Although this compilation has been released early on in Yngwie Malmsteen’s career, this is obviously a good snapshot of his musical history from him in retrospect. Most of Yngwie Malmsteen’s early work as a musician and guitarist was fantastic and with shredding skills second to none. Not even Eddie Van Halen himself could really do what Yngwie Malmsteen did with the guitar, that was how good Yngwie Malmsteen’s early work was. Originating from Sweden, the guitarist moved to the USA and successfully made a name for himself as a shredder onstage and an interesting musician with his own Fender Custom Shop made guitar. Let’s take a listen to this compilation and hear where it takes us.
Black Star begins with some classical styled acoustic guitar playing that is really fantastic. Soon enough, the drums kick in with a drumroll and we are underway. This piece gets going with some eerie keyboard and some guitar violining by Yngwie Malmsteen. This is a really awesome listening experience, it just sounds top-notch. The guitar soloing present on this track showcases Yngwie’s dramatic and excellent playing skills as a guitarist. This is a melancholy sounding tune, but nonetheless, is a really good listen throughout. There is no doubt Yngwie Malmsteen can really play, and he shreds like there is no tomorrow. A really cool listening experience, this goes through various solo sections that really do sound amazing from start to finish. The multitracked guitars present in this tune are fantastic, this just sounds totally amazing, all the way through to the fade-out. Intense and essential listening.
Far Beyond The Sun comes next, and it has some dramatic and awesome sounds, to begin with. Soon enough, Yngwie gets shredding away and we launch into a really excellent piece of music. The guitar playing present on this album is really amazing and puts Yngwie Malmsteen up into the most valuable shred guitarists category. He consistently makes the guitar sound interesting and really great, without doubt, or hesitation. This is a great combination of different genres as well into a neo-Classical guitar shred piece. Obviously, Yngwie Malmsteen’s time in various bands helped propel his skills to an interstellar level. There is a keyboard solo in the second half, before a really awesome guitar solo interchanges with it. A really different and amazing piece of music, this deserves listening to. Yngwie may have been the greatest guitar in the world in the mid-1980s. The lone shredding towards the end is nothing but amazing. A fine piece of music with some Classical Music feel about it, this ends with an organ sound. Brilliant.
I’ll See The Light Tonight begins with some dramatic guitar fills and drum rolls. Soon enough, some Metal screaming is heard by the singer, and this piece gets underway. This is a really awesome piece of music that does sound very 1980s but has aged fairly well. The combination of musicianship and interesting sounds is really quite legendary on this album, it does wonders for the listener. A really amazing tune, with a synchronised guitar and harpsichord solo, followed by a shred guitar sound, this is really great listening. Yngwie Malmsteen takes you to a different place, and indeed, a different world. Soon enough, the wailing vocals re-enter and this piece goes back into the verses. A really awesome and fascinating listen, this sounds really fun to hear. Lyrics about apocalyptic themes are present. Soon enough, this piece ends with loads of drum rolls and crazy guitar fills. Great stuff.
You Don’t Remember, I’ll Never Forget begins with some synchronised sounds and keyboards, before quickly launching into another Power Metal shred staple. Soon into it, singing emerges with some relationship issues mentioned in a Black Sabbath sort of way. A catchy piece of music that holds up well to this day, it just sounds awesome. A really great and triumphant tune which doesn’t sound overly 1980s. There is a piano solo in the middle, along with some really emotional guitar solos present. Yngwie Malmsteen shreds away magnificently, as though his life depends on it. A very amazing tune that should be heard by more people than your typical Metal crowd, it sounds very good, all the way to the fade-out. Nice job.
Liar begins with some unusual guitar licks, before launching into another Metal piece of mayhem. This tune is super uplifting, and it sounds miraculous and amazing. This is an uptempo and decent tune that has a very 1980s Metal feel to it. In the middle are some brilliant solos by Yngwie Malmsteen that sounds really impressive, this guy can sure play. This is matched with pounding drums and awesome keyboard as well. A really decent and great listening experience, it just sounds amazing and uptempo. This is a great piece of music from start to finish, and ends in a really awesome way. Very Deep Purple like, and amazing.
Queen In Love comes next, beginning with a menacing sounding intro with guitars and synths. It continues into another very 1980s Rock staple that sounds really awesome. A strange sort of piece about mystical and imperial ideals, this is one for those who like their history, even in musical terms. A nice chugging and decent sounding piece of music, the singing here is awesome. Yngwie Malmsteen follows with a really excellent and legendary guitar solo that sounds top. A really awesome and dramatic tune, this certainly sounds amazing. Fantastic music for those who dig shredding, this sounds excellent. Cool and interesting sounding, this makes for a completely unique and excellent sounding listen. It fades out gently.
Hold On begins with a dramatic drum roll, before launching into a very 1980s piece of music. It sounds uplifting and terrific, with plenty of instrumental guitar maestro work and glorious singing. This is a really excellent piece of music that, although a little dated to many people’s ears, just sounds fantastic and excellently delivered all the same. The combination of singing and excellent playing by the band is really amazing, and although this is more of a ballad piece, it Rocks well. A dramatic and top Metal tune, there is a guitar solo that sounds really emotional after some excellent singing. Yngwie Malmsteen plays really well on this song, and has a really dynamic and fantastic shred way of approaching his soloing. The song then resumes with the glorious singing, and this ends with loads of multitracked guitars that sound very amazing. A really great tune, this finishes with a gentle fade out. Awesome.
Heaven Tonight begins with some gorgeous multitracked vocals before the rest of the band quickly enters. This is a really legendary sounding tune and it sure sounds really cool. The tune itself is about being with a lover, even just for a one night stand. Although this is a song more vocally based, Yngwie Malmsteen plays some excellent guitar as well. A really great tune, although it is about one night stands, it eventually goes right into a neck position guitar solo that sounds very interesting and decent. Yngwie obviously knew many different scales and used them to his advantage. The song then returns and sounds really excellent. A very great shred Metal anthem, this is worth hearing. Excellent song for all to hear.
Deja Vu arrives next with some thundering drum rolls and palm-muted guitars, before going straight into another classic Metal tune. This is another good solid tune that has references to seeing events in dreams that occur later on in life, premonitions in other words. Yngwie Malmsteen plays some crazy neo-classical fills, whilst the rest of the band fight for attention. A really energetic and amazing listening experience, this is very upbeat and decent. There is a really amazing guitar solo in the second half which sounds like Yngwie is on fire. The playing and intellectual approach to it really shines here, playing like as if Bach, Beethoven or Mozart played electric guitar. This is followed by an excellent wah-wah guitar solo, before going straight back into the chorus. A really effortless sounding piece of music, and a fantastic listen. Great to hear.
Guitar Solo (Trilogy Suite Opus 5 / Spasebo Blues) begins with some crowd noise and introduction, before Yngwie Malmsteen gets going with the rest of the band. This is a live number, of course, but is a worthy addition to this compilation. Yngwie is the real star present, and this guitar solo proves that is so. Fast and blistering guitar parts sound really awesome, and our Swedish maestro does a really fantastic job. Eventually, the rest of the band stop, allowing Yngwie to play for a bit, before the rhythm section joins back in. This is, without a doubt, a tremendous effort. Yngwie Malmsteen eventually goes back into solo mode, showcasing his talent with some awesome guitar solos that just sound really great. His shredding is inspirational, no doubt about it. A really awesome and fine listen and a really amazing section of guitar solo unmatched by any other player for the most part. A really cool piece of music, it eventually goes into a delayed dual track solo section that sounds impressive. It is quite clear that Yngwie is a great guitarist. In the second half, Yngwie Malmsteen launches into a very good blues instrumental that sounds really awesome and impressive. Uplifting and excellent, this is really beyond what most musicians could achieve. A really cool and excellent listen, it stops again, before some more Classical inspired guitar sounds emerge. It sounds really eclectic and driven and is a real showcase for Yngwie Malmsteen. Yngiw plays really crazy in a frenzied way, just sounding like a real king of guitar based music. Towards the end, he shreds like no tomorrow. Some excellent delay effects are then present to finish this off, which are then pitchshifted to finish off this piece. Superb and worth hearing.
Spanish Castle Magic – Album Version / Edit Version comes next, and has some dramatic guitar work. This, of course is a Jimi Hendrix cover, but is done really well terrifically. The singer does an amazing impression of Jimi himself, sounding much like him, and the rest of the band do equally well. A really epic and awesome tune, this sounds powerful and dynamic. Obviously inspired by Jimi Hendrix to some extent as a musician, Yngwie Malmsteen plays a wonderful shred solo, just matching very well Jimi’s own work. A very excellent cover, this is really mindbogglingly amazing. The whole thing sounds rather fast and interesting, and is a cover that sounds really different. The second half resumes the guitar soloing after the verses have finished, and of course, Yngwie Malmsteen makes the listener proud. A really cool and fun listen, Jimi Hendrix’s influence cannot be underestimated in the guitar based world. Some really impressive wah-wah guitar solo and playing keeps this one going nicely. A really great tune and cover that reignites the spirit of Jimi Hendrix here, it gets slower towards the end, before finishing up with some dramatic drum and guitar fills. This piece is then faded out.
Judas begins with some string sections and we return to the studio work here. This is once again an interesting listen to have. Soon enough, singing emerges and we get underway. A really awesome tune that sounds really fine and fantastic, this is a good and variable piece of music, complete with harpsichord. It does lack some of the wow factor that previous tunes on this compilation have. Nonetheless, Yngwie Malmsteen emerges with a very shred based guitar solo, before the song returns with a neo-classical feel to it. A ballad, but nonetheless, a good one, this sounds promising. A great listen, but a lesser track from Yngwie’s collection, it finishes off with Yngwie playing furiously.
Making Love – Extended Guitar Mix follows, and has a rather spacey 1980s intro with Yngwie’s guitars and out of this world keyboards. It launches into an okay piece of music, but it sounds really gorgeous and tuneful, even though this isn’t the best Yngwie Malmsteen could do. A nice listen all the same, it sure sounds really upbeat. The overall 1980s sound present on this song is actually incredibly dated today. Regardless, this is a good effort that is rewarding enough as a listen. Yngwie plays some blazing guitar solos on this piece, sounding like a real great unmatched by none. A really fine and fantastic listen in that section, the multitracked guitar solos sounding really amazing. A good song, although not Yngwie’s very best song. Some more blistering guitar solos in the second half are present, and this music sounds insanely good. A surprising listen for those who love shred and hate Pink Floyd’s slower, melodic guitar playing, this is for you. The guitar solos finish this piece off very well, and it sounds like a great and top classic Shred classic. It ends with drum rolls and vocal harmonies via keyboard. Nice.
Eclipse is the last song on this compilation. From the start, it doesn’t sound very good really. It is a dated piece of music that is only matched by some interesting guitar leads and powerful drumming. Sure, Yngwie can make a guitar squeal very nicely, but aside from that, this instrumental is fairly underwhelming. Anyway, this is good for what it is. Yngwie plays very well on this song as per usual, and the multitracked guitars do well. The whole thing has an impressive and enjoyable groove. In the second half, it changes completely as a tune, with a tempo and key change. Yngwie Malmsteen plays his heart out towards the end, and this finishes very well with more dual tracked guitar parts which sound quite good.
This is a very good compilation by Yngwie Malmsteen that, despite its shortcomings, is no doubt a good one to have in your collection. Sure, it’s not as consistent as Yngwie’s very early material alone, but his guitar playing is seriously unmatched in the Rock world. Listen to this if you love Shred or Neo-Classical music, or even if you are a Rock fan. Those who like such genres will enjoy this one.