Jason Becker

Collection

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To many, Jason Becker's tale is one of the more tragic in rock history (just as stardom came a-calling -- by replacing Steve Vai in David Lee Roth's solo band -- Becker was stricken with Lou Gehrig's disease). But Becker's tale is certainly one of the more inspiring as well, as he continues to write music via computer (by communicating with his eyes via a system developed by his father). And on the 2008 compilation Collection, all of his best bits are showcased, as the set is comprised of tracks from throughout his career, and includes a trio of new tunes. While there are quite a few ditties that show that Becker could shred with the best of them back in the good ol' days (namely "Opus Pocus" and Roth's "It's Showtime!"), quite a bit of Collection is comprised of new agey tunes, including "Images," "Air," and the piano-led "End of the Beginning." In addition, the number of renowned six-string heroes that appear on the album is quite impressive, as Michael Lee Firkins, Marty Friedman, Greg Howe, Joe Satriani, and Vai all appear. Becker remains an inspiration to all -- beyond just guitar players -- and Collection is the proof.

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