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Thread: Listening recommendations

  1. #1
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    Mar 2002

    Listening recommendations

    Hi there,

    time for a few more listening recommendations from me. This time, there are some really weird records on the list...

    But letīs start with one of my favorite current albums:

    Paul Gilbert- Burning Organ
    If you are familiar with the music of Racer X, youīll be quite confused once you hear one of PGīs solo albums. Sure, both feature some great guitar-playing, but while Racer X-albums are rather heavy metal, Paul on his solo albums always has some awesome pop-tunes.
    I hear a strong influence of bands like the Beatles and Cheap Trick. And what I like the most about his albums ( despite the guitar playing ) are the hook-lines... there are bunches of awesome hooklines to be found, and youīll most likely find yourself humming them for days. Thatīs what happened to me at least. This most recent album and his first effort "King Of CLubs" are my favorite PG-records

    On to the weird stuff...

    Meshuggah- Destroy Erase Improve
    Thorsten turned me on to this stuff. First of all: if you do not like really heavy, aggressive music or anything beyond 4/4, this is not really something youīll enjoy.
    I need to be in a certain mood to listen to Meshuggah, but once I am, itīs actually a lot of fun to listen to them. Itīs really heavy metal-stuff, very agressive, and after I listened to one full album of this, I need to listen to something rather simple, song-based such as... well, the PG-album i.e.
    One thing about this album in particular: Forget about counting !
    I played this to many musicians who visited me, and the most common comment was ( after the 1st song ! ) "Man, itīs been a while since I listened to something and didnīt know where the "1" was..."
    Thatīs right. This album is full of odd time signatures and polyrhythms, and itīs almost impossible to count that stuff.
    As I said, itīs not for everyone and definitely nothing I can listen to for more than one album at a time, but when I do, it makes me smile.

    Planet X- MoonBabies
    This is their most recent release. I had always liked Planet X ( it started out as a solo-project of former Dream Theater-keyboarder Derek Sherinian ), their first album ( feat. my former GIT-instructor Brett Garsed ) really was cool.
    Then the line up changed, and Tony MacAlpine took over as the guitarist. Now, Tony to me is one of the most versatile and technically able guitarists altogether, and itīs fun to listen to him in this setting.
    The music is pretty heavy and again, full of odd time signatures. But also, it grooves like hell and features some cool melodies and solo passages. Very tight stuff.
    This should send the "musicians police" back to the woodshed.
    I also recommend "Live From Oz", a live-album ( Dīuh ! ), which shows that those guys can still pull it off live without having it sound like boring, braindead stuff... lots of energy here. And Tony does not only play great but also has a very neat guitar-sound

    Frank Gambale- The Great Explorers
    This one is like 10 years old already, but I found myself listening to it quite a bit again. I never was a hardcore-fan of Gambale, although I always thought he had a great band and heīs a player with a really good technique.
    For this album, he hired Joe Satrianiīs Band ( Stu Hamm, Jonathan Mover... ) and plays some stuff which navigates more towards rock than his usual fusion-style stuff. The title track i.e. really rocks and has some of Franks best playing. I think itīd be a good introduction to his playing...

    Gary Hoey- Animal Instinct
    I really like Gary Hoey. He always has some great melodies, a neat tone, cool grooves ( check out the "Money"-album, where he experiments with loops etc. )
    This one was probably his most successful album, featuring his cool cover-version of "Hocus Pocus" ( originally by Jan Akkermanīs Focus ), but also featuring some cool, grooving tunes and a beautiful ballad...
    Itīs October already, only like 3 months till christmas, and since I am such a christmas-freak, Iīll sure start listening to his three "Ho Ho Hoey" albums once Thanksgiving is over. On these three albums he took all the popular christmas-songs ( "Joy To The World", "Auld Lang Syne", "The First Noel"... ) and arranged them for guitar, playing each one in a different style, ranging from Latin to Rock, from Jazz to Metal, from pop to reggae... kind of like the "Merry Axe-Mas" records, but these songs are all played by the same dude !

    Richie Kotzen- What Is
    Richie Kotzen always amazed me... first of all, he is a great guitarist ( he started out as a Varney-player and displayed some serious chops ), a great singer ( lots of soul ) and a very talented song writer.
    This is one of his more recent albums, and here he plays lots of great songs, ranging from RīnīB to soul to Rolling Stones-inspired stuff.
    His vocals are great, so are the lyrics and hooklines. Not much shredding here, but you wonīt miss it, since itīs just a great album full of songs...

    OK, thatīs it for now...

  2. #2
    Registered User thesnowinmyhand's Avatar
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    Sep 2002
    US, NL

    I looked at your recommendations and I coudnt restrain to reply. I was a bit surprised to see the mention of such a heavy band here on the boards. But to be completely honest Meshuggah is one bridge to far for me. I have been listening to such heavy music for a long time and I like strange time signatures and all but for some reason I cannot get 'into' this if you get my point.

    hmm while I am writing anyway a few recommendations from me:

    1) Blizzard of Oz by duhh.....
    I like this one because of Mr Roads great guitar work. I was never much a fan of Ozzy's solo work untill some years ago somebody pointed out to me that if you play guitar you 'MUST" listen to this album (every so many times somebody points out to you that you 'MUST' listen to something.... ). Well granted Mr. Crowley became my favourite Ozzy song (or should I say Roads song) ever. Probably of the more technical proficient guitaris out there he still apeals to me most.

    2) Black water park by Opeth.
    If you are into heavy and more metal oriented music but you would like a more melodic approach then for example Meshuggah, then this might be it. Long peic songs and metal and beautiful acoustic parts vary one another constantly. Tempo and meter changes throughout the record without getting too much (this is ofcourse a taste thing). Everytime I listen to this record I hear something new... Although it is not an easy record to listen to and it took me a few spins arounds to get 'into' it...

    3) Judgement by Anathema,
    Some people call Anathema the most underrated mainstream rock group of the 90's. I dont wanna go that far but I think they are my favourite group nowadays. They started out in the classic doom trio from England of the early 90's (together with My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost) but they evolved into this roch thing which does not really have a name. The lead guitarist Daniel Cavanaugh has a feel comparable to my alltime hero David Gilmour. The album is a bit dark and full of melody. The drawback is that it tends to be a bit slow for the real hard rock lover.

    oke wont give anymore, if anybody has an opinion, shoot...... See waht happens to some of my favourite albums if some real musicians listen to it


  3. #3
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    Mar 2002

    thanks for your reply.
    About the Meshuggah-album. These listening recommendations are rather spontaneous, and I posted several ones before.
    I find myself listening to a lot of different stuff, sometimes quite a lot of different things from completely different styles.
    I came along the Meshuggah record and I liked the raw energy and the use of poly rhythms and odd time signatures ( seems like many people thought only fusion- and prog-bands can use those )... or rather, the combination of rather "theoretical" stuff like polyrhythms with the raw energy of hard stuff.
    As I mentioned I cannot listen to too much of this. I have to be in the right mood, and I listen to it cuz it is way different to what I usually like ( like, I listen to a Meshuggah album to kinda "get my fix", then next I put on a George Benson-album, or something like that ).
    I enjoy listening to lots of differen things, some even going to extremes. ( Like Meshuggah )
    So, donīt take this mentioning of Meshuggah as an average of my usual musical taste...

    I certainly do respect your opinion, and as I said, I couldnīt listen to more than one album of this at a time, and I usually take a long break after doing so.

    I do love the "Blizzard Of Ozz" Album. Itīs a rather popular one. And a standard for metal guitar-fans. I didnīt mention those "classics" in my recommendations cuz I usually try to point out some not-so-popular stuff, to maybe have some people check it out.

    Thanks for your recommendations !
    Oh, and by the way, the "You HAVE to listen to that album...". There are some albums which are considered standards in their respective genres, and some people tend to rip you to pieces if you havenīt heard it. I usually donīt listen to them, cuz 1) there are way too many albums that are "classics" or "standards" and 2) sometimes I get the impression that those people mention them only because they were featured in something like "GUitar World presents the 50 most important guitar albums", maybe they havent even listened to those themselves !!!

  4. #4
    Registered User thesnowinmyhand's Avatar
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    Sep 2002
    US, NL
    About the 'classics' you are right. However if enough people say something is a classic in its genre it usually makes me curious enough to give it a listen. Whether I end up liking it ofcourse is a whole different story....


  5. #5
    Registered User
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    Jul 2002
    Good stuff, Eric!

    I own a couple Racer X releases from the late 80's (before Mr. Big) and they're impressive to say the least. I've heard of Meshuggah, Hoey, and of course Gambale but never heard of the last one.

    Chris Impelliteri is another who has amazing chops.

    If you don't mind, I'd like to throw in a few. These wouldn't be classified in the vein of Satch, Vai, or Gilbert but I like them nonetheless for the songs. I'm a fan of a good song more than shredding although burning up the board is cool to check out. Two of the records listed are unfortunately out of print but if you ever find a copy, check it out.

    1. Tangier - Four Winds. A late 80's band that put this one out in 1989. It got ripped for the singer lacking attitude and singing with power but I think the thing is really good. Bluesy rock without being over the top like some bands of the day. Good bluesy voice in the singer. Out of print.

    2. Shark Island - Law of the Order. Another one out of print but worth the effort to track down if you could. Released in 1990, this thing rocks with Richard Black doing the singing. Lots of cool riffs. They also had two songs featured in the movie Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. Black and the guitarist Spencer Sercombe were also members of Contraband and that release.

    3. Queensryche - Operation Mindcrime. Came out in 1988 and just thoroughly impressed me with the genius songs, arrangements, and guitar work. This is still available for purchase and is a "must have" if I may use that phrase.

  6. #6
    Chicks dig me Danster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    South Texas

    My $0.02

    I have fallen in love with Walter Trout lately. I don't know too much of his history, but I believe he was before with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers (was anyone NOT with them at some point in their career? ) and with Canned Heat. Anyway, he has put out several albums since 1990 as Walter Trout and the Radicals. As is the case for many blues guitarists, he seems to be much better known in Europe than in the States. Anyway, he plays some awesome screaming blues guitar, and has a gritty blues voice also. For me, he plays the most spine-tingling, emotional blues guitar since SRV. His debut album, Life in the Jungle (1990), was recently re-released, and it is great. Why can't blues artists get any respect in the States?

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2002

    More listening recommendations

    O.K. guys,here are my picks:

    Frank Gambale,Stu Hamm,Steve Smith - GHS3
    This is a great fusion album with awesome playing from these 3 guys.Simply amazing!

    Richie Kotzen - Slow
    What can I say - great playing,catchy songs I wish every contemporary pop/rock album was like that.

    Scott Henderson - Well To The Bone
    This guy is simply amazing and this is what modern blues/jazz fusion should sound like in my opinion.

    Philip DeGruy - Innnuendo Out The Other
    Incredible solo guitar album.Out of print unfortunately and I got off eBay for the hilariously low price of $1!!!!!

    That's it for now.Happy listening!

  8. #8
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
    Regarding Meshuggah... check out this ESSAY

  9. #9
    Registered User
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    Jun 2002
    St. Louis, MO USA
    For me:

    Scott Henderson: "Well to the Bone" ...Guitar C.D. of the decade as far as I'm concerned...VERY different from his earlier Tribal Tech playing and writing, but SO unbelievably deep and the clarity of his concept is scary...this moved me like no other disc in recent memory...

    Allan Holdsworth: "All Night Wrong" ...his first live C.D. with HIS complete approval and control...stunning and definitive work from this revolutionary master...

    Brett Garsed and T.J. Helmerich: "Uncle Moe's Space Ranch" ...some really fantastic playing, great vibe, incredible tones...

    Pat Metheny: "Trio Live" ...simply breathtaking playing...

    Lost Tribe: the first one and "Soulfish" ...good luck finding either of these, but if you can, it's worth the search...Adam Rogers is an amazing guitarist...these discs have a wide range of feels and linear depth...

    Tribal Tech: "Face First", "Illicit", "Tribal Tech", "Reality Check" ...some of the most profoundly excellent and thoroughly composed fusion EVER...and the playing from everyone is beyond comprehension...some of Scott Henderson's finest work....


    Scott Jones

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