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Hear Steve Vai's Isolated Guitar from "For the Love of God"

(Image credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Sorry for yet another isolated guitar track, but we couldn't let this one go by. You'll agree when you start listening to it.

It's Steve Vai's isolated Ibanez guitar from his 1990 masterpiece, "For the Love of God." It's one of many standout tracks on Passion and Warfare, an album Vai once described as "Jimi Hendrix meets Jesus Christ at a party that Ben Hur threw for Mel Blanc."

“The song is about how far people will go for the love of their god,” Vai told Guitar World not long after the song was released.

“When you discipline yourself to quit smoking, to run faster or to play better, you have to reach deep down into a part of you. That is a profoundly spiritual event. That’s when you come into contact with that little piece of God within you. That’s what I was trying to achieve with ‘For the Love of God’—I was trying to find that spot.”

The piece, which runs for just over six minutes, features a number of techniques, including whammy-bar tricks, harmonics, fast legato runs and sweep picking. Vai recorded it on the fourth day of a 10-day fast because, as he put it, "I do try to push myself into relatively altered states of consciousness. Because in those states you can come up with things that are unique—even for yourself."

Damian Fanelli

Damian is editor-in-chief of Guitar World magazine. From 1998 to 2014, he was one third of Mister Neutron, an instrumental rock act that toured the universe and elsewhere and released three albums via Austin-based Deep Eddy Records. These days he performs with several New York City-area bands and can often be spotted with one of his many, many, many B-bender-equipped guitars. In past lives he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor – and he still can’t believe he got to write the liner notes for the latest SRV box set.