Yngwie J. Malmsteen

(Redirected from Yngwie Malmsteen) Yngwie J. Malmsteen

Yngwie J. Malmsteen (born Lars Johan Yngve Lannerbäck, June 30, 1963) is a guitarist from Sweden who achieved widespread acclaim in the 1980s due to his technical proficiency and fusion of classical music elements with heavy rock guitar.

Born into a musical family in Stockholm on June 30, 1963, Malmsteen was exposed to classical music from an early age, and began playing guitar at the age of eight. Malmsteen was in his teens when he first encountered the music of the 19th-century violin virtuoso Niccolo Paganini, whom he cites as his biggest classical influence. Through his emulation of these pieces on guitar, Malmsteen developed a prodigious technical fluency. Malmsteen also cites Jimi Hendrix, Genesis, Uli Jon Roth, and Deep Purple as influences.

Yngwie's contributions to the evolution of modern rock guitar remain unique - his understanding of Paganini, Bach, et. al. is probably unparalleled in the rock world.

1980s

In late 1982 Malmsteen was brought to the USA by Mike Varney of Shrapnel Records who had heard a demo tape of Malmsteen's playing. He had brief engagements with the bands Steeler for their self-titled album of 1983, then Alcatrazz, For their debut No Parole From Rock N' Roll in 1983, plus a live album in 1984 titled Live Sentence. He left Alcatrazz in 1984 and was replaced by Steve Vai, after which he began his solo career.

Malmsteen released his first solo album "Rising Force" (winner of Guitar Player Magazine's Best Rock Album and nominated for a 1984 Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental) which achieved the impressive position of #60 on the Billboard album chart. This was followed by "Marching Out" (1985).

His third album Trilogy was released in 1986. In 1987 former Rainbow vocalist Joe Lynn Turner joined his band, and the following summer he released his fourth album Odyssey.

Odyssey would be his biggest hit album, mainly because of its first single "Heaven Tonight". Shows in Russia during the Odyssey tour were recorded, and released in 1989 as his fifth album Trial By Fire / Live In Leningrad. Not only was the concert in Leningrad the largest ever concert by a western artist in the Soviet Union, but subsequent Malmsteen record sales in Russia totalled 27 Million. Interestingly that is as many recordings as the Red Hot Chilli Peppers had sold in total by 2003, worldwide.

In late 1988, his signature series Fender Stratocaster was released, making him the second artist to have one made, after Eric Clapton.

Malmsteen's style was dubbed "Neoclassical" and it became somewhat popular during the mid 1980s, with notable contemporaries such as Paul Gilbert, Tony MacAlpine and Vinnie Moore appearing in Malmsteen's wake.

1990s

In the early 1990s he released the albums Eclipse (1990), The Yngwie Malmsteen Collection (1991), Fire and Ice (1992) and The Seventh Sign (1994).

Despite his early success, and continued success in Europe and Asia, by the early 1990s the gratuitous over-the-top stylings of 1980s heavy metal had become unfashionable in the USA. This was displaced by the Seattle grunge movement, where technical ability was replaced by basic, more emotional songs, and simpler chord progressions.

It is often argued that the grunge rock movement arose in part as a backlash to the overly technical hard rock inspired by Malmsteen and his contemporaries, which despite its often impressive technique was regarded by some as ponderous, overly complicated and for the average guitarist, frustratingly difficult to emulate.

In the 1990s, Malmsteen continued to record and release albums under the Japanese record label Pony Canyon, and maintained a devoted following in Europe and Japan, and to a lesser extent in the USA. In 2000, he once again acquired a contract with a US record label, Spitfire, and released his 1990s catalog into the US market for the first time, including what he regards as his masterpiece Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra, recorded with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in Prague.

2000s

In 2003, Malmsteen joined Joe Satriani and Steve Vai with whom he toured as part of the G3 "supergroup" web site (http://www.satriani.com/G3/).

Specialized guitar

Aside from technical prowess, distinctions of Malmsteen's guitar style include a wide, violin-like vibrato (inspired by classical violinists), almost exclusive use of Fender Stratocaster guitars, and use of minor scales and minor modes such as Phrygian, Aeolian and Harmonic Minor. Malmsteen cites the Fender Stratocaster and the single coil pickups (of which he uses his own personal custom design by Di Marzio) as a large part of his sound. Fender manufactures a Malmsteen signature model Stratocaster based accurately upon this combination.

The guitars he uses are instantly recognisable by the scalloped neck. Similar to a regular guitar neck, but with wood 'scalloped' or scooped away to form concave shaped in between the frets, of which are very large. Malmsteen coined this design from the days when he worked in a music store in Stockholm Sweden and came across a 16th century Lute with a scalloped neck using the raised wood as frets.

Criticism

Although initially regarded with respect by the musical fraternity, his technical proficiency led to a both jealousy and bitterness from less-talented performers in the musical world. His technical ability is, by any standard, remarkable.

Note that despite his impressive technique, some find Malmsteen's recordings repetitive or even boring. A review of 1988's Odyssey notes "little difference in approach from his previous output, lending credence to critics' charges that Malmsteen plays with mindless technique at the expense of substance, fire, and emotion." [1] (http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&token=&sql=10:bauk6j3h71q0)

Malmsteen has been criticized for a musical style that focuses more on showing his own technical prowess than on substance. However it should be noted that by the use of modal progressions not widely used in rock and his classical influence he was able to revolutionise rock guitar. Although the reversion to basic pentatonic and blues type riffs in modern rock is prevalent, those who still employ technical playing are playing in the genre that guitarists such as Malmsteen revolutionised. Some of the lyrics employed in some of Malmsteen's songs have been questioned as commercial or 'cheesy' but often this was just a tool for more exposure and radio play to showcase the technical mastery of his guitar playing. Perhaps some of his instrumental passages like 'Sorrow' and 'Far beyond the Sun' tracks devoid of lyrics, were his finest hour.

Discography

  • Rising Force (1984)
  • Marching Out (1985)
  • Trilogy (1986)
  • Odyssey (1988)
  • Trial By Fire: Live in Leningrad (1989)
  • Eclipse (1990)
  • Collection (1991)
  • Fire and Ice (1992)
  • The Seventh Sign (1994)
  • Magnum Opus (1995)
  • Inspiration (1996)
  • Facing the Animal (1997)
  • LIVE! (1998)
  • Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra in Em, Opus 1 (1998)
  • Alchemy (1999)
  • War to End All Wars (2000)
  • Concerto Suite LIVE (2002)
  • Attack!! (2002)
  • Unleash The Fury (2005)

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Perhaps some of his instrumental passages like 'Sorrow' and 'Far beyond the Sun' tracks devoid of lyrics, were his finest hour. The concert, took place at the Sydney Cricket Ground, also included performances by Powderfinger, silverchair, Nick Cave, the John Butler Trio and others. Some of the lyrics employed in some of Malmsteen's songs have been questioned as commercial or 'cheesy' but often this was just a tool for more exposure and radio play to showcase the technical mastery of his guitar playing. The members of the band, including Garrett, reunited to perform at the WAVEAID (http://www.waveaid.com.au/) concert on January 29, 2005 to raise funds for the victims of the recent tsunami. Although the reversion to basic pentatonic and blues type riffs in modern rock is prevalent, those who still employ technical playing are playing in the genre that guitarists such as Malmsteen revolutionised. The other members of the band resolved to continue working together, but not under the Midnight Oil name, bringing the band's career to a close. Malmsteen has been criticized for a musical style that focuses more on showing his own technical prowess than on substance. However it should be noted that by the use of modal progressions not widely used in rock and his classical influence he was able to revolutionise rock guitar. He won the safe Labor seat of Kingsford Smith at the 2004 federal election.

A review of 1988's Odyssey notes "little difference in approach from his previous output, lending credence to critics' charges that Malmsteen plays with mindless technique at the expense of substance, fire, and emotion." [1] (http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&token=&sql=10:bauk6j3h71q0). Garrett decided to quit the band on December 2, 2002 to focus on his political career. Note that despite his impressive technique, some find Malmsteen's recordings repetitive or even boring. Gary Morris was the band's manager and effective sixth member (often credited with the simple title "Business" on albums) throughout. His technical ability is, by any standard, remarkable. Andrew "Bear" James, the first bass player, left in 1979, replaced by Peter Gifford, who left in 1989 to be replaced by New Zealander Bones Hillman, (ex Swingers), who remained with the group until its dissolution in 2002. Although initially regarded with respect by the musical fraternity, his technical proficiency led to a both jealousy and bitterness from less-talented performers in the musical world. The Midnight Oil lineup remained quite stable over the band's long career: Garrett as lead singer (and, early on, synthesizer), Jim Moginie on guitar and keyboards, Martin Rotsey on guitar, and Rob Hirst on drums.

Malmsteen coined this design from the days when he worked in a music store in Stockholm Sweden and came across a 16th century Lute with a scalloped neck using the raised wood as frets. He had triggered a storm of controversy that year with his dogged refusal to embrace reconciliation and apologise to Aboriginal Australians and members of the stolen generation, a refusal that many Australians believed was cynically motivated by conservative fears that an apology might be construed as an admission of liablity and could trigger a rush of land rights and financial compensation claims by Aboriginal people. Similar to a regular guitar neck, but with wood 'scalloped' or scooped away to form concave shaped in between the frets, of which are very large. The SORRY shirts were also specifically aimed at conservative Prime Minister John Howard, who was in the audience. The guitars he uses are instantly recognisable by the scalloped neck. This was a political statement offering apologies to the Aboriginal people for their suffering during more than 200 years of white settlement. Fender manufactures a Malmsteen signature model Stratocaster based accurately upon this combination. The band famously performed during the closing ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. After first appearing on stage in boiler suits, the band and their support players then partially disrobed, revealing the word "SORRY" conspicuously printed on their clothes.

Malmsteen cites the Fender Stratocaster and the single coil pickups (of which he uses his own personal custom design by Di Marzio) as a large part of his sound. Their subsequent albums sold less well outside Australia, but the Oils maintained a following throughout the 1990s and into the new century. Aside from technical prowess, distinctions of Malmsteen's guitar style include a wide, violin-like vibrato (inspired by classical violinists), almost exclusive use of Fender Stratocaster guitars, and use of minor scales and minor modes such as Phrygian, Aeolian and Harmonic Minor. Between 1988 and 1992, the band's Diesel and Dust and Blue Sky Mining discs became known worldwide, as did their political activism for causes ranging from nuclear disarmament to aboriginal rights and environmental issues, and they began to tour overseas for the first time. In 2003, Malmsteen joined Joe Satriani and Steve Vai with whom he toured as part of the G3 "supergroup" web site (http://www.satriani.com/G3/). In 1984, Garrett ran for political office in Australia under the Nuclear Disarmament Party banner, and lost. In 2000, he once again acquired a contract with a US record label, Spitfire, and released his 1990s catalog into the US market for the first time, including what he regards as his masterpiece Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra, recorded with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in Prague. It has recently been remastered and released on DVD.

In the 1990s, Malmsteen continued to record and release albums under the Japanese record label Pony Canyon, and maintained a devoted following in Europe and Japan, and to a lesser extent in the USA. This concert was also filmed and recorded by the ABC and was simulcast on ABC-TV and Triple J. It is often argued that the grunge rock movement arose in part as a backlash to the overly technical hard rock inspired by Malmsteen and his contemporaries, which despite its often impressive technique was regarded by some as ponderous, overly complicated and for the average guitarist, frustratingly difficult to emulate. In 1985, arguably at their peak, Midnight Oil performed another landmark outdoor concert on Goat Island in Sydney Harbour, in order to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Triple J, before a select audience of fans who had won tickets in a radio competition. This was displaced by the Seattle grunge movement, where technical ability was replaced by basic, more emotional songs, and simpler chord progressions. The album cover featured a startling photomontage of Sydney - both city and harbour - cratered and devastated after a hypothetical nuclear attack. Despite his early success, and continued success in Europe and Asia, by the early 1990s the gratuitous over-the-top stylings of 1980s heavy metal had become unfashionable in the USA. It was followed by the equally excellent Red Sails In The Sunset (1984) on which the band continued to expand their sound and explore their preoccupations with politics, consumerism, militarism, the nuclear threat and environmental issues.

In the early 1990s he released the albums Eclipse (1990), The Yngwie Malmsteen Collection (1991), Fire and Ice (1992) and The Seventh Sign (1994). It was one of four classic albums Launay produced in Australia that year, the others being The Church LP Seance and The Models commercial breakthrough The Pleasure of Your Company and INXS' "The Swing". Malmsteen's style was dubbed "Neoclassical" and it became somewhat popular during the mid 1980s, with notable contemporaries such as Paul Gilbert, Tony MacAlpine and Vinnie Moore appearing in Malmsteen's wake. 10, 9, 8 ... was produced by Englishman Nick Launay, who had previously worked with The Jam, XTC, Peter Gabriel, PiL, Gang of Four, The Birthday Party, and Killing Joke, and who had engineered for leading producers including John Leckie, Steve Lillywhite, Hugh Padgham and Tony Visconti. In late 1988, his signature series Fender Stratocaster was released, making him the second artist to have one made, after Eric Clapton. Their ascendance was signalled by a series of landmark concerts at Sydney's Capitol Theatre, one of which was filmed and recorded, and which has recently been released on DVD. Not only was the concert in Leningrad the largest ever concert by a western artist in the Soviet Union, but subsequent Malmsteen record sales in Russia totalled 27 Million. Interestingly that is as many recordings as the Red Hot Chilli Peppers had sold in total by 2003, worldwide. Their major Australian breakthrough and their first international recognition came in 1982, after several albums with the release of 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, which included the singles "Power and the Passion" and "Read About It" and their classic denunciations of American imperialism, "US Forces" and "Short Memory".

Shows in Russia during the Odyssey tour were recorded, and released in 1989 as his fifth album Trial By Fire / Live In Leningrad. The third LP Place Without A Postcard (1981) was recorded with legendary English producer Glyn Johns but it was apparently an uneasy match and the band were not totally happy with the outcome, although it did yield some superb tracks. Odyssey would be his biggest hit album, mainly because of its first single "Heaven Tonight". Legend has it that this track originally featured a vocal that was removed prior to release, supposedly because of its forthright lyrical content. In 1987 former Rainbow vocalist Joe Lynn Turner joined his band, and the following summer he released his fourth album Odyssey. Further interest was generated by the excellent Bird Noises EP, produced by former Supercharge (band) member Lesek Karski, which featured the beautiful surf-instrumental 'Wedding Cake Island' (named after a rock outcrop in the ocean off Sydney's Coogee Beach). His third album Trilogy was released in 1986. Their first two albums, 'Midnight Oil' and 'Head Injuries' are now regarded as classics of Australian indie rock, mixing solid guitar rock with progressive flourishes; both were released independently through the M7 label (a subsidiary of the Seven TV Network) and both were produced by Triple J live concert sound producer Keith Walker.

This was followed by "Marching Out" (1985). Nevertheless, they built up an intensely dedicated fan base through constant touring and their blistering live performances, featuring the scorching twin-guitar attack of Moginie and Rotsey, the powerhouse drumming and soaring vocals of drummer Rob Hirst and the manic, whirling-dervish presence of their towering, shaven-headed lead singer Peter Garrett, who quickly earned a reputation as one of the most charismatic and outspoken musicians on the Australian music scene. Malmsteen released his first solo album "Rising Force" (winner of Guitar Player Magazine's Best Rock Album and nominated for a 1984 Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental) which achieved the impressive position of #60 on the Billboard album chart. One famous case in the mid-80s involved writer and critic Bruce Elder, who in a newspaper review described the band's music as "narrow and xenophobic"; in retaliation, Morris banned him from Oils shows permanently. He left Alcatrazz in 1984 and was replaced by Steve Vai, after which he began his solo career. Manager Gary Morris also developed a fearsome reputation as one of the toughest managers in the business and he became equally notorious for banning any critics or journalists (who were usually given free admission to concerts) if they wrote unfavourable reviews. He had brief engagements with the bands Steeler for their self-titled album of 1983, then Alcatrazz, For their debut No Parole From Rock N' Roll in 1983, plus a live album in 1984 titled Live Sentence. In retaliation, the group declared that they would never appear on the show, a promise they faithfully kept.

In late 1982 Malmsteen was brought to the USA by Mike Varney of Shrapnel Records who had heard a demo tape of Malmsteen's playing. According to producer Michael Shrimpton, on the day of the taping, the band had arrived late for rehearsal but (due to the show's very tight schedule and budget) there was a strict policy that latecomers were not allowed to appear, so they were told they could not perform that day. is probably unparalleled in the rock world. While this was strictly true, the fact is that they had indeed been scheduled to appear in the early Eighties, but they were "bumped" from the show. al. In support of this, it was often stated that they were one of the only Australian bands never to have appeared on the all-powerful ABC TV pop show Countdown. Yngwie's contributions to the evolution of modern rock guitar remain unique - his understanding of Paganini, Bach, et. The Oils developed a strong "street cred" and a reputation for making no compromises with the music industry.

Malmsteen also cites Jimi Hendrix, Genesis, Uli Jon Roth, and Deep Purple as influences. Although consistently championed by Sydney alternative rock station Double Jay and its FM band successor Triple J, Midnight Oil, like many independent bands of the period, were almost totally ignored by Australia's mainstream commercial radio stations. Through his emulation of these pieces on guitar, Malmsteen developed a prodigious technical fluency. One of their early fan bases was at the Sydney northern beaches pub The Royal Antler at Narrabeen. Malmsteen was in his teens when he first encountered the music of the 19th-century violin virtuoso Niccolo Paganini, whom he cites as his biggest classical influence. The Oils, as they are known to their fans, began as a progressive rock band called the Farm in the early 1970s, then under the Oils name became an aggressive, hard-rock group associated with the surfer community near Sydney. Born into a musical family in Stockholm on June 30, 1963, Malmsteen was exposed to classical music from an early age, and began playing guitar at the age of eight. Peter Garrett, the former lead singer, is an active campaigner for social and environmental issues (currently a member of the Australian Parliament) and this is reflected in many of the band's songs.

Malmsteen (born Lars Johan Yngve Lannerbäck, June 30, 1963) is a guitarist from Sweden who achieved widespread acclaim in the 1980s due to his technical proficiency and fusion of classical music elements with heavy rock guitar. Midnight Oil were an Australian rock band known for their driving hard rock sound, superb live performances and their overt left-wing political activism. Yngwie J. Best Of Both Worlds (2004, also on DVD). Unleash The Fury (2005). Capricornia (2002). Attack!! (2002). The Real Thing (2000).

Concerto Suite LIVE (2002). Redneck Wonderland (1998). War to End All Wars (2000). 20,000 Watt R.S.L. (1997, also on videotape and DVD). Alchemy (1999). Breathe (1996). Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra in Em, Opus 1 (1998). Earth and Sun and Moon (1993).

LIVE! (1998). Scream in Blue (Live, 1992). Facing the Animal (1997). Blue Sky Mining (1990). Inspiration (1996). Diesel and Dust (1987). Magnum Opus (1995). Species Deceases (EP) (1985).

The Seventh Sign (1994). Red Sails in the Sunset (1984). Fire and Ice (1992). 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 (1982). Collection (1991). Place without a Postcard (1981). Eclipse (1990). Bird Noises (EP) (1980).

Trial By Fire: Live in Leningrad (1989). Head Injuries (1979). Odyssey (1988). Midnight Oil (1978). Trilogy (1986). Marching Out (1985).

Rising Force (1984).

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