STEVE VAI

(UNITED STATES)

FLEXABLE

(1984)
LABEL:

AUTOPRODUCTION

GENRE:

GUITAR HERO

TAGS:
Guitar-Hero, Happy, Instrumental, Technical
"Inaugural album of Steve Vai, "Flexable" is the work of a genius in the making and especially of a wonderful guitarist with earthly and celestial inspirations."
NUNO777 (24.08.2009)  
4/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s)
Steve Vai was born on June 6, 1960 in New York City and humanity did not yet know that it had a genius in its ranks. At the age of fourteen, the young man took guitar lessons from Joe Satriani, a young teacher in his neighborhood who was beginning to make a name for himself. He didn't know it yet, but Satriani would be a fundamental source of his inspiration. Another mentor appears in the life of the young Steve, a true fig of the father. In 1979, Vai gets in touch with Frank Zappa who will first hire him to play the most complex parts of his project. Frank will even say of Steve Vai that he is his "Little Italian virtuoso". This same Zappa will provide the inspiration and the material to the young Steve for the recording of his first solo album, "Flexable", subject of our review. Steve emancipates himself from Zappa in 1982 to compose this album which will be released in 1984. The Zappa touch is more than present throughout this album, but the premises of what will be the style of Vai, that is to say a very technical instrumental rock, are there.

But it is first Frank Zappa who is at the party with "Little Green Man", a song with a recurrent theme with Steve Vai (as in Satch): the imagination of aliens and the omnipresence of flight. The instruments used are reminiscent of Zappa (xylophone, sound effects), as well as the spoken sequence in the middle of the song. The two following songs remain in the mould of the first track, with a thunderous groove for "Viv Woman" and a mid-tempo with Zappa-like lyrics for "Lovers Are Crazy". Let us specify that in "Little Green Man", we hear at the end of the song some notes of a theme taken in an instrumental of "Passion & Warfare", and that "Viv Woman" lets resound a "Just Go For It" heard in "Jibboom" of Ultra Zone. Steve's "Peaches In Regalia" is personified with the jovial "Salamanders In The Sun", while "The Boy/Girl Song" lets the pop side of the great Steve speak.

'The Attitude Song', an instrumental often played live because it was recorded with two guitars, is one of the highlights of the album. Except that in concert Steve likes to graft up to three guitars and a bass on this piece. We begin to hear the Steve Vai of "Passion & Warfare" with sound and guitar effect. Some of the guitarist's gimmicks also appear in this piece. "Call It Sleep" inaugurates the famous "seventh track" of his albums. Indeed, in any Vai album, the track placed in the seventh position always has a particular color, in the form of an extremely melodic ballad with an epic character displayed. This airy ballad, with many Jazz-Rock/West-Coast accents reinforced by the use of Rhodes, is not as rich in its orchestration as a "For The Love Of God" or a "Hand On Heart", but the idea is there. Signs, we find some in "Junkie" which has the same architecture as "Rescue Me Or Bury Me" of "Sex & Religion", that is to say a sung beginning and a strong instrumental part of its silences with a very progressive, even scrambled atmosphere. Three rather anecdotal tracks come to close the album with "Next Stop Earth" which gives Steve the opportunity to make his guitar speak, one of his specialities, or "There's Something Dead In Here", noisy and atmospheric.

"Flexable" is the inaugural work of Steve Vai in which we find the passage from one father to another. Without doing psychoanalysis, we can say that Frank Zappa leaves place to Joe Satriani in the imagination of composition of Vai. Although the production is a bit weak on this album, it doesn't prevent the refreshing side from expressing itself, and it is very easy to listen to. Throw yourself into this work of a genius in the making and above all of a wonderful guitarist with earthly and celestial inspirations.
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
01. Little Green Men 05:39
02. Viv Woman 03:09
03. Lovers Are Crazy 05:39
04. Salamanders In The Sun 02:26
05. The Boy-Girl Song 04:02
06. The Attitude Song 03:23
07. Call It Sleep 05:09
08. Junkie 07:23
09. Bill's Private Parts 00:16
10. Next Stop Earth 00:34
11. There's Something Dead In Here 03:46

LINEUP:
2: Basse
2: Trompette
3: Trompette
3: Chant
4: Flute, clarinette, saxophone
4: Xylophone, Lyre
5: Batterie
5: Chant
5: Trompette
5): Flute, clarinette, saxophone
6: Basse
6): Batterie
7: Basse
7: Claviers
8): Claviers
8): Basse
8): Trompette
8): Chant
8): Xylophone, Lyre
Billy James (9): Batterie
Bob Harris (1: Trompette
Chad Wackerman (8): Batterie
Chris Frazier (2: Batterie
Greg Degler (1: Flute, clarinette, saxophone
Irney Rantin et Ursula Rayven (1: Chant
Larry Crane (1: Xylophone, Lyre
Paul Lemcke (1): Claviers
Pete Zeldman (7): Batterie
Pia Maiocco (2): Chant
Scott Collard (1: Claviers
Steve Vai: Chant / Guitares / Basse / Claviers / Batterie
Stu Hamm (1: Basse
   
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READERS
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MY RATING
 
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