Steve Vai – Flex-Able (1984)

Wow, this really blew my mind. Of course I heard of Steve Vai as he played with Frank Zappa. Then, one time falling asleep late at night radio presenter Diewertje Blok played Lovers are Crazy, a weird song. But I liked it, and had to have it. So I went to the record store that imported from the US. The guy behind the counter made sure to put on side two which started with … The Attitude Song. Yikes, this was awesome. I mean, I knew my fair share of renowned guitar players already back then (e.g. FZ, Holdsworth, Fripp, diMeola), but this was different. This maverick knew how to get the extremes from the guitar abusing it in all sorts of ways and still have the finesse to be subtle. Recorded at his home studio with the help from some friends it turned into a record that is fresh, spontaneous, aggressive and subtle. Production wise it is sub-professional but that is a good thing, because it makes the record sound honest.

For different reasons, the highlights are Little green Men, The Boy/Girl Song, Call It Sleep, The Attitude Song.

PS The record sleeve I have is different from the one in this post. I have the white sleeve with the mouse smelling the cheese. I believe it’s one of the first pressings. Sweet!