From the Vault...


"Trial By Fire"

© Columbia Records


track listing
  • Message Of Love
  • One More
  • When You Love
    A Woman
  • If He Should Break
    Your Heart
  • Forever In Blue
  • Castles Burning
  • Don't Be Down
    On Me Baby
  • Still She Cries
  • Colors Of The Spirit
  • When I Think Of You
  • Easy To Fall
  • Can't Tame The Lion
  • It's Just The Rain
  • Trial By Fire
  • Baby I'm A Leavin' You

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    "Trial By Fire"

    After Journey's 1986 release Raised On Radio, it seemed that Journey & Steve Perry had accomplished their goals in making great music. After a Greatest Hits package, and a 3-disc Box Set, Steve Perry & Journey reunited one last time together, and released Trial By Fire in 1996. The good thing about this album, it seemed that Journey never broke up, and this album has some very good songs, making it a very enjoyable album. A Greatest Hits Live album would surface after Trial By Fire, and Journey's future would make another huge change -- Steve Perry would be replaced by Steve Augeri. Augeri would have a vocal style very similar with Perry's, yet with more hair.

    Trial By Fire has some very entertaining tracks, with all songs vocalized by the singer who made them most famous: Steve Perry. The opening track, "Message Of Love" has similarities to another popular song featuring Perry's vocals, "Separate Ways." "One More" has a bit more of a harder rock edge, yet a very good song for Perry and Company.

    "When You Love A Woman" brings back the pop ballad power of Journey's past, with a 1990s updated approach. Likewise, another updated song is the next track, "If He Should Break Your Heart." As if Journey never broke up, their familiar 1980s sound is heard on "Forever In Blue," yet "Castles Burning" has a different sound for the band, with a harder rock edge. It could also be the least favorite track from this release. A nice, soulful sound is heard "Don't Be Down On Me Baby," and the popular 1980s sound returns on "Still She Cries." The same can be said on "Colors Of The Spirit", having a traditional Journey sound, from its heyday past.

    The ballad sound has Journey in its finest moments with "When I Think Of You," And again, it's sounding as if they never broke up on "Easy To Fall." A more pop style is heard on "Can't Tame The Lion," where a more mellower style is heard on the title track. There's a hidden track on the CD, "Baby I'm A Leavin' You" -- Believe it or not, it's a reggae styled song with Steve Perry's regular vocals, a very different sound and style for Journey.

    From reading other reviews, Trial By Fire wasn't highly regarded as one of Journey's finest albums. I tend to disagree, Steve Perry made Journey the sensation it has become today. Trial By Fire is another good album next to the likes of their most popular releases from the 1980s. When Journey decided to replace Perry with Jeff Scott Soto, Steve Perry was devastated. Perry was recovering from an illness, and had asked Journey to wait for his recovery. Journey's statement regarding this was, "We started Journey without Perry, we can do that again." Cruel words having said, Journey's success with their new singer has been good, beginning with a song from the Armegeddon movie, and they have released 3 albums with their new singer.

    Journey will always be best remembered with Steve Perry on vocals. Their best years were with him, as their music from the 1980s made them famous, as well as their outstanding concert performances. Trial By Fire will surely be enjoyed more by the true Perry/Journey fans. It is a very entertaining album, and it's too bad that Perry and Journey are no more. In looking at the back cover of Trial By Fire it seemed that there was a sort of distance, as Perry is facing one way on the right, and the remaining members slightly facing the other direction from Perry. This may have been a sign of changes to come. Still, Steve Perry made the band famous, and it will be curious to see how Jeff Scott Soto accomplishes Journey's future, and how it may or may not be as popular as the Perry/Journey years.

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    Previous Review: #1033
    Def Leppard--Pyromania
    Next Review: #1035
    Dianne Foxx--Tainted Rose