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The Yngwie Malmsteen Collection-Yngwie Malmsteen
Upon browsing through related artists for some of my favorite bands I encountered a name that had come up several times: Yngwie Malmsteen. I didn't know anything about him or anything but I heard good things about him and his music. So I added the CD to my cart so I would have five for my buy one get four free offer. When I first listened to the CD I was amazed to the amazing guitar work that was so similar to one of my favorite bands, Symphony X.
My favorite songs on the set are the amazing instrumental "Far Beyond The Sun", the rapid guitar track "Liar", the melodic "Hold On", insane and jaw dropping "Guitar Solo (Trilogy Suite Op:5 /Spasebo Blues)" and my favorite of them all "Judas."
Yngwie is an amazing guitarist yet I have several problems with the CD. I do not know if it is just this compilation being selected poorly or if Yngwie has actually never recorded a ballad. The CD is just mid-tempo rockers one after another with verse-chorus-verse-chorus-guitar solo-chorsu structure. There is no break except when we get to "Guitar Solo" which is exactly what it name say and "Spanish Castle Magic", a Jimi Hendrix cover. This makes the album a little odd listening too because all the songs are so damn similar. Every song follows the samne damn structure one after anoither. Yet once again I do not know if this is just the compilation because I don't own any other CDs by him.
Still Yngwie is an excellent guitarist that deserves more recognition than he gets as you probably won't see him on any greatest guitarists lists even though he is at least in the top 25. He is unique because he carves his guitars so the neck is like a lute that gives him extra precision and if you're in the mood for some fast shredding then go for this. Still, if there was more variety I probably would have given this compilation a high 90.
Yngwie’s most well-known work is a product of the 80s, though it is far from the whole story of his career. As the first messenger of a rebirth of Baroque and Classical music, in addition to an early speed metal composer, he was well ahead of his time. Through all the success, the drama, and the activity in his life he tirelessly penned anthems that glorified music that was often passed up by the masses, in addition to challenging the idea that the electric guitar was merely a blues/rock instrument.
As with all compilations, this one is measured as much by what it leaves out as what it includes, and in this respect this compilation proves to be amongst the better ones put out. It carries highlights from Yngiwe’s live performance in 1989, which offer the listener a sample of his superior ability as a stage musician. It also contains the extended guitar solo version of “Making Love”, which can only otherwise be found on an out-of-print promotional single that is hard to come by, giving the compilation value beyond being an introductory tool.
Amongst the collection of standard songs, “I’ll see the Light Tonight” and “Liar” are good representations of Yngwie’s speed metal work. Likewise, straight-forward songs such as “Hold On” and “Queen in Love” provide listening material for the more mainstream oriented fan of 80s metal. The instrumental tracks on here are the most well-known, and although they don’t fully encompass Yngwie’s amazing instrumental works on both his debut album and afterwards, they give the prospective fan a good sample of his compositional style in this area.
In conclusion, of all the various compilations that you will come by bearing Yngwie’s insignia, this is the one to get if you wish to become better acquainted with his music. It functions both as a gateway to the vast back catalog that is out there with his name on it, and as a carrier of a rare version of one of Yngwie’s best songs after the end of Rising Force.
In 1991, Yngwie Malmsteen could do no wrong, he was still ridding high from all his success in the 80s. He had done everything possible to solidify his brilliant career. After the release of a superb live album in 1989 and a stellar studio album the following year, Yngwie decided that 1991 was a perfect year for a career retrospective.
The best songs from Yngwie Malmsteen's first five studio albums and one live album ("Rising Force", "Marching Out", "Trilogy", "Odyssey", "Trial by Fire - Live in Leningrad" and "Eclipse") are found on this compilation. All the essentials are present including "Far Beyond the Sun", "Liar" and "Heaven Tonight". There are also two great live tracks and one of them is an incredible ten minute guitar solo. Also found on this collection is the splendid song "Making Love" with an extended guitar solo. You can never have enough solos. All the great moments from a great career are found here.
Aside from the excellent display of career defining songs, this collection succeeds at showcasing musicianship and sheer talent. First off, Yngwie Malmsteen is one of the best guitarists of all time and demonstrates this well with mind blowing solos in every song. Jens Johansson is a master on the keyboards during songs like "I'll see the Light Tonight". Jeff Scott Soto, Mark Boals and Joe Lynn Turner are all featured on this compilation and it's a treat for the listener. These three men can sing! But we can't forget Anders Johansson and other various drummers who produce solid drum beats.
The only disadvantage regarding this collection is the omission of several fan favourites and important songs. "I Am a Viking", "Disciples of Hell" and "Riot in the Dungeons", among others are missing. These tracks are very special and their absence is felt.
In conclusion, "The Yngwie Malmsteen Collection" is a great starting point for all new comers and a great selection of solid tunes for casual fans. Songs like "You Don't Remember, I'll Never Forget", "Judas", "Deja Vu" and "Black Star" all helped to shape the amazing career of the Swedish guitar virtuoso and are found on this album. The Godly soloing from Mr. Malmsteen and the stand out performances of the other musicians are all found here. The only negative point is a couple missing tracks but that's no reason to judge a perfectly good compilation. This collection is a superb introduction to new fans and splendid roundup of essentials for everyone else.