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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Journey Album Art: Science Fiction?

"The Voice" looks over the universe he hath founded...
Welcome to another installment of useless articles that cover such minutia that it attracts the fewest readers possible; or you know, Trehern's stuff in a nutshell.  In the last year or so, I've been on a long quest to grab all the old Journey albums; I love deep tracks, and since I know all the radio hits, I figured I'd also learn the lesser known Journey ballads. 

But let's place the great music aside for a moment, and just focus on those album covers.  Holy damn!  What the hell do all these mean??  They're like hieroglyphics telling the Genesis story of some far off planet!  Is the discography of the Journey/Perry albums hiding some mysterious science fiction story?  Probably not, but let's attempt to perceive the unperceivable anyway...     

Although the band Journey started before vocalist Steve Perry joined, let's just include the albums that share a common artistic theme, from 1978 to 1996.  Plus, really??  Journey before or after Steve Perry?  Surely you jest!

Infinity (1978): Every story starts with an ending...and sometimes an ending is followed by a beginning.  Life has always opened the door in its last moments.  Has the universe exploded into existence multiple times, expanding and collapsing onto itself over and over and over again?  In an infinite loop??  That little blue marble on this first album is a planet, a far off cosmic orb created by some universal forces, heated by some wheel in the sky...  And someday, the life on this planet is going to develop, living and dying along with the planet... the lights may go out, but life finds a way to start ALLLL over again.

Evolution (1979):  The story I'm seeing in these albums is about a race of people on this alien world, and every race of creature develops, or evolves, in some form, sweet and simple.  Even the planet on the album is molten rock, forming into majestic continents...  What do these aliens look like?  Do they look like us?  Are they vastly different?  Or do they just have pointy ears or ridged foreheads??  So much to discover about this Infinity tribe!  Perhaps someday they'll develop some form of space travel, and attempt to leave the world they've called home to visit us...


Departure (1980):  After many millenia, people and places advance, society develops and highly sophisticated scarab shuttles are built to visit the closest moon, where the Infinity people stay awhile.  While two societies thrive, one on the moon and one thousands of miles back home, we see a diversity not unlike our own.  Emotions get the better of them.  Science baffles yet intrigues them.  Their curisoity requires ever more exploration.  So they decide to return home, not realizing that someday soon, a terrible omen await these astronauts when they land back at base...

In the Beginning (1980): Although pictured, this is a compilation album, and has no real attachment to this theoretical storyline.  I just needed an eighth album cover for the banner pic...  Deal with it!

Escape (1981):  That foreboding danger was the death of the planet!  Did the scientists of this world know of this inevitable cataclysm?  Is this why they developed scarab space travel??  Perhaps, but still they ride with only a few citizens who have escaped.  The planet explodes behind them as the stern captain allows one slow tear to drip in grief...  A civilization keep on runnin' from a planet that attempted to end them...

Frontiers (1983): Captain Kirk said it best: space is the final frontier.  Now our group of scarab-obsessed space orphans are in a never-ending search for a new home, worlds apart from everything they have ever known!  Generations come and go as the Infinity tribe faithfully speed across the stars!!  After the fall of their planet, much of the language and culture changes...young men have troubled children who turn into angry men, frustrated that the darkness of space is all they are destined for!  They feel the edge of the blade and the sweet kiss of death is the only way out...

Raised on Radio (1986):  ...Until their sensors pick up a strange noise...  From the darkest reaches of space come the strange sounds of others!  In the form of music!!  Voices singing, beats dropping!  An invigorated culture are now raised on radio, bringing sanity back to their tribe!  One traveler by the name of Suzanne develops the art of dance, which most of the ship's occupants use to bring a positive touch to their still somewhat lonely existence...


Trial by Fire (1996): But not lonely for long!!  The space orphans have been through the cold vastness of their galaxy.  And now, our alien tribe have finally reached a new planetoid, with even more exotic lifeforms than those of the far off and long-destroyed Infinity planet.  Our travelers excitedly transmit a message of love to the surface's inhabitants, but soon realize a bloody war has erupted between two houses, the Rain and the Lion.  Many of these lifeforms are weak from torture, their families torn to shreds and their houses ransacked!  Governments seem easy to fall, with the world leaders' castles burning!! Our visitors, however, land their spacecraft.  They greet the warring factions with the life-changing sounds of music.  Swords drop, anger subsides...  Music has soothed the hearts of the enraged, and the three tribes live happily together on a new world, with the memory of the Infinity planet ever hanging in the far-off distance...

Perhaps this story will be told again and again.  In all the different parts of the universe.  How would YOU tell this tale?

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