The Essential Steve Vai

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Greg Prato
Steve Vai played with a wide variety of acts during the '80s -- Frank Zappa, David Lee Roth, John Lydon's PiL, and Whitesnake, among others -- as he became one of rock's most sought-after hired guns. In addition, Vai launched his own solo career, which come the '90s would be his sole career focus. Sharing the same track listing as 2003's Infinite Steve Vai: An Anthology, the 2011 double-disc set The Essential Steve Vai is comprised almost entirely of Vai's solo work (save for a Whitesnake song, "Kittens Got Claws," and one by the obscure outfit Alcatrazz, "Lighter Shade of Green"). While most "guitar shredders" got a bad rap during the '90s, Vai was always an exception to ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Greg Prato
Steve Vai played with a wide variety of acts during the '80s -- Frank Zappa, David Lee Roth, John Lydon's PiL, and Whitesnake, among others -- as he became one of rock's most sought-after hired guns. In addition, Vai launched his own solo career, which come the '90s would be his sole career focus. Sharing the same track listing as 2003's Infinite Steve Vai: An Anthology, the 2011 double-disc set The Essential Steve Vai is comprised almost entirely of Vai's solo work (save for a Whitesnake song, "Kittens Got Claws," and one by the obscure outfit Alcatrazz, "Lighter Shade of Green"). While most "guitar shredders" got a bad rap during the '90s, Vai was always an exception to the rule -- there's no secret that Vai was one of the most technically accomplished guitarists in all of rock, but he always knew to put songwriting before soloing (something that most of the other guitarists of the era failed to do), and inject his wacky sense of humor into his playing. If you're unfamiliar with Vai's work, go straight to the tracks from his first two solo releases, 1984's Flex-Able and 1990's Passion and Warfare, especially such ditties as "The Attitude Song," "For the Love of God," "The Animal," and the very Zappa-ish "Salamanders in the Sun." One complaint about The Essential Steve Vai is that the latter-day tracks far outweigh his superior earlier material -- tracks such as "Bad Horsie" and "Frank" are worthy, but there are several tracks that unquestionably should have been included ("Call It Sleep," "Erotic Nightmares," "Sisters," and Vai's sole solo MTV hit, "The Audience Is Listening"), while another criticism is that no Roth, Zappa, or PiL tracks are featured. Still, The Essential Steve Vai by and large serves as both a solid career overview and introduction to this one-of-a-kind guitarist.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/15/2011
  • Label: Epic
  • UPC: 886977867422
  • Catalog Number: 778674
  • Sales rank: 5,703

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Liberty (2:04)
  2. 2 Die To Live (3:53)
  3. 3 The Attitude Song (3:22)
  4. 4 Salamanders In the Sun (2:25)
  5. 5 The Animal (4:02)
  6. 6 The Riddle (6:26)
  7. 7 For the Love of God (6:03)
  8. 8 Bangkok (2:46)
  9. 9 Fire Garden Suite: Bull Whip/Pusa Road/Angel Food/Taurus Bulba (9:56)
  10. 10 Ya-Yo Gakk (2:54)
  11. 11 Blue Powder (4:44)
  12. 12 Bad Horsie (5:52)
  13. 13 Tender Surrender (5:05)
  14. 14 All About Eve (4:38)
  15. 15 Dyin' Day (4:29)
  16. 16 The Blood & Tears (4:25)
  17. 17 The Silent Within (5:00)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Feathers (5:11)
  2. 2 Frank (5:08)
  3. 3 Boston Rain Melody (4:39)
  4. 4 Kittens Got Claws - Whitesnake (4:59)
  5. 5 Lighter Shade of Green - Alcatraz (0:47)
  6. 6 Giant Balls of Gold (4:45)
  7. 7 Whispering a Prayer (8:47)
  8. 8 Jibboom (3:45)
  9. 9 Windows To the Soul (6:26)
  10. 10 Brandos Costumes (Gentle Ways) (6:05)
  11. 11 The Reaper (3:26)
  12. 12 Christmas Time is Here (4:21)
  13. 13 Essence (5:51)
  14. 14 Rescue Me or Bury Me (8:26)
  15. 15 Burnin' Down the Mountain (4:21)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Steve Vai Primary Artist, Synthesizer, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Guitar, Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Linn Drum
Stuart Hamm Bass
Glenn Hughes Vocals
Don Airey Keyboards
Tommy Aldridge Drums
Bryan Beller Bass
Gregg Bissonette Drums
Terry Bozzio Percussion, Drums
Deen Castronovo Drums
David Coverdale Vocals
Greg Degler Clarinet, Flute
Peggy Foster Fretless Bass Guitar
Chris Frazier Drums
Tommy Funderburk Vocals
Claude Gaudette Keyboards
Bob Harris Keyboards
Tris Imboden Drums
Mike Keneally Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Keyboards
Mike Mangini Drums
Tommy Mars Organ
David Rosenthal Keyboards
Rudy Sarzo Bass
Pete Zeldman Percussion
C.C. White Background Vocals
Eric Goldberg Keyboards
Devin Townsend Vocals
Philip Bynoe Bass
Miroslava Mendoza Escriba Background Vocals
Kimberly Evans Background Vocals
John Sergio Bass
Dave Weiner Guitar
Tracee Lewis Background Vocals
T.M. Stevens "AKA Shaka Zulu" Bass, Vocals
Technical Credits
Steve Vai Composer, Producer, Engineer, drum programming, Instrumentation
Vandenberg Composer
Vince Guaraldi Composer
Mike Clink Producer
Eddie Kramer Producer, Engineer
Keith Olsen Producer
Mark Larson Art Direction
Jon Wiederhorn Liner Notes
Olika Jacobson Packaging Manager
Dave Donnelly Mastering
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