Yngwie (pronounced "ing'-veh.") Malmsteen was born on June 30th, 1963, in Sweden, and very quickly became one of the youngest guitar virtuosos.
Through the influence of Jimi Hendrix, Ritchie Blackmore, Eddie Van Halen, and others, Malmsteen created the high-speed, technically precise, neo-classical guitar style in the early 1980s.
At age 12, he created "Powerhouse
," his first band. Then at age 14 he formed a new group named "Rising
" and recorded a series of demo tapes. Through fortune, producer and guitar specialist Mike Varney
recived a copy of a demo tape, and convinced him to move to Los Angeles
and join Ron Keel
's band "Steeler
" as the lead guitar
ist. After recording their debut album, he was approached by legendary greats such as Kiss
, and Ozzy Osbourne
to join them.
After declining several offers, he teamed with Graham Bonnet to form a new group called "Alcatrazz." He created a single studio album, and possibly a live set with "Alcatrazz" before the band broke up.
After the dissolution of "Alcatrazz," Malmsteen was offered a solo contract by Polydor Records, and accepted it. Under their contract, he released the album "Rising Force," along with Barriemore Barlow, Jeff Scott Soto, Jens Johansson. After the release, Malmsteen formed the band "Rising Force" with Soto and Johansson, as well as bass player Marcel Jacob and drummer Anders Johansson. "Rising Force" recorded two albums; the second of which, "Trilogy," saw Soto replaced by Mark Boals. The second album also helped to prove that guitar speed could be combined with enchanting melodies.
After a serious road accident involving Malmsteen, "Rising Force" was recreated with Joe Lynn Turner at the vocals, and in 1988, they released "Odyssey." This release gave way to widespread fame and acclaim at Malmsteen's ability to merge guitar pyrotechnics within the commercial hard rock genre. The guitar solos were tantilizing, and did not detract from the overall wholeness of the songs. Wanting to expound on this success, Malmsteen then issued a self-indulgent live album recorded in Leningrad that ultimately died.
With the momentum lost, Joe Lynn Turner was dismissed only to be replaced by Goran Edman. With the lineup intact, they released "Eclipse," an album generally referred to as "Malmsteen held back." Later, he released "Fire And Ice" which debuted at number 1 in the Japanese charts, and incidentally introduced Mike Vescera as the newest vocalist. Then with the release of "No Mercy" Malmsteen translated back to his retroactive style of classical material mixed with a string orchestra.
In 1996, he joined up with Jeff Scott Soto to form "Human Clay" to issue their self-titled album. The rest is as they say, history in the making.
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