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Baker's Dozen

A Baker's Dozen: Steve Vai's 13 Favourite Albums Revealed
Mark Eglinton , July 31st, 2012 11:23

Porridge powered super Scot Mark Eglinton talks to compositional guitar virtuoso about his favourite albums of all time

Asking Steve Vai – a virtuoso artist with a deeply cerebral approach to the craft of making music – to narrow down his favorite thirteen albums is going to result in an interesting discussion. “This isn’t set in stone”, Vai is quick to tell me. “It’s difficult when you’re put on the spot to choose and it could probably be different tomorrow…but these are the records I would have on the list right now.”

In stylistic terms, Vai’s career could hardly be more eclectic – no surprise given his early involvement and occasional performances with Frank Zappa – himself one of music’s most experimental mavericks. While Vai’s initial forays into solo work would see him pigeon–holed (somewhat unjustly) as one of a rich crop of similarly gifted 80s guitar shredders, his trajectory since has flourished. He has had successful spells with David Lee Roth and Whitesnake and also branched out in solo terms, releasing several successful long players, which have pushed the envelope of guitar composition. (Passion and Warfare, released in 1990, is generally considered to be the zenith of these releases.)

Vai’s sixteenth solo record is a concept work entitled The Story Of Light (released in the UK on September 10 & in the US on August 14) and documents a man’s journey through a full spectrum of emotions while showcasing Vai's axe skills and compositional dexterity. Unique amongst his peers, Vai’s open–minded take on what music is and can be, is both enlightening and infectious in equal measure.

To find out Steve's favourite albums, click on the picture below