Platinum, nine times over. This was the album that defined my senior year ('81-82) in high school. "Don't Stop Believin'" was our class song, the "A" side of the album* got constant airplay, it seemed, and none of us got tired of it. Just one great song after another. "Don't Stop Believin'," "Stone In Love," "Who's Crying Now," "Keep On Runnin'," "Still They Ride," "Escape," "Lay It Down," "Dead Or Alive," "Mother, Father," "Open Arms "....side one was the "poppier" of the two, the one that got the most airplay, but side two was also classic. (Remember when "albums" had sides?)
Journey is often dismissed as light, throwaway pop, but any guitarist owes it to him or herself to give Neil Schon a listen. Pop it may be, but it is pop at its finest, and the man can play. These guys were true tunesmiths, and they never reached this height on a single album before or after "Escape." Solid tunes and musicianship, all the way around. A must have for any lover of good, strong, hard-edged pop.
* - Yes, for those of you under 30 or so, I am dating myself. When I bought "Escape," it was on vinyl. I now have the CD. =0)