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The collection part I - 85%

Black_Star, July 5th, 2005

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.