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Rock - Released June 24, 2016 | Epic - Legacy

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Pop/Rock - Released April 8, 1997 | Epic

After the disastrous full-band heavy metal project of Sex & Religion, Steve Vai returned to recording solo with Alien Love Secrets. It's a moodier, more atmospheric collection than his masterpiece, Passion and Warfare, which makes it slightly revelatory. With the new sonic textures, the guitarist again demonstrates his fluid technique, which manages to never become completely mechanical. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Progressive Rock - Released September 17, 1996 | Epic

Steve Vai offers the following words of advice about Fire Garden, his fifth solo album: "This is essentially a double CD packed onto one. In this package there are over 74 minutes of music. Phase I (for the most part) is all instrumental music, and Phase II (for the most part) is all vocal selections, with the exception of 'Warm Regards.' ... Being as dense as it is, this CD may best be experienced by devouring it in pieces, but those with a strong constitution may dare to consume it whole as it is." Seldom has an artist provided more telling liner notes for his own album. Fire Garden is indeed a dense album, filled with a never-ending array of sonic textures and guitar tones. Unlike most guitar heroes, Vai doesn't treat music as a way to demonstrate his technical skill. Instead, he channels his astonishing technical skill into creating soundscapes that will showcase his virtuosity as often as not. The result is a guitar album that is enjoyable for non-guitar freaks, as well. Vai's vocals still have a way to go before they are as expressive as his instrumental work, but this subtle and dense concept album is the closest he's ever gotten to integrating the two sides of his musical personality together. An impressive effort from a musician who continues to grow and stretch himself with each new release. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

Rock - Released March 15, 2011 | Epic - Legacy

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Rock - Released January 1, 2016 | Legacy Recordings

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Rock - Released January 1, 2016 | Legacy Recordings

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Progressive Rock - Released August 31, 1999 | Epic

This album contains two tributes to two other stellar guitarists. One of those is "Jiboom," which pays homage to Stevie Ray Vaughan, while "Frank" remembers Frank Zappa. Vai saw his career begin as a teenage stunt guitarist for Frank Zappa. Later, Mike Keneally performed the same role in a band backing Zappa. For this album, Keneally toured in Vai's band, but plays keyboards on the album. It is an amazing exhibition of six-string talent. © Tom Schulte /TiVo
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Progressive Rock - Released June 18, 2001 | Epic

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Hard Rock - Released September 10, 2012 | Favored Nations - RSM

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Rock - Released June 4, 2002 | Light Without Heat

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Rock - Released June 24, 2016 | Epic - Legacy

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Progressive Rock - Released July 27, 1993 | Epic - Legacy

After the success of PASSION & WARFARE, Steve Vai fed his creative hunger by collaborating with a lineup of exceptional musicians. Released on Relativity/Epic Records, SEX & RELIGION features master drummer Terry Bozzio, Shocka Zooloo bassist T.M. Stevens, and early vocal efforts from Strapping Young Lad’s Devin Townsend. Bozzio and Stevens provide an impressive rhythmic foundation with Townsend’s charismatic banshee-like dynamics complementing Vai’s brilliant melodic contour. Despite creative differences during its creation that resulted in a short life for the all-star super group, SEX & RELIGION still offers entertaining songs about the human soul’s desire for love and contentment in the face of despair. © TiVo
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Progressive Rock - Released February 17, 2005 | Epic - Red Ink

Rock - Released November 3, 2000 | Epic

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Progressive Rock - Released July 13, 2004 | Epic

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Rock - Released June 26, 2007 | Epic - Red Ink

Despite his reputation as a rock guitar virtuoso, Steve Vai has been writing orchestral scores since the age of 14 (that would be circa 1974) by his estimation and "[amassing] hefty heaps" of them ever since, "but with few performances." So he notes in his annotations to the ambitious double-CD live set Sound Theories, Vols. 1-2. Vai's compositional bent finally was given an outlet by Co de Kloet of Dutch Public Radio & Television, which commissioned him to write an hour's worth of music to be performed by the Metropole Orkest. Going through his amassed materials, Vai came up with two hours' worth, which he and the orchestra performed in a series of concerts in May 2004 and July 2005. Then, he took the recordings home and began working on them, resulting, two years later, in this album, the first two volumes of what he hopes to be a continuing series. The pieces date back to 1978 ("Answers"), with many from the 1980s ("Salamanders in the Sun," "Attitude Song," "For the Love of God," and "Liberty" from the first disc and the entire second disc). Several of these earlier works, notably "Salamanders in the Sun" and "Frangelica, Pt. 2," reveal the influence of Vai's former employer Frank Zappa. Zappa was never fortunate enough in his lifetime to work with a sympathetic symphony orchestra like the Metropole, however. (He did work well with some smaller ensembles toward the end of his life.) Like Zappa, Vai is interested in pushing the limits of composition and playing ability, and he has gone even further by manipulating the live recordings with what he acknowledges are thousands of edits and note substitutions. The first disc, subtitled The Aching Hunger, is a guitar-plus-orchestra album with his usual playing pyrotechnics. But he leaves the entire second disc (Shadows & Sparks) to the Metropole, which makes this music sound like the highly dramatic soundtrack for an adventure film that hasn't been made yet. Sound Theories, Vols. 1-2 seems to be the beginning of a post-guitar-hero career for Vai, and it makes a good start in that direction. © William Ruhlmann /TiVo
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Progressive Rock - Released September 25, 1991 | Epic - Legacy

Widely acclaimed as his best album, Passion and Warfare finds Steve Vai coming into his own as a composer, as well as bypassing vocals almost entirely. His style isn't quite as derivative of influences Frank Zappa and Joe Satriani as it was six years earlier on Flex-able; while some of Vai's sense of humor is still evident on tracks like the cock rock strut of "The Audience Is Listening," it is mostly replaced by a spiritual reflectiveness on ballads like "For the Love of God" and "Blue Powder" and dignified, committed rockers like "I Would Love To" and "Liberty." Vai is a more distinguished composer than most of his guitar-shredder contemporaries, and rather than simply showing off his technique, he isn't afraid to experiment or take chances in his playing. Thus, Passion and Warfare is arguably the richest and best hard rock guitar-virtuoso album of the '80s. © Steve Huey /TiVo
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Rock - Released February 1, 2020 | Light Without Heat

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Rock - Released June 24, 2016 | Epic - Legacy

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Rock - Released October 11, 2000 | Epic Records