Neal Schon Announces Release of New Solo Album ‘Universe’
The record has been under production for several years; he reported it was complete as far back as 2017, when he described it as a “beautifully orchestrated” work. The LP was produced by Narada Michael Walden, who became Journey’s new drummer during the band’s recent lineup change.
“Coming early December,” Schon wrote on Twitter, while revealing what appeared to be the sleeve artwork.
“There are some interesting covers on here, as well as originals written and produced by Narada Michael Walden," he noted. "Jimi / Prince / John McLaughlin / Stevie Wonder / Beatles / and Journey. There’s some very healing music for this Christmas.”
In 2018, Schon said he was hoping to release Universe that year and support it with a tour that would include an orchestra.
“There is live orchestra on the record, which is why we figured we’d go that way,” he told Michael Cavacini. “It’s very melodic, powerful and majestic. There’s also some fusion on it. We did some cover tunes, but most of it is written by Narada. He produced it and played the hell out of it, on drums. We got his bass player, Buddha, playing on it. It sounds really solid and it’s probably one of the best sounding records I ever made.”
He added that "everything just came together. It was an easy project for me because I didn’t have to worry about writing material. I just let [Walden] take me in a different direction.”
Noting at the time that the album would include “12 or 13” tracks, Schon said "it’s a long record, no doubt, but it’s so well paced. It takes you in and out of all these different type of grooves. The rhythm section is so powerful but also wide open, too. There is a lot of powerful, melodic guitar playing, and it’s a bit funky, too, in other areas.”
Schon previously released his cover of the Prince classic “Purple Rain.” You can hear that song below, along with a taste of “Eye of God.”
Listen to Neal Schon's Cover of ‘Purple Rain’
Listen to a Preview of Neal Schon's ‘Eye of God’