"Spaceman"/"Nickel and Dime"
Released: February 1977
Next is the third studio album by Journey, released in 1977. The band continued the formula from 1976's Look into the Future but this album also retains some of their progressive rock style from the first album. It is the last album to feature Gregg Rolie on lead vocals. Spaceman and Nickel and Dime were the two singles released from Next.
The instrumental "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 album.
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 Rolie during subsequent live shows. All of the songs on the album vanished from the band's live setlist after 1979 and two (Spaceman and Here We Are) have never been performed live.
Retrospectively, Next received a 2 out of 5 on AllMusic. 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." However, many early Journey fans felt as though this was just a different Journey, one which was a more pure reflection on what the early band members wanted to do and not pander to the pop scene.