Alcatrazz

Live '83

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In 1983, just about every up-and-coming hard rock guitarist was mesmerized by -- and copying -- Eddie Van Halen's two-handed tapping technique. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, came Yngwie Malmsteen, who introduced "classical metal" to the masses. Before making a name for himself as a solo artist, Yngwie was briefly a member of L.A. rockers Alcatrazz, which resulted in a studio album (1983's No Parole from Rock 'n' Roll) and a live album (1984's Live Sentence). But come 2010, an archival live album appeared from the band (from the "Yngwie era"), Live '83. As its title states, the album is comprised of live performances from the same year that Alcatrazz's debut album was released, and will certainly be of interest for longtime Yngwie fans. Featured are all the expected Alcatrazz classics, including fine readings of "Too Young to Die, Too Drunk to Live," "Island in the Sun," and "Hiroshima Mon Amour," as well as covers of Rainbow's "Since You Been Gone" and the Michael Schenker Group's "Desert Song" (since singer Graham Bonnet did time in both groups prior to Alcatrazz). The only misstep is a bonus track, which is an unnecessary and grating-sounding studio re-reading of Rainbow's "All Night Long," which includes George Lynch on guitar. Live '83 offers further proof that Alcatrazz were quite possibly Yngwie's best ticket toward commercial success, if he would have stuck around for longer than just a year or so.

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