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Yngwie J. Malmsteen: King's Diamonds

Yngwie J. Malmsteen: King's Diamonds

Eclipse [1990] “After coming off a very long tour for Odyssey [1988], I released Trial by Fire: Live in Leningrad [1989], an album recorded in an 18,000-seat arena long before other rock bands played in the Soviet Union. I played nine nights in Leningrad and 11 in Moscow.

“Then I moved to Miami and made Eclipse, an album which I really like. I recorded it with a fresh group of all-Swedish musicians, assembling it from songs that were lying around. Like Trilogy, it’s a song-oriented endeavor. There are some interesting songs on Eclipse, like ‘Faultline,’ which is about living near the San Andreas Fault and the earthquakes people encounter, and ‘Bedroom Eyes,’ which has a cool bluesy guitar solo. I remember saying to Fletcher, ‘We need to cut a solo for ‘Bedroom Eyes,’ but he told me we already had one. I said, ‘What do you mean?’ Unbeknownst to me, he taped me playing when I was jamming and it’s the guitar solo which appears on the song. Overall, Eclipse is fresh sounding because I was living in a new place and had a new band. It felt so good to be out of L.A. and away from earthquakes.”

The Seventh Sign [1994] “The Seventh Sign was put together quite differently than my previous records. We recorded a lot of the rhythm parts while playing to a click track rather than a drummer, and ‘Pyramid of Cheops’ was the first song I ever recorded in which I down-tuned. Although I used a Bob Bradshaw rack for Odyssey, Eclipse, and its follow-up, Fire & Ice [1992], I stopped using it on this album because I realized it’s better for onstage use— I’m more of a straight-into-the-amp guy so in the studio I just don’t need it. I just like to color my tone with a couple of Boss pedals.”

Inspiration [1996] “In the midst of an extensive tour for Magnum Opus [1995], I decided to have a state-of-the-art recording studio built in my Miami home. When I got off tour in January 1996, it was there waiting for me. I called some of my musician friends and invited them to come down and record. I named the album Inspiration because I covered songs that inspired me as a kid. ‘Pictures of Home,’ ‘Mistreated,’ ‘Demon’s Eye’ and ‘Child in Time’ have always been some of my favorite Deep Purple songs. Ritchie Blackmore was my biggest inspiration as a kid, so that’s why there are more of his songs on the album than anybody else’s. Inspiration was recorded on a two-inch-tape Studer, which at the time was the Rolex of analog mastering machines. Now it’s obsolete.”

Alchemy [1999] “After making the formulaic-sounding Facing the Animal [1997] with [deceased] drummer Cozy Powell—bless his soul!—I decided I was going to throw caution to the wind and not take the easy way out. With Alchemy, I pulled out all the stops. It features some of my sickest instrumental work! Unfortunately, I’m not entirely pleased with the sound of the record. “Everything about my style is packed onto this album. It kicks off with an insane instrumental, ‘Blitzkrieg,’ and doesn’t let up. ‘Blue’ is one of my all-time favorite instrumentals; it proves that you don’t have to play pentatonic scales to sound bluesy. There are some cool minor scales and nice wah-wah work on it. Overall, Alchemy is far more extreme than any of my previous records as far as technical craziness. The album is as over-the-top—and all the way out, and then some—as you can get.”

Concierto Suite Live with the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra [2002] “I’m more proud of this live version of the album than the studio release [Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra in E Flat Minor Op. 1—1998]. Whereas the studio album was written at a leisurely pace, this album was recorded in one go with no rehearsals. After playing some dates for War to End All Wars [2000] in England, I hopped a flight to Tokyo and had to pull off this performance the following day. Not only that, but prior to my arrival the orchestra had arranged several of my earlier tracks, so I had to play their arrangements on the spot. Then they told me they’d be filming the show. Man, was I stressed, but I went onstage and nailed it! This work may be my crowning achievement.”

Unleash the Fury [2005] “The title stemmed from an incident that happened on an overseas flight to Japan with my band in 1987. We were sitting in first class, getting hammered, and doing nasty things like tossing sanitary napkins with Bloody Mary mix around. We were drunken idiots! These days, I’m as sober as a nun. After a few hours of being assholes, we fall asleep. Then [vocalist] Joe Lynn Turner and I were awakened by some lady who pours a pitcher of ice water on us. One of my band members with a weird, twisted mind decided to record the fiasco and the whole incident of me screaming at the top of my lungs appeared on the internet in 2002. I screamed at the lady, ‘You unleashed the fuckin’ fury,’ so I decided to title an album after my rant. It’s my most notorious album title, thanks to the web.”

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