just pulled out "Skyscraper" after quite a few yea

This is the forum for all Steve Vai-related discussion including Steve's albums, videos, performances and frequently asked questions.
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trancewidth
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Have any of you listened to this recently? I am still amazed at the production quality of this record. It is one of the finest produced albums I have ever heard. Great playing and soungwriting too...I'm still quite impressed that Mr Vai was able to get this good of a record out of what he was working with....

As far as 80's records go....I can't think of one that was better produced and engineered than "Skyscraper". Of course liberal abuse of the Eventides is everywhere....but there's an amazing amount of restraint shown on this album.

Nice website here. Always been sort of a fan of Mr Vai. I had the flexi disc from Guitar Player back in...was it 1986? My how time flies.

After quite a few years of not listening to anything remotely guitar-oriented, it has been nice to revisit some of this stuff...Vai, Satch, especially EJ....even Yngwie.

But DAMN!!! Listening to "Skyscraper" really STILL blows me away, all these years hence. If you haven't listened to this one in awhile, or have never listened to it....get it. Listen to it. Learn from it. It has a lot to teach you about songwriting, production, engineering...and of course the guitar.
John
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Oh god yes, Skyscraper is awesome.
You know what's funny though, most people (including the band) didn't like it as much as Eat 'Em And Smile because they thought it was over produced. I kind of agree with them, EAAS was much rawer and straight ahead, and overall it's probably a stronger album, but still, I prefer Skyscraper, mainly because my 2 favorite songs Steve did with DLR are on it (Damn Good and Hina). Damn Good is one of those songs I can listen to about a hundred times in a row.
Tom
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I agree with you John about EEAS being probably the stronger record, but I too love Skyscraper -- the guitar playing is so hot throughout. There's one moment near the end of "Two Fools a Minute" where DLR is singing, "no we can't let Stevie drive!" and there's this searing guitar fill and killer pick-slide or some such thing. Just jumps out of the speakers! And that's just one moment on kind of a goofy tune. I think there was a period when I listened to the solo of "Hot Dog and a Shake" about 100 times in a row. There's something very funny about that solo, funny and virtuosic at the same time. The best tracks overall, I think, with "Hot Dog..." (for its all-around over-the-top-ness) are the title track, "Hina" and "Damn Good," the last of which has a real timeless quality to it.
Skyscraper
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As the username would suggest, I am a huge fan of this album.

This and Flying In A Blue Dream by Joe Satriani are probably the two albums I have the fondest memory of from my youth. Fantasic.

The solo from 'Hot Dog And A Shake' is pure magnificence - personally I've always been a fan of Roth and this album for me outshone the greater part of his Van Halen material. The first two Van Halen albums and Fair Warning, along with about half of 1984, stand up to it, but my favourite album with Diamond Dave has to be Skyscraper or the first Van Halen album depending on what side of the bed I wake up on in the morning!

Damn Good is so easy to listen to, I agree with Tom there. Best of all, it's not that hard to play! The blend for this album was just right for me. Sometimes Steve takes the spotlight and at other times (like in Damn Good or Stand Up) it's more Dave taking centre stage. The best moments though are when they switch focus during songs and you see the best of both of them - I would say Two Fools A Minute is the best example of this, Dave's personality is all over it and so is Steve's in his playing. I would rate this far above Eat 'Em And Smile personally, it mystifies me why most people including people who played on the albums rate that above Skyscraper, it just doesn't do as much for me.

I think the only shame about that period was that after Skyscraper it would have been interesting to see what the same line-up could have done to follow it. For me Eat 'Em And Smile seemed to be them finding their feet, then with Skyscraper (minus Billy Sheehan) it seemed like they had gelled and were on the same wavelength. Of course the reality was, as Roth acknowledges, that Steve was heading in a different musical direction by then (apparently he hated 'Just Like Paradise', for instance), so they did the right thing for themselves at the time. As much as I like Whitesnake and Vai's contributions with them, I think Steve doing another album with David Lee Roth would likely have appealed more to me than Steve joining Whitesnake and lending them his talents. Mind you, we got Passion And Warfare after he left them, so I can't complain about that!

Steven.
Alun
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I'm going to have to dig it it out - I'd pretty much forgotten about "Hina"! And "Perfect Timing"- great intro riff. I prefer "Eat 'Em..." overall but "Skyscraper" has some incredible stuff on it. On a purely geeky note - the guitar riff in "Skyscraper" was how I learnt how to play 5:2 rhythms!
Cool solo, too.


Alun
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bob mac
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Thanks for reminding me too!! I haven't listen to that cd in quite awhile.. 8)
JCvoxnguitar
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This is my first post to the message boards, but I'm no stranger to Vai.com. I first heard of Mr. Vai, upon seeing a transcription by him of "Spanish Fly". I was in High School, and taking a guitar class on a nylon string acoustic. My buddy turned me on to "Flex-Able". Instantly I was hooked. I soon bought "Eat 'em and Smile" and was blown away. I saw the concert. I soon bought "Skyscraper" too. The leads are under-rated. Same with the "Slip Of The Tounge" stuff. I remember hearing "Passion and Warfare" soon after. I was working in a music store on Long Island (91-92), one of my co-workers was hired to do sound for a Joe Despagni guitar show(he designed the flame guitar used in the DLR vids). I got off early to help "do sound". I went home and ripped off my "pick-guard", from my Ibanez electric, in the hopes that Steve would sign it. I got so "high" :( , that when it came to asking Steve, who was very approachable at the time, that I balked. Flash ahead to me buying "Sex and Religion" plus "Alien Love Secrets" then the first G3. I recently responded to a question in a local rock band poll"what's the greatest guitar solo ever". My answer was..."Steve Vai: For The Love Of God". I have never ever heard a more passionate display of playing in my life. Haven't heard the new stuff....tho I have heard the Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey stuff which rocks...........
Gulliver
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I have this album on a cassette somewhere... And I remember liking it very much... Guess it's time to get it on a CD. :)
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