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The collection part II - 85%

Black_Star, July 5th, 2005

In 2000, Yngwie Malmsteen wasn't ridding high anymore and his star had fallen in North America. He was still a God all over the world but not everywhere. In 1991, Yngwie released a compilation because he had nothing left to do after conquering the world but especially the United States. In the year 2000, the scenario was a little different. Yngwie was not as popular as he once was, which was a good thing to a certain degree because he could now reclaim his fame with one good exposure. With the release of "The Best of Yngwie Malmsteen:1990-1999", the guitar virtuoso had the opportunity to showcase his talent to all new comers and rookies of his neo-classical style but also to show everybody who had abandoned him in the early 90s what they had missed out on. With this in mind, 2000 was a great year for the completion of Yngwie Malmsteen's career retrospective which had started almost a decade before.

All the best songs from Yngwie Malmsteen's 90s career are found on this album. Material from Yngwie's four studio albums and two live albums ("Seventh Sign", "Magnum Opus", "Facing the Animal", "Concerto Suite", "LIVE!!", "Alchemy") and one new song are present. Also included in this package, two covers. The 90s retrospective is very similar to the retrospective of the 80s. This collection contains some of the best songs that Yngwie Malsmteen created during 1994-1999 period. "Never Die", "Seventh Sign", "Rising Force (Live)" and "Facing the Animal" are all stand outs. There some very awesome songs found here, some popular ones and some lesser known hits.

"The Best of Yngwie Malmsteen:1990-1999" treats the listener by including one new song. "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme" is an ABBA cover and it is an instant classic. This tracks starts off with the great vocals provided by Mark Boals. This song is marvellous and features some insane guitar work. "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme" finishes with a great jam session filled with great solos. Mats Olausson on keyboards and John Macaluso on drums stand on their own and help complete this musical masterpiece. A real winner.

Not only is the song selection strong but also the musicians. The talent that these men present is prenominal. Of course, Yngwie Malmsteen is a God on the guitar but Mark Boals is terrific on vocals. This brings back memories from the "Trilogy" glory days. Mats Olausson is simply spectacular on the keyboards and is a fit replacement for the master, Jens Johansson. But we can't forget all the various drummers and other musicians who helped to make these songs what they are.

Like "The Yngwie Malmsteen Collection", this best of also has several disadvantages. First of all, a couple of important songs are missing like "Braveheart", "My Resurrection", "Alone in Paradise", "Blitzkrieg" and "Leonardo". This is nothing major compared to the 1991 compilation. Second of all, some song selection choices are bizarre. The perfect example of this is that the great instrumental "Blue" is featured on this best of to represent the ridiculously good album "Alchemy" but a much superior instrumental found in "Blitzkrieg" from the same album was left out. I guess, this could be used to demonstrate the bluesy influence that Yngwie Malmsteen possesses. Third of all, this compilation begins in 1994 so it is only fair that the material from 1992's "Fire & Ice" is not included but it's a shame that the great songs from the "Power and Glory" and "I Can't Wait" EP are not featured.

In conclusion, "The Best of Yngwie Malmsteen:1990-1999" is great for many reasons. This compilation is brilliant because it's a great starting point for all newcomers and fans that gave up on the guitar God over a decade ago. There are few disadvantages but they are quickly overshadowed by some excellent songs like "Vengeance", "Voodoo" and "Brothers". Also, the new song featured on this best of is worth the price of admission on its own.