This is just hilarious and I have to thank again the guys over at GuitarWorld for republishing this 1994 bit they produced with shred-master Yngwie Malmsteen. Yngwie was asked to listen to a bunch of tracks by his peers and give his personal view on each of them. And personal it gets, wow.
The first one to take a couple of punches is Joe Satriani. While Yngwie approves of the Hendrix style intro of ‘The Mighty Turtle Head’, he’s not happy at all with Joe’s soloing and has some harsh words for his bends. He even goes as far as calling his playing a “run-of-the-mill” pentatonic playing. I’m sure Joe Satriani doesn’t hear that too often.
Well, next in line is the mighty Metallica with their monster hit ‘Master of Puppets’. And Yngwie actually has a lot of good things to say about the band and this particular song. James Hetfield is being complimented for his guitar playing and singing, Lars for his drumming, but when it comes to Kirk Hammett, Yngwie has some reservations and says he doesn’t play ‘musically’. Interesting, ain’t it?
A Primus song was next and Yngwie finds a more moderate tone here, at least in general. The slap bass though, doesn’t sit well with him. Same overall verdict for Pantera’s ‘I’m broken’ – cool riffs, but horrible singing and sloppy soloing.
Dream Theater’s ‘Under a glass Moon’, though, gets full approval from the Swedish guitarero. However, the next track, a number by Pearl Jam, is shredded into pieces. Now to my surprise, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers got away easily, very little critique here – Yngwie even said that he liked the band – who knew?
The next one was very interesting and I was a little concerned about the next avalanche of rants coming – however, The Allman Brothers and their signature track ‘Jessica’ received a lot of praise. And I was relieved!
With the next two specimens, Death and then Jeff Beck, though, Yngwie wasn’t pleased at all and especially with Jeff Beck’s performance, he seemed to be equally surprised and disappointed. And when you think it can’t get any worse, well you should read his comments on Dinosaur Jr.
Then it gets really interesting, because Steve Vai’s next. But Yngwie is full of praise and despite the actual tone of the guitar used by Steve, there’s nothing but approval. Gary Moore, too, receives good feedback before it’s time to judge the last track, Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze covered by the Cure. Yngwie calls it blasphemous and determines that these guys “should be shot”. There you go.
As we know, Yngwie is good at shredding the guitar, well, he just proved he can do it verbally, too. I recommend that you read his detailed critiques by clicking here. It’s very entertaining and the comments by the GuitarWorld readers on the whole thing are priceless.