Journey began life as a progressive rock band that plied instrumentals and vocals. Keyboardist Gregg Rolie (ex-Santana) was in charge of vocalizin’, and Look Into the Future is the second album from this era. Guitarist George Tickner left the band after their debut, leaving Journey a quartet with Neal Schon (also ex-Santana) handling all guitars himself. Tickner still has writing credits on two songs.
There are hints towards the rock and roll machine that Journey would one day become, most notably the Beatles cover “It’s All Too Much” which they adapted to their style. By and large you can look forward to a decent, soulful album with a focus on musicianship. All songs on this album are vocal, ranging from slower blues ballads (“Anyway”) to long blow-outs (“I’m Gonna Leave You”). Songwriting is a tricky craft to master, and at this point Journey’s songs were more prototypes than full-fledged compositions. There are even fledgling metal riffs, such as “She Makes Me (Feel Alright)”, probably the best track on the album besides the Beatles cover.
While this album will never be as highly esteemed as Escape or Frontiers, check it out if you’ve wondered what Journey were like before Steve Perry.