"Eric Johnson is a very proficient and impressive guitarist. I've always enjoyed listening to Tones and respect his guitar playing prowess. I also like his singing. Tones consists of nine tracks--four of the tracks are instrumentals. The album's musicianship is tight and skilled. The production and songwriting are also good and solid. My favorite songs are "Friends" and "Emerald Eyes." Both of these tunes are melodious and feature nice vocals from Eric Johnson. The chorus of "Emerald Eyes" is infectious. I'm glad I have Tones in my collection. It's a good piece of music. Worth a listen."
DON'T LISTEN AND DRIVE
sauerkraut | 10/29/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This piece of work is best listened to whilst driving. The power and depth of most tracks are such that make it very difficult to not drive fast. (hence the warning) Don't get me wrong, this is not for those who just want loud "noise", this is for anyone who enjoys clarity of sound and precision guitar work. This man is an outstanding example of a guitar craftsman. He does't just play the instrument. He and instrument become one."
Johnson's Opening Act !
Armando M. Mesa | Chandler, AZ | 05/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While Tones is not loaded with the same diversity, edge, or refinement(and lacks just a tad of energy) like Johnson's 1990 release Ah Via Musicom (a cd my brother played over and over) it is still pure musical artistry in the making !I'm no guitar playing expert but the hooks, licks, and atmosphere of Tones kept my attention---it's not hard rock or heavy metal- ear -and -mind- blowing -earth shattering- stuff---but it's great stuff nonetheless! Many have criticized Eric Johnson's vocals (however, I don't buy an Eric Johnson release for the singing. To me, simply put, his vocals are reminiscent of rocker Bryan Adams' without the raspy, grating, sand paper quality---great example is the track Friends)...That said, Tones is like the opening act to a movie or play that is only gonna get better (as is the case with his later releases).Tones is also in essence a teaser or sampler debut. His work on the track Desert Song is incredible and definitely captures a Southwest, Sedona, desert-like atmosphere.Eric Johnson can make his guitar sing, scream, talk, and even whisper. With the diverse tracks on Tones you will be stunned and soothed ! This is an album that definitely gets played from beginning to end without skipping a single track.I also give great credit to his band---especially those drums ! I don't care if a friend or critic says it sounds like 80's pop-rock music(there's absolutely nothing outdated, formulaic or generic on Tones); To me it's timeless and a very important/critical part of my vast music collection. This 1986 release gets five stars because as I said there are quite a few instrumental artists that I cannot listen to their albums in their entirety without skipping a track or tracks; Eric Johnson's Tones is that exception !"
Eric Johnson's 1st Album
john molina | Los Angeles (LAX), California | 02/19/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Tones, Eric Johnson's 1986 debut album, highlights virtuoso performances by one of the most agile, engaging and innovative young guitarists in modern music. I know Eric Johnson's old band back in 1975 with The Electromagnets. Tones features nine original cuts written or co-written by Johnson, including the blistering instrumentals "Victory", "Zap", "Desert Song" and "Soulful Terrain." A great starting place for those not familiar with Eric Johnson's brand of guitar magic. This album was recorded in August 28 through November 17, 1985."
Should have let Eric Produce this one
Greg Martinez | Norman, Oklahoma USA | 02/13/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I've been a fan of Eric ever since i saw his first Austin City limits performance back in the mid 80's. After i saw the performance i was hooked and bought Tones. Needless to say i was disapointed. The album had no energy, and everything seems to be canned and polished, it doesnt breath. The Drums have that horrible gated reverb sound which was the in thing at the time i guess, but sounded weak! This album didnt do Eric and his band justice. Granted it did win a grammy, but i think the production should have been more straight forward. I heard that Eric was supposed to produce the album but the record company had other ideas and brought in a producer who mainly produced new wave and pop groups of that era. I'm against going back and remixing older albums, but i wouldnt mind seeing it done to this one. Long live Eric the Great!!!!!!!!!"