“With the platinum triumph of Infinity still ringing in their ears like coins in a slot machine, Journey was now committed to completing their transformation from jazz fusion/prog rock mavens into arena rock superstars with their fifth album, 1979’s Evolution. This transition (also clearly illustrated by the futuristic insect gracing each album cover henceforth) would not come without its growing pains” (Franck). While “producer Roy Thomas Baker, whose previous clients Queen are echoed in the knowingly titled pomp-rock fanfare Majestic” (Classic Rock Magazine), “was back for a second go-round, original drummer Aynsley Dunbar would be the first casualty of the band’s new direction. Thankfully, former Ronnie Montrose skin-beater Steve Smith soon brought his college-trained jazz fusion background to the table, and the band was ready to get back to work” (Franck).
“If Infinity had defined a new songwriting formula for the act, Evolution only served to develop it and streamlined it further, clearly qualifying as their strongest effort to date and endearing the band to millions of FM rock listeners in the process. With commercial rock hits like Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’…, Too Late…, and the powerful Just the Same Way” (Franck), which “featured original lead vocalist Gregg Rolie” (JourneyMusic.com), “leading the way to radio dominance, Journey had never sounded stronger or more determined” (Franck).
As for “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’,” the band’s first top 20 single, “Steve Perry’s pain was Journey’s gain…[The song] was written after the singer saw his girlfriend kissing another guy. Perry described the song as ‘love justice’, but it was the sweetest kind of revenge; with its slinky blues groove and a killer ‘na-na-na’ coda, the song became a genuine rock standard” (Classic Rock Magazine).
“With Steve Perry’s tenor pipes now clearly driving the band’s engine, and guitarist Neal Schon beginning to relish in his guitar-hero persona, Journey could seemingly do no wrong. Evolution quickly became the band's biggest-selling album (moving over 800,000 units in less than three months)” (Franck) and “their highest charting album to date” (JourneyMusic.com). “Perry and co. soon embarked on yet another mammoth tour, which set many an attendance record, and set the stage for even greater triumph with 1980’s Departure” (Franck).