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Top Ten Albums Part Two-Early Adulthood PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 25 June 2007 03:38
ImageBy John McGlasson
As a follow-up to my last column , this is my second Top-Ten list of albums through various periods in my life. Please post your own or comment on mine! Thanks for reading!

Dokken - Tooth and Nail
Obviously I'm a huge George Lynch fan, and this album blew my young mind. Now it blows my old mind! George was on fire around this time, playing very hard, you can hear it in his right hand. Some brilliant recording on this album, the guitar tones are huge, often recorded at monstrous volumes in big rooms with lots of mics, so the reverb is very natural, the live sound is captured on this album for sure.

Ratt - Invasion of your Privacy

With the bar so high for guitarists around this period, Warren was one of a breed who came out of LA, (or gathered in LA from various places), many players who were roommates, bouncing in and out of various bands. I understand Warren, George Lynch, and Jake E. Lee (back when he was still Jake Lou Williams, pre-Ozzy) shared an apartment for a time. Jake had played with Dio (imagine Holy Diver with Jake instead of Vivian Campbell!?!), Jake had played with Dio (imagine Holy Diver with Jake instead of Vivian Campbell!?!), Rough Cutt (a band with incredible guitarist Imur Derakh. That never really broke through for some reason) and Ratt, along with a bunch of other bands that most of his friends had rotated in and out of. I listen to those 3 guys' stuff now and can hear what they all picked up from eachother, it's really cool to me that these 3 kids were so influenced by eachother, living together, knowing they were all monsters, knowing they were in the right place at the right time, and were going to break through. This was Warren's third album with Ratt, after they'd all broken through as true guitar heroes, they were growing up as musicians, and the competition was huge. This album has, in my opinion, some of the greatest guitar tones ever recorded, and some of the tastiest solos you'll ever hear. Check out the solo on "Lay It Down", worth the price of admission.

Loudness - Thunder in the East

I remember reading Guitar Player mag in my room at about 18, and seeing a little B&W pic of a guy named Akira Takasaki from Japan who was winning global reader polls over our beloved EVH, so I knew I had to hear him. Akira is still one of my all-time favorite guitarists, though his solos were laced throughout some very, very bad pop-rock songs. Like most of the stuff I was listening to up to this time, I just fast-forwarded to the solos, rewinding them 1000 times. I found this album on vinyl recently, and can honestly say that Akira's solos are as melodically dazzling and technically impossible today as they were in 1984.

Dio - The Last In Line
(correction; in my last article I wrongly listed "The Last In Line" when I meant to list Holy Diver")
By the time this album finally came out I'd been wearing out Holy Diver and was more than ready for what Vivian had in store, and I was in heaven. While so many of my other heroes were part of pop rock bands with songs that just laid there, so many of Dio's songs were epic, and hold up today. I understand that recording these Dio albums were high-pressure situations for a very young Vivian. The solos were often improvised takes with Dio standing over him staring down with Viv in a chair, digging down deep for melodies and fiery passages that show the feeling in the room when I listen now, dark and moody. True young brilliance captured in time. Nothing sounds better to me than a guitarist trying hard to prove himself against ungodly competition.

Iron Maiden - Live After Death
I was traveling in Fla. When this album came out, I was wandering through a record store and saw it, I remember how exciting it was to me to hear different takes of songs I knew, and songs I'd never heard. A great sounding live recording, with some of Adrian Smith's greatest playing. A moody, technically amazing album from a band that raised the bar and made the pop stuff I was listening to sound pretty stupid.

Dokken - Under Lock and Key
I don't think young players today can imagine how high the bar was around the time when this album was released. We were pounded with album after album of insane technique combined with amazing melody, it was the Age of the Big Solo! It was impossible to have a favorite among so many heroes, but this album grabbed my attention for a long, long time. I was so excited to find it on cd a couple years ago, and to listen to those solos again, the production, the tone, there's just nothing to match the excitement of this time period for me.

Yngwie Malmsteen - Marching Out
Then along came Yngwie...being isolated in a little town in Central Illinois, a tape like this could get passed around and copied by 20 people or more. Though Rising Force came out before this album, I heard this one first. Like most kids around the world who were hearing Yngwie for the first time, it lit a fire under the asses of my friends and I. Since his stuff was so impossible to play, it seperated the men from the boys as far as who was going to keep playing or hang it up. While I love Yngwie's playing, I was very impressionable at the time, and became obsessed with his playing, falling into that trap and destroying any ability to come up with original music until I purged myself of it with my anti-Yngwie, SRV. (on a later list)

Yngwie Malmsteen - Rising force
By the time I got this album I was deeply immersed in the neo-classical shred movement like almost every other player my age. This album, combined with Marching Out, founded the genre, started a movement, and changed guitar music globally, forever.

David Lee Roth - Eat 'em & Smile

As a huge EVH fan, I was very skeptical of the guy who Dave was gonna rock with after leaving VH. Dave's no idiot, he knew he had to assemble one of the greatest rock bands of all time, and make an album that would shake up the world, so he did. This album is every bit as cool and relevant today as it was the day it came out. This is the album on which Vai had to prove himself to the world outside the Zappa fans, making it for me his most powerful, inspired, joyful performance in his career. I was lucky enough to see this band on this tour in Phoenix, I was only about 20 feet from Steve Vai, and he was just possessed by the band, the songs, the guitar, and the crowd. Back them bands like this lived up to every ounce of the hype, they exceeded it every night. There are just no musicians with the weight and magnitude today to make this kind of impact.

Steve Vai - Flexable
I heard this album after I'd already digested Eat 'em & Smile, and it was just confirmation for me that Vai was the future of guitar music, he could do anything.

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