Author Topic: erwinrafael's 25 Favorite Musicians: #1. A majestic ending  (Read 2407 times)

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Offline devieira73

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Re: erwinrafael's 25 Favorite Musicians: #9 is not of this Earth
« Reply #70 on: March 13, 2017, 11:07:32 AM »
Satch is great, saw him live a couple of times and he never disappointed. But you said it right, he peaked early in his career (Surfing, Flying, Extremist and Crystal Planet are my faves) and never reached that level again. He still makes decent records and sometimes really great tunes, but didn't release a completely great and cohesive album  for quite some time.

But still, great choice.
I'm a big Satrinani fan and if you didn't hear the last two albuns (unstoppable momentum e shockwave supernova), IMO they are the greatest from the last half of his career and I think it's beacause the great rythm section he invested in these 2 records.
Personally, I would consider Engines of Creation at the same level of those albums, although a very different one.
Erwinrafael, by the way, Andalusia was a great choice!
"... one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." (RIP Neil Armstrong)

Offline erwinrafael

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Re: erwinrafael's 25 Favorite Musicians: #9 is not of this Earth
« Reply #71 on: March 13, 2017, 11:39:25 PM »
The Shockwave Supernova album is indeed quite good, but it's not really Satch that buoyed the album up with catchy riffs and leads but rather the band as a whole. My favorite track is Lost in a Memory, with the amazing mood set by the keys of Mike Keneally.

Offline Kwyjibo

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Re: erwinrafael's 25 Favorite Musicians: #9 is not of this Earth
« Reply #72 on: March 14, 2017, 02:29:37 AM »
Unstoppable Momentum is good but doesn't come close the the aforementioned classics, haven't heard Shockwave Supernova yet.

Engines Of Creation had some good tracks but didn't work for me on album lengths.

Offline erwinrafael

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Re: erwinrafael's 25 Favorite Musicians: #9 is not of this Earth
« Reply #73 on: March 15, 2017, 10:56:26 AM »
8. Jeff Porcaro



I first became aware of Jeff Porcaro when I chanced upon a Toto documentary on TV when I was 12. He's the gold standard among drummers when it comes to finding the groove that perfectly fits a song. I have not come across a Jeff Porcaro song where I went "Oh, he should have done this" because everything really sounds in the right place. And he can explain what he is doing.

Favorite performances:

The easy answer would have been Rosanna, but no.

These Chains - The signature half time shuffle. I like this more than the Rosanna shuffle and that one is already amazing. The ghost notes. THE GHOST NOTES.

Mushanga - Is it becoming obvious that The Seventh One is my favorite Toto record?  :lol That is largely because it has my favorite Jeff Porcaro drumming, including this song. Just hearing the hi-hat hits in my left earphone is making me smile right now. :)

Jake to the Bone - The album Kingdom of Desire is one where I felt Jeff was a bit out of his element because of the heaviness of the music. It would have been an unfit last album for Jeff, but thankfully, the album has this gem. This is what Jeff comes up with in a jam, and it's insane.

Offline Kwyjibo

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Re: erwinrafael's 25 Favorite Musicians: #8 plays a mean shuffle
« Reply #74 on: March 15, 2017, 11:22:38 AM »
This list just gets better and better  :tup

There are few drummers that can match Jeff when it comes to shuffle grooves and he can make anything else groove too.

I've seen Simon Phillips and Greg Bissonette playing with Toto and while both were good in their own right, no one was able to duplicate the Rosanna groove. Both came close but a little something was missing.

And The Seventh One is a top notch Toto record, nothing wrong with calling it favorite, although mine would probably be Kingdom Of Desire.

Offline erwinrafael

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Re: erwinrafael's 25 Favorite Musicians: #8 plays a mean shuffle
« Reply #75 on: March 17, 2017, 03:34:48 AM »
7. John Petrucci



All the other guitarists in this list have single song performances that I like better than any single song Petrucci has done. But Petrucci has them beat in consistency. John is just consistently outstanding for more than two decades, with a barely a dip in the level of quality of studio recorded guitar performances. It's an amazing feat considering the regularity of Dream Theater's releases, coming out with an album every two years.

And because he has been consistently good for so many years, I have a John Petrucci CD-length playlist instead of a favorite performance:

Under A Glass Moon
The Glass Prison
Hell's Kitchen/Lines In the Sand
Misunderstood
Lie
The Spirit Carries On
Breaking All Illusions
Our New World
« Last Edit: March 17, 2017, 03:40:06 AM by erwinrafael »

Offline erwinrafael

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6. Alex Van Halen



I ranked Alex Van Halen higher than the legendary Jeff Porcaro? Well, this is a most favorite list after all.  :rollin If Jeff represented perfection, Alex represented the FUN part of playing drums. It's not just the high energy in AVH's drumming that makes me smile when I hear him play, but also the "what, you did that?" moments. Playing crash cymbals as a ride source. Playing the Billy Cobham double bass every chance he gets. The unusual fills. The "delayed" hits. Or that freaking bridge in Right Now. I especially loved how the more complex song structures starting in 1984 showcased his drum composition skills on top of the rock drumming chops he exhibited in earlier albums. Fair Warning, 1984, 5150 and especially F.U.C.K. are my go-to albums whenever I feel like enjoying some Alex Van Halen goodness.

My Alex Van Halen CD-length playlist (which I arranged in chronological order which for some reason worked):

I'm The One
Light Up The Sky
Loss Of Control
Dirty Movies
Sinner's Swing - this is just pure joy in drumming form!
Panama
Hot For Teacher
Girl Gone Bad - one of Alex's finest compositions. Love the melodic use of toms (ala Mike Mangini), that intro on the ride, how the bass drums drove the feel for the different sections of the song.
Get Up
Summer Nights - Alex's finest bass drum playing moment, locking in with Eddie and Michael Anthony for that infectious groove.
5150 - another gem of a drum composition. If only they could re-record this with an acoustic drum kit!
A.F.U. (Naturally Wired)
Pleasure Dome
Right Now - my favorite Alex Van Halen song. His composition is amazing. The melodic use of toms. The bass drums syncing up with Michael Anthony's bass for the groove. The perfectly-timed shifting between the hi-hats and the ride. And again that freaking bridge. Perfect.
Amsterdam
Doing Time / Baluchiterium
Without You

On another note, whenever I listen to this playlist, I can not help but notice how Michael Anthony is not just chugging on the root note on these songs. Must be something in the rhythm of these songs that inspires MA to play differently.

Offline Kwyjibo

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Re: erwinrafael's 25 Favorite Musicians: #6 is lost in the pleasure dome
« Reply #77 on: March 18, 2017, 12:54:17 PM »
Alex isn't bad at all but I wouldn't put him above his brother and above Jeff Porcaro, in fact I think I wouldn't put him in my list if I would make one. But hey, it's your list, and as I said, he's a good enough drummer.

And while I agree with some of your song choices being great drum-wise, songs like Loss Of Control, Girl Gone Bad and Get Up I always considered as filler  :biggrin:

Offline erwinrafael

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Re: erwinrafael's 25 Favorite Musicians: #6 is lost in the pleasure dome
« Reply #78 on: March 18, 2017, 06:15:35 PM »
The best drumming are a lot of times in fillers, maybe because they are allowed to go crazy which the band then writes around afterwards.  :lol I don't think Girl Gone Bad is filler, though, because it has a more complex structure than a lot of other VH songs.

Offline KevShmev

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Re: erwinrafael's 25 Favorite Musicians: #6 is lost in the pleasure dome
« Reply #79 on: March 18, 2017, 06:19:57 PM »
Funny that you mention him playing the crash cymbals as a ride source, because that is the one aspect of AVH's playing that annoys the crap out of me. I disliked Don't Tell Me What Love Can Do from the start, largely because he ruins the chorus by beating the hell out of his cymbals.

That aside, I still like him as a player.  That roll he does right before the 2-minute mark in Sinner's Swing is one of my favorite drum rolls ever.

Also, good call on the thread title change. Pleasure Dome has long been one of my favorite Van Hagar tunes. :metal

Offline erwinrafael

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Re: erwinrafael's 25 Favorite Musicians: #6 is lost in the pleasure dome
« Reply #80 on: March 19, 2017, 06:00:18 AM »
Yep, the crash as ride is an acquired taste, but it gives AVH a unique hisssssssssss  in the background in many of his choruses. When he does play with the proper rides, like in Right Now and Pleasure Dome, he sounds amazing.

Offline bl5150

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Re: erwinrafael's 25 Favorite Musicians: #6 is lost in the pleasure dome
« Reply #81 on: March 19, 2017, 06:18:16 AM »
 :tup
"I would just like to say that after all these years of heavy drinking, bright lights and late nights, I still don't need glasses. I drink right out of the bottle." - DLR

Offline TAC

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Re: erwinrafael's 25 Favorite Musicians: #6 is lost in the pleasure dome
« Reply #82 on: March 19, 2017, 08:56:32 AM »
Been meaning to get back to this thread. Great call on AVH. His drumming really stands out to me in VH's music. I think he's excellent and very underrated.

I don't have any playlist, um..mix CDs  ;D associated with Van Hagar, but:

I'm The One
Light Up The Sky
Loss Of Control
 
..totally make the grade! :tup
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
Winger Theater Forums................or WTF.  ;D

Offline erwinrafael

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Re: erwinrafael's 25 Favorite Musicians: #6 is lost in the pleasure dome
« Reply #83 on: March 20, 2017, 10:27:19 AM »
5. John Myung



In a band full of virtuosos who are not shy in exhibiting their tremendous talents, John Myung beautifully played the role of the glue that kept the music together. Myung is Dream Theater's rock, the calm presence that allowed the other members to shine without giving up his cred as a true master of his own instrument. He would always be my favorite bass player and Falling Into Infinity, for all its faults, remains as my favorite bass guitar album.

My John Myung CD-length playlist:

6:00
Peruvian Skies
Through my Words / Fatal Tragedy
Lines in the Sand
Take the Time
Panic Attack
Trial of Tears (my favorite bass playing in a song)
Surrender to Reason
Breaking All Illusions

Offline ReaperKK

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Re: erwinrafael's 25 Favorite Musicians: #5 is Dream Theater's rock
« Reply #84 on: March 21, 2017, 05:05:28 AM »
Simply put Myung is a beast. Loving the list so far! I'll have to see if I can put together 25 and do a list sometime.

Offline Kwyjibo

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Re: erwinrafael's 25 Favorite Musicians: #5 is Dream Theater's rock
« Reply #85 on: March 21, 2017, 06:24:55 AM »
I know that guy, he's not bad at all  :biggrin:

Seriously he's a beast, but I sometimes wonder what he could do outside of DT. Only thing I know is Jelly Jam, nice band but Myung is playing very restrained (if that is the right word).

Offline erwinrafael

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Re: erwinrafael's 25 Favorite Musicians: #5 is Dream Theater's rock
« Reply #86 on: March 22, 2017, 03:09:27 AM »
4. Freddie Mercury



For me the best vocalist and frontman in my lifetime. Aside from the vocal range, Freddie is the only singer I heard who was able to pull off so many different styles convincingly. Operatic. Ala Willie Nelson. Pop. Rock. Metal. Disco. Majestic. Whimsical. Over-the-top. Melancholic. Anything. Give this guy any song and he can sing it, and I think it's primarily because he really loves singing and it radiates in his performance. But give one of the so-called "Freddie Mercury-only" songs to another singer, and all I could say is good luck.

Favorite performances:

Bohemian Rhapsody - a true showcase of the range of styles Freddie Mercury could pull off in just six minutes. Amazing.

Don't Stop Me Now - this is one of those "Freddie Mercury"-only songs. I love it when Freddie sings it, but when another artist sings it, it's cheesy as fuck. WHY?

Somebody to Love - Freddie giving a master class on how to tell a story through a song. He could sing just the tune of this song without the words and you would still get the message. What a masterpiece.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2017, 07:12:09 AM by erwinrafael »

Offline ReaperKK

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Re: erwinrafael's 25 Favorite Musicians: #4 needs to find somebody to love
« Reply #87 on: March 22, 2017, 05:12:57 AM »
Freddie s one hell of a frontman, probably one of the best if not the best. Whenever I see a Queen performance on youtube I always end up watching the whole thing because of Freddie.

Offline bl5150

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Re: erwinrafael's 25 Favorite Musicians: #4 needs to find somebody to love
« Reply #88 on: March 22, 2017, 05:21:44 AM »
Another good choice Erwin.  I'm just a casual Queen fan but cannot deny Freddie's brilliance.    Only Kanye can match him  ;D
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Offline Stadler

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Re: erwinrafael's 25 Favorite Musicians: #4 needs to find somebody to love
« Reply #89 on: March 22, 2017, 08:34:05 AM »
Funny How Love Is.     What an amazing song on every level.   God I love Freddie Mercury's  voice.   

One Vision.
Gimme The Prize
The Prophet Song
Somebody To Love (as good as George sang it, it was STILL not as good as the original).
Hell, the entire Queen II album.   

I feel a Queen kick coming on. 

Offline KevShmev

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Re: erwinrafael's 25 Favorite Musicians: #5 is Dream Theater's rock
« Reply #90 on: March 22, 2017, 09:07:14 PM »

Don't Stop Me Now - this is one of those "Freddie Mercury"-only songs. I love it when Freddie sings it, but when another artist sings it, it's cheesy as fuck. WHY?


I think Seaside Rendezvous is another one of those songs.  In the hands of just about any other rock band, it would be something we'd all point and laugh at, but in the hands of Queen and Freddie's voice, it's oddly enjoyable, albeit incredibly schmaltzy.  :lol :lol

Offline erwinrafael

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Re: erwinrafael's 25 Favorite Musicians: #4 needs to find somebody to love
« Reply #91 on: March 22, 2017, 09:38:13 PM »
I think thiis is most applicable to 1970s John Deacon songs. You're My Best Friend and In Only Seven Days are incredibly schmaltzy but Queen makes them work. :lol

I think you guys can already predict my Top 3. It's just a matter of ranking now. ;)

Offline erwinrafael

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Re: erwinrafael's 25 Favorite Musicians: #4 needs to find somebody to love
« Reply #92 on: March 24, 2017, 04:18:02 AM »
3. Mike Mangini



I am one of the most vocal Mangini fanboys in this forum. He's not a perfect drummer. If you want something jazzy or with some swing, he's not the man. If you want an emotive ballad, he might "metal" it up. What Mangini does to me, though, is to open my mind to a world of possibilities.

I first heard him in Extreme's Waiting for the Punchline album. I was playing along to the groove of Hip Today. Very catchy, this drummer is not a bad replacement for Paul Geary.

Then the guitar solo came.

WTF was that I heard? The cymbals were following Nuno's off beat lead, but the bass and snare is still doing the 7/4 basic beat...what? How is that...? What just happened?

Then I next heard him in Steve Vai's Fire Garden album. I thought maybe I would hear more limb independence like in Extreme. By the end of the Fire Garden Suite, I was silent. It was the first time I heard drums matching melodic runs up and down the scale. And it involves even rim clicks. Even rim clicks are used melodically, how is that...?

That is the running story of my fanboyism of Mangini. He's the drummer who always challenged my notion of what can be done on the drums and how to apply them musically. When he was setting those World's Fastest Drummer records, I thought, this guy is just showing off. Then I heard his work on Annihilator and I went, shit, so you can use those chops in a song.  :lol He also showed me how the bass drum can be so musical, that he almost always put the groove in the bass, especially in his work with LaBrie and in Tribe of Judah.

Don't get me started on the song Egg Zooming which is a world of possibilities on its own.

I am so happy he's now in Dream Theater. Not only does he now get the spotlight and recognition he deserves, but he now has a regular vehicle to test his ever-expanding ideas on what the drums can do.

My Mike Mangini 1-CD Length playlist:

On the Backs of Angels - it's not the best of Dream theater songs, but I always cherish this song not just as Mangini's debut with the band but also the first time I heard a single song that has a flavor of all the different Mangini-isms. He's following Jordan's keys with the cymbals while playing the rhythm on the bass and snare with JM and JP like what he did in Extreme's Hip Today. He's going up and down the scale in melodic runs like what he does with Vai. He's doing fast single strokes on the ride like what he did in Annihilator. He's playing with great control on the bass like his work with JLB. It's a song that became a demo for what Mangini has been doing all these years and it's amazing.
Alone (James LaBrie) - One of Mangini's catchiest grooves. The bass drum work here is topnotch.
Chasing the High (Annihilator) - My legs get tired just by listening to this song. I don't think Mangini can still do this after he had his knee injury, but I would love him to do brief spurts of otherworldly foot speed in future Dream Theater songs.
No One (Tribe of Judah) - This sounds like a simple danceable groove until you start playing it and find that all four limbs are moving with great coordination. It's like the Paradox of the Black Light section in Illumination Theory. Deceptively simple but actually difficult to play.
Bangkok + Fire Garden Suite (Steve Vai) - if you want to understand Mangini's philosophy on how to orchestrate in the drums, this is the best song to begin with. I don't know if it's really Mangini's style or if it is something he learned working with Steve Vai, but what's important is that he now gets to showcase this approach to melodic drum playing in Dream Theater.
Surrender to Reason - Mangini introduced another technique here, playing what should have been ghost notes on the snare with his left and right hi-hat and rides, which gives this unique stereo cymbal sound most prominently heard in the chorus. This guy just doesn't run out of ideas. This is also the song where I heard the drums most locked in with what John Myung is doing. They make a great rhythm section.
Iberian Jewel (Steve Vai) - This song has some of the best drum fills by Mangini.
Weapon X (Annihilator) - If  Chasing the High has crazy fast footwork, this is the counterpart when it comes to hand speed. And Mangini still keeps it freaking musical.
Egg Zooming (Mike Keneally and Beer for Dolphins) - CRAZY.
Illumination Theory - perfect. The best drumming in a single Dream Theater song.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2017, 05:14:29 PM by erwinrafael »

Offline ReaperKK

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Mike is a monster drummer. I remember taking notice of the the drumming on Elements of Persuasion. At the time I didn't know who he was or his name but he was a beast, so much power and energy.

Offline devieira73

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Just to add as exemples of Mangini's great drumming:

A more "loose", improvisional Mangini. This is maybe my favorite performance by him!
Steve Vai - Jibboom
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jw76jmL_TEw

And, contrary that many people think, I think Mangini is GREAT on softer songs:
Steve Vai - Windows to the Soul
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNSrptQcCVE
Mullzmuzzler - Believe (he plays only percusion)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I7EH_pGvkQ
James La Brie - Smashed (a relative simple drum composition, but very hipnotic)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZiIrhZIFeE
« Last Edit: March 24, 2017, 11:31:14 AM by devieira73 »
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Offline Lowdz

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Freddie Mercury is a legend. No more to add, and I agree about how he could get away with songs no one else can.

With Mangini, I love your description of his playing and believe you, but it's so far beyond my ability to fathom it I don't hear it. Watching him, I'm aware he is awesome, but I wouldn't know it from the albums as it doesn't jump out at me - maybe that's the genius of it. Maybe if I heard a stem of just the drums I could hear it.
What does stand out is the awkwardness off the drum part in the beginning of Breaking All Illusions - it jars me every time.
With Peart, I know he's awesome. He didn't waste time doing subtle things I wouldn't hear 😀

Offline Kwyjibo

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Mangini's the man  :tup

I liked him in Extreme and saw him live with them. The thing that stood out for me wasn't his technicality but his groove. You couldn't stand still, you had to tap your toe, move your feet or dance. That's why I don't understand the people who call him robotic.

Offline erwinrafael

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And, contrary that many people think, I think Mangini is GREAT on softer songs:
Steve Vai - Windows to the Soul
Mullzmuzzler - Believe (he plays only percussion)
James La Brie - Smashed (a relative simple drum composition, but very hipnotic)

There are soft songs where his drumming fits. Chosen is one. But in other songs like Along for the Ride, or Being With You in Paris by Steve Vai, his drumming sounds a bit stiff.

Offline devieira73

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In fact, Being with you in Paris, all the song seems to me a bit forced, like 'let's do a french song' and the final result is very obvious and uninspired. Anyway, I like Mangini's approach in a lot of softer songs, like the ones I listed.
"... one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." (RIP Neil Armstrong)

Offline erwinrafael

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Well, those are songs composed in soundchecks to come up with new songs that fit the place, so I appreciate the Alive in an Ultra World songs for their rawness.  :biggrin:

Offline erwinrafael

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2. Steve Vai



Genius is an overused word in the music industry but it fits Steve Vai perfectly. Wildly adventurous, I love how Vai pushes boundaries, delving into different sources of inspiration to always deliver something new while keeping a style that is unmistakably his. Often stereotyped as an indulgent shredder, I find him the most musical of all the great rock guitar instrumentalists. I can hum all my favorite Vai tunes because they all have great melodies with well-though-out song structures. This is specially true for the seventh songs in all the Vai albums.

My favorite Vai album is Fire Garden, where he was able to find the balance of quirk (Flexable), discipline (Passion and Warfare) and rocker attitude (Sex and Religion). Alive in an Ultra World is also inspiring, with its crazy concept of composing new songs during soundchecks using tour destinations as inspiration, and recording them live when premiered on tour. Vai fell into a sinkhole of indulgent wankery when he formed The Breed and recorded his Real Illusions - Reflections album. But he made a great return to form with The Story of Light, which is currently my second favorite Vai album.

My 1-cassette tape Steve Vai playlist:

Side A:
1. I Know You're Here - His best song during The Breed era, That intro is epic. As epic as that three-necked guitar.
2. The Crying Song - Vai in a guitar duel with himself. That groove!
3. Velorum - I never thought that Vai would still be able to come up this decade with a song that would crack my Top 5, but boy did he prove me wrong. Velorum is my third favorite Vai song, with a beautiful melody and impeccable changes in pacing that keep the song going.
4. Salamanders in the Sun - One of the best quirky Vai songs. The title fits the music perfectly. :lol
5. Touching Tongues - This is the song I listen to when I need to calm down. Lovely melody and harmonies. The Devin Townsend vocals also help. I love how Steve playfully put a vocal solo in the middle of a guitar instrumental song. :p
6.  Jibboom - Fun SRV tribute with Mangini and Bynoe.
7. Whispering A Prayer - My second favorite Vai song and my favorite of the seventh songs. When I first heard this, I literally was tearing up because it's so beautiful. I never heard a guitar sing like that. And that build-up to the shredding at the end is perfect.
8. Burning Rain - On the road, Vai composed a song for and inspired by Japan, and he played the guitar like a koto using the Japanese hirajoshi scale. Crazy man.

Side B
1. Answers - My favorite from Passion and Warfare. He really learned from his teacher, Satriani.
2. Frank - Very nice tribute to his master, Frank Zappa.
3. Freak Show Excess - Usually I do not like the self-indulgent Vai pieces, but I like this one because Vai expressly acknowledged the wankery not just in the title but also within the song. And the main melody is again very catchy.
4. No More Amsterdam - Beautiful duet with Aimee Mann. My favorite Vai vocals. I love the interplay between the guitar and the voices.
5 and 6. Bangkok and Fire Garden Suite - My favorite Vai song. Complex. Melodic. Technical. Cohesive. Full of wild ideas. A true masterpiece.
7. For the Love of God - What better way to end this playlist than with the song that put Vai on the map?
« Last Edit: March 25, 2017, 10:27:00 AM by erwinrafael »

Offline Kwyjibo

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Tremendous musician, guitarwise he's one of my favorites. He has such a great phrasing and such an unique playing style but sometimes he's too far out there for me.

And he's one hell of an entertainer, that alone is worth seeing him live.

Passion & Warfare is my favorite, Sex & Religion a close second.

I just wish that he would put more fresh and new music out.

Offline erwinrafael

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He takes a different approach from Satch in releasing albums. Satch is very prolific, but his numerous albums include average tunes mixed with the great stuff. Vai, on the other hand, takes his time with albums and makes sure that only the great stuff would be in it. The averae tunes are released in other albums that are clearly labeled as extra stuff.

Offline Kwyjibo

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He sure takes his time. Ultra Zone is from 1999, Reflections six years later (2005) and Story Of Light another seven years (2012), since then nothing new. That's almost Metallica level creativity  ;D

Offline erwinrafael

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I would count Alive in an Ultra World, though, as an equivalent of a studio album. producing tracks that became Vai tour staples. But yeah, Vai is taking his time after Story of Light. He's thinking of doing the third part of his trilogy as a collaboration with outside artists, if I remember correctly.