Good sampler of Malmsteen's early material
R. Gorham | 01/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THE BAND: Yngwie Malmsteen (electric/acoustic guitars, bass, moog & Taurus bass pedals, backing vocals) and many bandmates over the decades. Most notably - Jeff Scott Soto (vocals), Mark Boals (vocals), Joe Lynn Turner (vocals), Goran Edman (vocals), Marcel Jacob (bass), Bob Daisley (bass), Barry Dunaway (bass), Jens Johansson (keyboards), Mats Olausson (keyboards), Barriemore Barlow (drums), Anders Johansson (drums - and brother of keyboardist Jens), Michael Von Knorring (drums).
THE DISC: (1991) 14 tracks clocking in at approximately 73 minutes. Included with the disc is a 6-page booklet containing song titles/times/credits, musicians, and 4-pages of insight on Malmsteen presented by Guitar World's Joe Lalaina. This compilation follows his career from 1984-90. All songs written by Malmsteen except "Spanish Castle Music" by Jimi Hendrix. Label - Polydor Records.
ALBUM REPRESENTATION: Rising Force (2 songs), Marching Out (1), Trilogy (3), Odyssey (3), Trial By Fire - Live in Leningrad (2), Eclipse (3). Sadly, this release contains nothing after '91..."Fire And Ice" (1992), and "The Seventh Sign" (1994) are both brilliant albums. Perhaps one day soon, the listening fans will be treated to a career spanning double-disc compilation (including his early stints with Steeler and Alcatrazz).
COMMENTS: Malmsteen claims his inspiration came from Hendrix ("Yngwie picked up a guitar the day Hendrix died"), but I also hear a lot of Ritchie Blackmore and Brian May in his playing. The young viking chief is the king of neoclassical guitar... and Malmsteen can shred like no other. Some claim his ego gets in the way (and his solos way to self indulgent), but when's he creating inspired music, who cares. Surrounded by some very nice talent over the years (Barriemore Barlow - famed drummer from Jethro Tull in the 1970's, Joe Lynn Turner - Rainbow and Deep Purple, Jens Johansson - Stratovarius, Bob Daisley - Ozzy and Uriah Heep, Marcel Jacob - Talisman and Europe), Malmsteen continues to release album after album (20+ albums that he's been a part of as of 2006)... of which, this "Collection" is just a small sampling. The songs here are great even though most lean toward the commercial side of his catalog... I truly feel you need the whole album experience (or pick up one of his 'live' albums). A great early slow instrumental opener with "Black Star", leading into a quicker instrumental "Far Beyond The Sun" (with nice guitar work and matched keyboards). Small hits for Yngwie are also here - "Heaven Tonight", "You Don't Remember, I'll Never Forget", and "Hold On". "Collection" also features two live tracks - the 10-minute "Guitar Solo" and the Hendrix cover "Spanish Castle Magic" (at times, singer Joe Lynn Turner sounds freakishly like Hendrix). First and foremost, this is a guitar album. Up and down, rock/blues/classical shredding...all lightning fast riffs by the legend himself. Looking for a single studio album - try "Rising Force (1984), Trilogy (1986), or "Fire And Ice (1992). Those not familiar with Malmsteen... this is a perfect place to start (4.5 stars).
Yngwie Malmsteen - A Good Introduction To His Material
Steven Sly | Kalamazoo, MI United States | 09/16/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Malmsteen emerged from Sweden as the next big thing on electric guitar back in the early 80's. He had a reputation for lightning fast riffs and a huge ego. I always liked some of the things that I heard from Yngwie, but never picked up any of his studio albums. In 2002 I went to see Dio in concert and Yngwie opened for them. I was impressed enough with his performance to pick up this compilation. For fans of Malmsteen this will probably be a rather uninspired collection, but if you are just looking for an overview of the guy's career this one is pretty good. The material here only goes up through the 1990 album "Eclipse" and Malmsteen has recorded numerous albums since that time so this collection is far from complete. The material here is a mix of Malmsteen's neo classical progressive rock guitar instrumentals and vocal singles that recall the glory days of 80's hair metal. Malmsteen's band mates on the albums are practically an all star lineup including Jeff Scott Soto (recently of Journey), Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow, Deep Purple), Barrymore Barlow (Jethro Tull), Jimmy Bain (Rainbow), Jens Johansson (Stradivarius, Mastermind), and several other noted players. Of course Yngwie's playing is amazing for the most part with plenty of lightning fast solos to sooth any guitar lovers cravings. Some of the vocal tracks are a bit on the cheesy side and how much you can tolerate 80's hair metal will determine how much you like this disc. Overall though, it is a decent collection and a good introduction to Malmsteen's stuff."