The Record that Changed My Life: Yngwie Malmsteen Discusses Deep Purple's 'Fireball'

FROM THE ARCHIVE: Yngwie Malmsteen chooses (and discusses) the record that changed his life.

Deep Purple
Fireball (1971)

My sister gave me Fireball for my eighth birthday, June 30, 1971, and that day my life forever change.

I knew immediately that I was going to be a guitarist for life and there would be no turning back. It's like one minute I was a kid playing with cap guns, and then someone handed me a fuckin' nuclear bomb! My life was never the same, to say the least.

I'd already started playing guitar. I had Hendrix and Clapton records in my house, and I liked the Beatles and the Monkees, but Deep Purple were it to me.

When I heard Fireball, I didn't have many albums to compare it to, and even if I did, it would've still kicked my ass to hell and back. There is amazing guitar playing on it. Hendrix is godlike to me, but for a kid who wants to play guitar, the early Ritchie Blackmore solos were more challenging to play.

I worked on the guitar solo to "Demon's Eye" forever until I could play it.

There's no question that Blackmore was a big part of my development. I learned how to play the blues from studying him. He has a unique sound a look, and there's a cool mystique about him. There's no one like him.

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