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Subject: "Greatest Hits + 5 Unreleased" Album Review

Mike H.
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Date Posted: 10:22:46 08/01/02 Thu

Former Journey front man, the legendary, Steve Perry’s latest release from Columbia Records couldn’t have come at a better time. Released in December 1998, Greatest Hits +5 Unreleased, unlike Journey’s Greatest Hits disk, released by Columbia ten years earlier, showcases the other side of the rocker’s musical façade. Artistically, Mr. Perry has come full circle by now with, not only, a disk telling the story of Steve Perry’s Journey but a disk telling the story of Steve Perry, the solo artist.

Track one, “Oh, Sherrie,” written by Steve Perry and Randy Goodrum, is a great rocker. I think that Journey's "Raised On Radio" album is reminiscent of this tune. It has great vocal by Steve Perry, and Michael Landeau is really good on guitar. It’s great.

Track two, “Foolish Heart,” written by Steve Perry and Randy Goodrum, and the only ballad from the “Street Talk” sessions, is great because it’s one of the best on the album, although, “Captured By The Moment” should’ve made it on this compilation. I love the smooth vocal and delicate keyboard flourishes. It’s a beautiful composition.

Track three, “She’s Mine,” written by Steve Perry and Randy Goodrum, isn’t that good. Steve Douglas’ sax solo is OK, and the tune would be better without it. Mr. Douglas did a better job on sax on the tune “I Believe”; otherwise, “She’s Mine” isn’t a bad tune. The guitar solo by Michael Landau is cool though.

Track four, “Strung Out,” words written by Steve Perry and Craig Krompf and music written by Steve Perry and Craig Krompf and Billy Steele, is a good tune. At first, I didn’t like it, but aside from “Oh, Sherrie,” it’s a cool rocker. Steve Perry really wails on those vocals. Billy Steele and Craig Hull have a great guitar solos, too.

Track five, “Go Away,” with words written by Steve Perry and Randy Goodrum and music written by Steve Perry and Bill Cuomo, is a smooth and soulful tune. It’s my favorite of the five (5) “Street Talk” session tunes on this album. I love Mr. Perry’s vocal and Mr. Michael Landau’s guitar solo.

Track six, “When You’re In Love (For The First Time),” written by Steve Perry and Randy Goodrum, is a fun tune with a “Latin/reggae” feel. I love the harmonizing background vocals, too. It’s a lot of fun. Michael Landau, Randy Goodrum and Randy Jackson do a great job on guitar, piano and bass guitar. It’s also the first of seven tracks from the previously unreleased “Against The Wall” sessions recorded in 1988.

Track seven, “Against The Wall,” written by Steve Perry, Randy Goodrum and Michael Landau, is a great mid-tempo “power ballad,” much like the Journey tradition. Steve Perry and Michael Landau do really well on vocal, guitar and piano. Mr. Perry’s vocal is a bit “guff” on this, and Larrie London “pounds” out those drums like nobody’s business. It’s a great “mid-tempo” rocker.

Track eight, “Forever Right Or Wrong (Love’s Like A River),” written by Steve Perry, Randy Goodrum, Lamont Dozier, Michael Landau, Randy Jackson, Larrie Londin and Bill Cuomo, is good. I really like the keyboard flourishes and the guitar solo as well as Mr. Perry’s soaring vocals. It’s great.

Track nine, “Summer of Luv,” written by Steve Perry, Randy Goodrum, Bill Cuomo, Michael Landau, Randy Jackson and Larrie Londin, has a Latin feel to it. It’s kind of a “corny” tune. My mother liked it. She said it was “cute,” and even though I like Steve Perry’s good vocal, I think that he was acting “silly.” It’s a silly tune. It has a good rhythm, section and vocal, but the lyrics are “silly.” I like the background vocals though. It has good keyboards, and I like the ending despite the rest.

Track ten, “Melody,” written by Steve Perry and Randy Goodrum, is beautiful. I was crying when I heard for the first time. I got choked up. I think that it has good guitar and keyboards from Randy Goodrum and beautiful vocal by Mr. Perry.

Track eleven, “Once In A Lifetime, Girl,” written by Steve Perry, Randy Goodrum, Rick Nowels, Bill Cuomo, Michael Landau, Randy Jackson, and Larrie Londin, is an awesome rocker, although, I don’t know what’s up with the intro to this tune. I like the keyboards before Perry comes in, and his vocal his great along with the guitar work. I really like the melody and the verse at the end over the guitar. It’s great.

Track twelve, “What Was,” written by Steve Perry and Randy Goodrum, is my least favorite from the “Against The Wall” sessions. I like the keyboard intro by Randy Goodrum though. Steve Perry sings well, but the tune is too slow. It’s the last track on the “Against The wall” sessions, although, it does have a nicely done ending by Steve Perry and Michael Landau.

Track thirteen, “You Better wait,” written by Steve Perry, Paul Taylor, Lincoln Brewster, Moyes Lucas and George Hawkins, is awesome. I only wish that I had the “For The Love of Strange Medicine” album when the USPFC did its review in February. I really think that Lincoln Brewster’s guitar work is great, I think that Steve Perry has “killer” vocals on this tune, and Paul Taylor is great on keys. It’s my favorite rocker on this album.

Track fourteen, “Missing You,” written by Steve Perry and Tim Miner, has good vocal from Steve Perry and beautiful piano work from Tim Miner with good background vocal, but the only downfall is the tempo of this tune. It’s too slow. I was falling asleep listening to this, too. Let’s speed things up a bit, Mr. Perry.

Track fifteen, “I Stand Alone,” written by Carole Bayer Sager, David Foster and Steve Perry, is a beautifully written tune from the Disney film, “Quest For Camelot.” It has awesome vocal from Steve Perry, and he has a great rhythm section with David Foster on strings and piano and John Robinson on drums. It made me cry the first time I heard it. It’s a very moving composition.

Track sixteen, “It Won’t Be You,” written by Steve Perry, Adrian Gurvitz and Tony Brock, is an OK “mid-tempo” ballad, and it has nice vocal from Steve Perry and OK piano work from Adrian Gurvitz, but it’s too slow. I was looking at the CD timer clock to see how many more minutes were left. But, one good thing did come out of this review – the fact that the next song (the last cut on this CD) is a “killer” way to finish off this album.

And last, but certainly not least, track seventeen, “If You Need Me, Call Me,” written by Steve Perry, Craig Krampf, Richard Michaels Haddad and Steve DeLacey, is an awesome tune. It rocks, and I can definitely hear why Steve Perry got the Journey job as a result of this tune from Alien Project. It has great vocal from Steve Perry, great guitar from Steve DeLacey, “driving” bass from Richard Michaels, and good drumming from Craig Krampf. It’s a great way to finish a phenomenal album by rock ‘n roll’s greatest.

Overall, Greatest Hits + 5 Unreleased by Steve Perry is a wonderful album because it showcases, on one CD, the best of Mr. Perry’s solo career – the other side of the rock legend. You didn’t think he could go beyond Journey, did you? Well, now you know that this CD proves he can go to great Frontiers with Journey and far Beyond with this.

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