Next is the third album by Journey, and was released in 1977 (see 1977 in music).
Journey continued the formula from 1976's Look into the Future but this album also retains some of Journey's progressive rock style from the first album.
Songs include the opening moody number, "Spaceman", as well as rocker "Hustler", the odd timing instrumental "Nickel And Dime", and the epic "I Would Find You".
The instrumental entitled "Cookie Duster" was listed in very early pressings of the album, though not actually included on the pressings, and then not listed on the cover art at all. It was later released on their Time³ compilation.
Next reached #85 on the Billboard Pop Album charts.
Although he did not contribute to Next, lead-vocalist Robert Fleischman joined Journey shortly after the album's release as a songwriter and the group's first dedicated frontman, sharing lead-vocal duties with founding bandmember Gregg Rolie during subsequent live shows.
The album received a lukewarm reception, just like the previous 2 albums. Retrospectively, "Next" received a 2 out of 5 on Allmusic, and a 4 out of 5 on Sputnikmusic. Brendan Schroer of Sputnikmusic stated that "this album is a smart progression for a fusion/prog group," but said the album is too short. Conversely, Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine said that "without a forceful lead vocalist like Steve Perry, the group lacks focus and a pop sensibility and its attempts at straight-ahead pop/rock suffer considerably as a result."
- Smiggy - engineer, mixing
- Bruce Botnick - mastering
- Herbie Herbert - director
- Bruce Steinberg - art direction, design, photography, cover design
- Ellie Oberzil - design
- Mansfield - sleeve art
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