When Yngwie J. Malmsteen hit the scene in the early 80s, he turned the entire guitar world upside down; never before was guitar playing like his ever heard. Drawing inspiration from his love for Baroque and Romantic classical music, Malmsteen employs classical violin techniques such as four and five octave arpeggios, pedal notes, and harmonic minor, diminished and Phrygian scales, flawlessly delivered at mind-boggling levels of speed and clarity. In doing so, he has singlehandedly created a brand new style of guitar playing and composing that is still derived from today. In addition to having written and produced 35+ neoclassical rock albums, Malmsteen composed and orchestrated the Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra, which he recorded with the prestigious Czech Philharmonic in Prague, conducted by Yoel Levy of Atlanta Symphony fame. Malmsteen subsequently performed the piece live with the the New Japan Philharmonic and the Taipei Symphony, among others. Malmsteen has received numerous Grammy nominations, hundreds of magazine covers, dozens of Readers Poll and Composer of the Year Awards, a plaque on the Rock Walk of Fame, signature model guitars, amps, pickups, strings, picks, pedals, microphones, and more. TIME Magazine placed him as one of the top ten guitarists of all time. Some 35 years and 25 million+ album sales later, Yngwie shows no signs of slowing down, with his brand new record World on Fire due for release in April 2016. For more info, visit: www.yngwiemalmsteen.comBy age 15, Yngwies trademark style had begun to emerge. He worked for a time as a luthier in a guitar repair shop, where he encountered a scalloped neck for the first time when a 17th century lute came into the shop. Intrigued, Yngwie scalloped the neck of an old guitar in similar fashion and was impressed enough with the results to try it on his better guitars. The scalloped fret board was somewhat more difficult to play than a normal neck, but his control over the strings was so improved that Yngwie immediately adopted it as a permanent alteration to his equipment.About this time, Yngwie began playing in a number of bands built around his explosive guitar style, with long instrumental explorations. Around age 18, Yngwie and several friends recorded a demo set of three songs for Swedish CBS, but the cuts were never released. Frustrated, Yngwie began sending demo tapes to record companies and music contacts abroad. One such tape found its way into the hands of Guitar Player contributor and Shrapnel Music. Yngwie was invited to record with a new band Steeler--and the rest, as they say, is history.From Steeler, Yngwie moved on to Alcatrazz, a Rainbow-style band, but it became clear that to fully develop his talents, Yngwie would have to go solo. Yngwies first solo album, Rising Force (now considered the bible for neoclassical rock) made it to #60 on the Billboard charts, an impressive feat for a mostly instrumental guitar album with no commercial airplay. The album also gained Yngwie a Grammy nomination for best rock instrumental performance. He was voted Best New Talent in several readers polls, Best Rock Guitarist the year after, and Rising Force became Album of the Year. Rising Force blazed a trail on the concert circuit that established Yngwie as one of rock guitars brightest new stars and added a new genre to the music lexicon: neoclassical rock.With his place in guitar history firmly established, Yngwies neo-classical compositions fueled the ears of fans and the ambitions of aspiring guitarists worldwide for over a decade with such powerhouse classic albums as Marching Out, Trilogy, Odyssey, Live in Leningrad / Trial By Fire (gold-selling concert video of Yngwies 1989 sold-out concerts in Moscow and Leningrad), Fire & Ice (which debuted in Japan at #1 and sold over 100,000 copies on the day of its release), The Seventh Sign, Magnum Opus, Inspiration (covering the music of Deep Purple, Rainbow, U.K., Kansas, Scorpions, Rush, and Jimi Hendrix), Facing the Animal, Alchemy, and Attack!!In 1997, Yngwie proved that he was much more than a rock phenomenon. After months of intensive work, Yngwie produced his first completely classical work, Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra in Eb minor, Op. 1. This groundbreaking album was recorded in Prague with the prestigious Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and famed symphony conductor Yoel Levi. Several years later, in 2001,Yngwie found his first opportunity to perform the critically acclaimed Concerto Suite with the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra in Tokyo. The DVD/CD/VHS package of this groundbreaking performance became Yngwies first release of the year in January 2002.In 2003, Yngwie joined the famous G3 Tour in a lineup many guitar fans saw as the ultimate dream combination (Satriani, Vai, Malmsteen). The CD and DVD of the tour became instant classics and hot sellers throughout the year. Once the G3 tour ended, Yngwie took to the road again in support of his Attack album.Taking most of 2004 to rest, recharge his creative batteries, and work in his studio at his leisure, Yngwie produced a highly acclaimed new album titled Unleash the Fury. Featuring some of his most impressive playing and songwriting in years, the album garnered rave reviews from fans and critics alike. Virtuosityone.com, a popular Internet hard rock music review site proclaimed, Yngwie Malmsteen, the Neo-Classical king is back to Unleash the Fury with another bag of alchemy fuelled compositions... Overall Unleash the Fury is a welcome return to form from ... to deliver the goods. Reviewers on Amazon.com and CD Universe gave the new album 5-star ratings, with consumers proclaiming Yngwie is the original, dont settle for cheap imitations! and its a great year for shredders!In the summer of 2005, the Unleash the Fury World Tour kicked off in Ireland and headed across the globe, blazing new trails of glory. Malmsteen and his Rising Force lineup proved they were back with a vengeance by selling out the famed Hammersmith Apollo theatre in London and playing to rapt capacity crowds across the U.K., and garnering legions of new fans from Paris to Vienna to Madrid. Eager fans in the U.S. made the Unleash the Fury Tour a major event of the year.By 2006, Yngwies career resurgence was in full gear. He attended the annual NAMM music-industry convention to promote his new strings endorsement with Dean Markley, then toured the U.S. a second time, then Asia, Australia, and Finland by the end of the year, igniting fans as never before. Yngwie explained it this way: Staying in good shape has a tremendous amount to do with it; Im reaping the benefits this year. That year, Fender updated Yngwie Signature Malmsteen Model Strat, making small but important changes to the neck. Fender rules the universe. They treat me so good, and Im so honored and proud to be working with them. Throughout 2007, Yngwie continued work on his next rock opus, and took a break in December to South America and Mexico, fulfilling the dreams of fans who hadnt seen him in their country in years.2008 marked Yngwies 25th year in the U.S.! Yngwie signed several endorsements, with Austrian acoustics company AKG, makers of top-of-the-line microphones and acoustic equipment, and Boss/Roland. That same year, Yngwie learned hed been chosen to be in the exclusive NAMM Oral History program. Begun in 2000, NAMMs Oral History Project documents through videotaped interviews some of the greatest contributors to the music products industry, including Herbie Hancock, Maynard Ferguson, Les Paul, blues legend B.B. King, and now, Yngwie Malmsteen.Yngwies redesigned official website, www.yngwiemalmsteen.com, went online, along with his own merchandise site. Yngwie continued to work at a leisurely pace on his next album. Work also continued on Fenders Malmsteen limited edition replica of the Duck, Yngwies prized and famed 1972 Strat. Fender Custom Shop experts flew to Miami to measure and photograph every aspect of the original instrument to ensure the replicas authenticity down to the last detail. With a new lineup that included ex-Priest singer Tim Ripper Owens, Yngwie played concert dates in Germany, doing clinics for Fender, and then hitting the summer festival circuit in Europe, starting with Graspop in Belgium and ending up in Finland, and then on to clinics and concerts in the U.K.2008 also saw an amazing testament to Yngwies resurgence on the rock music scene he scored the cover of Guitar Worlds Kings of Shred issue, appearing alone on the cover instead of sharing it with other musicians. About his newfound visibility, Yngwie said, There are a lot of new, younger fans who are just discovering the joys of playing with speed, power, and articulation and theyre coming to my shows and places like NAMM and guitar shows. Throughout 2008, Yngwie scored other magazine covers, including All Access, Crusher Magazine, Fuzz, Guitar Player, Roadie Crew, and Vegas Rocks. But perhaps the biggest recognition of 2008 came in October, when Yngwie was inducted into Hollywoods Rock Walk of Fame on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.Also in October, Yngwie released his new studio album, Perpetual Flame, on his own newly established label, Rising Force Records. The album also marked the debut of Yngwies new singer, ex-Judas Priest front-man Tim Ripper Owens. To coincide with the festivities surrounding Yngwies first album in several years, the Fender Custom Shop unveiled the new Yngwie Malmsteen Tribute Series Stratocaster guitar, the reproduction of Malmsteens beloved Duck (also called the Play Loud guitar). Touring to support the new album began in earnest, with a full schedule of dates starting in the U.S., and the momentum of Perpetual Flame kept rolling right on into the new year.Early in the 2009, Yngwie contributed three tracks to the video game Rock Band, for both Xbox and PlayStation. Still promoting Perpetual Flame, Yngwie and the band played a series of killer concerts in Japan with rock icons Deep Purple. By mid-summer, Yngwie astonished fans and critics alike by releasing an album completely off the beaten path for him, an entirely instrumental collection of ballads from Yngwies earlier works, performed on acoustic guitar with orchestral arrangements. To everyones surprise, Angels of Love (inspired by Yngwies wife April) hit the top of Amazon.coms New Age music list.Recognition of Yngwies place in music history continued to come in. In Time Magazine, Yngwie found himself included as one of the 10 Greatest Electric Guitar Players. Near the end of the year, Yngwie and his management company decided to begin releasing rare archival concert footage. The first was Yngwie in Korea, shot during his 2001 War to End All Wars Tour, in Seoul, South Korea. And that, asserts Yngwie, is just the tip of the iceberg of things to come!
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