Thursday, September 07, 2006

Number 835 - Yngwie Malmsteen


Number 835

Yngwie Malmsteen

"Black Star"

(1984)
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Genre:Prog Rock
Yngwie Malmsteen is arguably the most technically accomplished hard rock guitarist to emerge during the '80s. Combining a dazzling technique honed over years of obsessive practice with a love for such classical composers as Bach, Beethoven, and Paganini, Malmsteen's distinctively Baroque, gothic compositional style and lightning-fast arpeggiated solos rewrote the book on heavy metal guitar. "Yngwie (pronounced "ING-vay") Malmsteen was born Lars Johann Yngwie Lannerback in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1963, later adopting his mother's maiden name following his parents' divorce. He was an unruly child, and his mother tried without initial success to interest him in music as an outlet. However, when seven-year-old Yngwie saw a television special on the death of Jimi Hendrix featuring live performance footage of Hendrix setting his guitar on fire, he became obsessed with the guitar, learning to play the music of both Hendrix and favourites Deep Purple. Through Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore's use of diatonic minor scales over simple blues riffs, Malmsteen was led toward classical music, and his sister exposed him to composers like Bach, Beethoven, Vivaldi, and Mozart. He spent hours practicing obsessively until his fingers bled, and by age ten, his mother allowed him to stay home from school to develop his musical talents, particularly since he was considered a behavioral nightmare. Also at age ten, Malmsteen became enamored of the music of 19th century violinist/composer Niccolo Paganini, as well as Paganini's flamboyant style and wild-man image; this would provide the blueprint for Malmsteen's synthesis of classical music and rock. By the time he was 18, Malmsteen was playing around Sweden with various bands attempting to find an audience for his technically staggering instrumental explorations, but most listeners preferred more accessible pop music; frustrated, Malmsteen sent demo tapes to record companies overseas. When Mike Varney, president of Shrapnel Records -- a label synonymous with the term "shredder" -- heard Malmsteen's tape, he invited the guitarist to come to the United States and join the band Steeler in 1981. "
"On June 22, 1987, a speeding Malmsteen crashed his Jaguar into a tree; in breaking the steering wheel with his head, he received a blood clot in his brain which nearly killed him and extensively damaged the nerves leading to his picking hand. In the course of recovery, he learned that his mother had died and that his manager had swindled him out of his earnings. Undaunted, Malmsteen regained the use of his hand and recorded Odyssey, his most accessible, radio-friendly collection to date; the single "Heaven Tonight" widened his audience beyond a devoted core of guitar fans and helped push the album into Billboard's Top 40."
"After several years in near obscurity, Malmsteen returned to the headlines in 2002, after a fellow airline passenger threw water on Malmsteen after he allegedly made a slanderous comment about homosexuals. This incensed Malmsteen, who had to be escorted away by security, all the while he screamed to the passenger that she had "unleashed the f***king fury". This stint proved to be so popular in revitalizing his career that his come back album in 2005 appropriated the phrases as its title. While his popularity has largely faded in the U.S. due to a backlash against the excesses of '80s shredders, Malmsteen still finds audiences in Europe and is more popular in Japan and Asia than ever."
Now that sounds like the true spirit of a Rocker! Now i am sure quite a few of you haven't ever heard his music before (even though he is world famous ~ go figure) but do give it a listen to.
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (Gee, the bio was right up thier alley too) the Album ranked at Number (Follow another cookie Hammy)
This song has a total rating of 62.3 out of 108
Search Artist here:1-2-3-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z


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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice to see someone recognize this brash swede for his guitar talents...

6:47 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just one more thing, that song is from his 1st cd, not the one you have on the page...

Play Loud

6:52 pm  
Blogger crowbarred said...

Yngwie has always had immense talent, he can do things even already established guitrists wish for. The reason for the incorrect song .... there is no version of "Blackstar" on embedded video. If you know of any please let me know! Dont flame on .... Rock on!

9:38 pm  

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