It’s hard to believe that for most of us it’s been thirty three years this week where Swedish guitar player Yngwie Malmsteen basically came out of nowhere to become a new guitar icon. In reality though he had been paying his dues for years, finally getting to come to America in 1982 after impressing a record executive. Not wasting any time he got involved in the music scene pretty quickly. First getting together with Ron Keel in a band called Steeler, then joining another band called Alcatrazz. Recording two excellent albums with both bands this brought attention to his guitar playing style, which opened the door to what would become his incredibly successful solo career.
Yngwie’s timing could not have been more perfect. Just a mere two years after losing now guitar legend Randy Rhoads, Yngwie would release his debut album known as “Rising Force”. Had Randy Rhoads lived many people believe this is the direction he would’ve gone. Just like Randy, Yngwie himself had a love of classical music and deeply influenced by Bach, Beethoven, Paganini, and wanted to blend it with a hard rock sound. Influenced heavily by former Scorpions guitar player Jon Uli Roth, Deep Purple’s Ritchie Blackmore, also the legendary Jimi Hendrix, this would be a defining album in what would become known as the “NeoClassical Metal” movement.
In many ways it took lots of guts to release a record like this in 1984. The “Glam Metal/Hairband” movement was becoming extremely popular, and to release a album that was mostly instrumental (singer Jeff Scott Soto sang on a couple songs) with a suite of classical styles was a huge risk. It didn’t matter though, because Yngwie’s guitar playing is what stood out, influencing a whole new generation of kids to pick up a guitar. This album would become extremely influential, and give the “green light” for other guitar virtuoso’s to do the same thing. To say this piece of work is the reason Ywgwie has a bunch of Lamborghinis, and Rolex watches is a huge understatement.
Side One :
Far Beyond The Sun
Now Your Ships Are Burned
Side Two :
Icarus’ Dream Suite Op.4
As Above, So Below
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