Here’s the full album video YouTube videos. I’ve also added a couple live videos that unfortunatly have that other vocalist on them. Try and tune him out and listen to the band, especially Schon’s solo work
Gregg Rolie giving the title cut ago all not too long ago!!