It's been 20 years since Journey's commercial prime when the San Francisco-based unit was arguably the most successful member of the mighty, mega-selling AOR axis, which also included Foreigner, Styx, and REO Speedwagon. Led by vocalist Steve Perry and guitarist Neal Schon, Journey hit superstardom just before MTV truly exploded, and although the band made several videos, they didn't rely on them. 2003's comprehensive Greatest Hits DVD 1978-1997 includes 18 clips, and only a handful are concept videos. The remainder are live clips or simple, lip-synched, pre-MTV "performance" videos. Journey's concept videos aren't exactly considered classics; in fact "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" is occasionally lumped in "worst videos" lists. But it's a relic of its time, as is "After the Fall," due to its unusual (and inexpensive) look. The best concept video is the documentary-style clip for the ballad "Faithfully," which is about a band on the road. The performance video "When You Love a Woman" from 1996's ill-fated reunion album Trial by Fire has a classy visual style. The live videos are excellent: "Don't Stop Believin'," "Any Way You Want It," "Who's Crying Now," "Open Arms," and "Stone in Love," from the 1981 Escape tour in Houston, TX; and "Be Good to Yourself," "Girl Can't Help It," and "I'll Be Alright Without You," from 1986's Raised on Radio tour stops at the Mountain Aire Festival in Angels Camp, CA, and Atlanta, GA (with future American Idol judge Randy "The Emperor" Jackson on bass). "Wheel in the Sky," "Lights," "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'," "Send Her My Love," "Just the Same Way," and "Feeling That Way" are all performance videos. Although the look of some of the clips, clothing, and hairstyles are quite dated, the classic songs are terrific and that's what's important. Greatest Hits DVD 1978-1997 is a perfect souvenir for Journey fans.
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AllMusic Review by Bret Adams