Category Archives: Albums

STEVE VAI’s ‘Modern Primitive’ + ‘Passion And Warfare 25th Anniversary Edition’ To Be Released In June


Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, will release Steve Vai‘s “Modern Primitive / Passion And Warfare 25th Anniversary Edition”, a celebratory 2CD collection of classic tracks and previously unreleased music, on Friday, June 24.

Steve Vai and Legacy Recordings are commemorating the 25th anniversary of “Passion And Warfare” with a special 2CD edition of the album which includes the first-ever release of Vai‘s “Modern Primitive” songs and recordings. Based on song sketches and works-in-progress penned and recorded by Vai following the release of “Flex-Able”, his debut album, in January 1984, the music on “Modern Primitive” has been completed by Vai for release as a full album disc and the second CD is the bonus remastering of the “Passion And Warfare 25th Anniversary Edition”.

“The music on ‘Flex-Able’ is so vastly different from ‘Passion And Warfare’, one could wonder if the same guy actually made both records,” Steve writes in his liner notes for the collection. “‘Modern Primitive’ is the missing link between these two records. It’s sort of Cro-Magnon Vai.”

Newly remastered from the original analog tapes, the “Passion And Warfare 25th Anniversary Edition” disc includes, as bonus tracks, four previously unreleased recordings from the “Passion And Warfare” sessions.

“Modern Primitive / Passion And Warfare 25th Anniversary Edition” is being released as a 2CD physical collection while each disc will be available as a separate title on all digital platforms.

The 2CD “Modern Primitive / Passion And Warfare 25th Anniversary Edition” will be housed in a 4-panel soft-pack with a 20-page “Modern Primitive” booklet and a 24-panel “Passion And Warfare” poster fold.

In addition to the first-time release of his “lost” “Modern Primitive” music, composer/producer and electric guitar virtuoso Steve Vai will celebrate the 25th anniversary of his landmark album “Passion And Warfare” with a world tour starting on May 28 featuring — for the first time ever in concert — full performances of his groundbreaking instrumental rock masterpiece in its entirety.

“Performing this record from top to bottom (with some very special surprises in the works) is something I’ve always dreamed of doing,” Vai said. “There are songs here I’ve never performed before, and I’m delighted that 25 years after its release, I feel as though my guitar chops are as much up to the task as ever before.”

Often cited as one of the greatest and most influential instrumental rock guitar albums ever recorded, Vai‘s “Passion And Warfare” was originally released through Relativity/Epic in September 1990 and has been certified gold by the RIAA. Inspired by a series of dreams Vai had experienced as a young man, “Passion And Warfare” has been described by the artist as “Jimi Hendrix meets Jesus Christ at a party that Ben Hur threw for Mel Blanc.” Recorded at The Mothership, Vai‘s home studio in the Hollywood Hills, “Passion And Warfare” includes the classic track “For The Love Of God”, cited as one of the best solos of all time in a Guitar World magazine reader’s poll.

“Modern Primitive / Passion And Warfare 25th Anniversary Edition” track listing

“Modern Primitive”

01. Bop!
02. Dark Matter
03. Mighty Messengers
04. The Lost Chord
05. Upanishads
06. Fast Note People
07. And We Are One
08. Never Forever
09. Lights Are On
10. No Pockets
11. Pink and Blows Over: Part 1
12. Pink and Blows Over: Part 2 (Mars Attack)
13. Pink and Blows Over: Part 3 (Jazzbo Paddle-foot)

“Passion and Warfare 25th Anniversary Edition”

01. Liberty
02. Erotic Nightmares
03. The Animal
04. Answers
05. The Riddle
06. Ballerina 12/24
07. For Love Of God
08. The Audience ls Listening
09. I Would Love To
10. Blue Powder
11. Greasy Kid’s Stuff
12. Alien Water Kiss
13. Sisters
14. Love Secrets
15. Lovely Elixir (Bonus)
16. And We Are One (Solo #2) (Bonus)
17. As Above (Bonus)
18. So Below (Bonus)



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RECENSIE: Joe Bonamassa – Different Shades Of Blue


Aan tussenjaren doet Joe Bonamassa nauwelijks, maar een solo studioalbum bracht hij vorig jaar niet uit. De bekende drift was er sinds Driving Towards The Daylight uit 2012 echter niet minder om; er verschenen veel live albums. Daarnaast volgde een nieuwe episode van Bonamassa’s samenwerking met Beth Hart. Op het album Different Shades Of Blue is Bonamassa, in de meeste nummers althans, de enige blikvanger. Wederom levert zijn brede invulling van het genre blues een gevarieerd kunststukje op.

‘Slow Train’ van het in 2011 verschenen Dust Bowl is ongetwijfeld Bonamassa’s beste albumopener tot nu toe, maar ‘Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)’ mag er ook zijn. Het is een instrumentaal pareltje. Bonamassa laat zijn vingers over zijn gitaar kronkelen, creëert originele gitaarlijnen en vermijdt daarbij hoge noten. Vervolgens laat hij zijn gouden keeltje voor het eerst horen. ‘Oh Beautiful!’ begint a capella. Een typische, vette Bonamassa-riff volgt. De percussie met conga’s speelt daarbij een verfrissende rol.

Vanaf ‘Love Ain’t A Love Song’ is het duidelijk dat we bijna alle kanten van Bonamassa te horen krijgen. Alleen de hardrock van Black Country Communion blijft ons, gelukkig, bespaard. Funky gitaarriffs, aangekleed met blazers zetten de toon voor één van de mooiste nummers van het album; ‘Living On The Moon’. Het trekt de muzikale lijn van ‘Love Ain’t A Love Song’ door, maar Bonamassa zingt hier voor zijn doen ingetogen. In combinatie met de tekst – “Hanging around with you, is like living on the moon”– past dit prachtig.

Ondanks enkele minder sterke momenten – ‘Heartache Follows Wherever I Go’ en de zoetsappige refreinen van het titelnummer zijn voorbeelden– zakt Different Shades Of Blue nooit door de ondergrens. Bonamassa kan namelijk altijd terugvallen op zijn geheime wapen; de gitaarsolo. Bij de Amerikaan zijn dit verhalen, inclusief spanningsbogen, op zich. Ondanks dat een meer experimentele insteek zoals bij ‘Get Back My Tomorrow’ resultaat oplevert, weet hij ook met een lekker zompige blueskraker te overtuigen. Bonamassa duldt de toetsenist naast zich in de schijnwerpers, terwijl hij “I gave up everything for you” zingt, om na een korte pauze de titel van het nummer te vervolledigen: “except the blues”.



Boston, ‘Life, Love & Hope’ – Album Review

Boston, 'Life Love & Hope'

After 11 years Boston released december 2013 his sixth album “Life, Love & Hope”. The sound of this classic rock/arena rock band pretty identifiable with a lot of power chords, solos, and catchy riffs. This album too. Boston does a great job of everything.

You’ll here the voice of legendary vocalist Brad Delp. But Delp committed suïcide on March 9, 2007, at age 55. Aftrer his death the band sticks with its tried-and-true sound, one that has come to nearly define the classic rock genre. But Boston succeeded to save their DNA in a great classic rock album:  layer upon layer of angry guitars, harmonic solos and angelic vocals backing Delp, who could hit notes only dogs could hear.

There’s an unreleased Delp track here, “Sail Away,” about the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina, and it’s the only one of the three Delp tracks on this album that’s new. Two others — “Someone” and “Didn’t Mean to Fall in Love” appeared on the band’s “Corporate America” album, but Scholz was never really happy with them and has rebuilt them from top to bottom while keeping the original Delp vocals.

Other songs don’t fare as well, including “If You Were in Love” with Kimberley Dahme’s nothing-special vocals.

David Victor took the vocal on the opening “Heaven on Earth”, a song that could into a hit single. The only complaint is that this album could get bored after awhile. The songs are alike in structure, and even though it’s different lyrics, or a different riff, it still feels the same as the last song.

However, if you like classic rock, if you like massive guitars and if you like Boston, than you’ll have to hear Boston.