Various Artists - 2003 Beyond Inspiration: Tribute To Uli Jon Roth

ARTIST: Various Artists
ALBUM: Beyond Inspriation: Tribute To Uli Jon Roth
LABEL: Lion Music
YEAR: 2003

LINEUP: Guitars - Chris Steberl, Joop Wolters, Lars Eric Mattson, Torben Enevoldsen, Tony Hernando, Rolf Munkes, Petrossi Dushan, James Byrd, Cyril Aachard, Thorbjorn Englund, Neal Gursky, Alex Masi, William Stravato, Eric Sands, Paul Nelson

Vocals - Lance King, Alf Wemmenlind, Torgny Stjarnfelt, Michael James Flatters, Ella Grussner, Brad Shumway * Bass - Matt Cistone, Weine Johansson, Lars Eric Mattson, Tony Hernando, Rolf Munkes, Franck Hermany, Thorbjorn Englund, William Stravato * Keyboards - Lars Eric Mattson, Jean Marc Layani, James Byrd * Drums - Gerald Kloos, Ian Haughland, Francesco Ciacciarelli

TRACK LISTING: 01 Electric Sun (Earthquake) - featuring Chris Steberl of Project Alcazar * 02 Sails Of Charon (Taken By Force) - featuring Joop Wolters of Arabesque * 03 I'll Be Loving You Always (Firewind) - featuring Lars Eric Mattson from Mattsson * 04 Firewind (Firewind) - featuring Tony Hernando * 05 Dark Lady (In Trance) - featuring Rolf Munkes from Empire * 06 Yellow Raven (Virgin Killer) - featuring Petrossi Dushan from Iron Mask * 07 Burning Wheels Turning (Earthquake) - featuring Torben Enevoldsen from Section A * 08 Still So Many Lives Away (Earthquake) - featuring James Byrd from Byrd * 09 I'll Be There (Beyond The Astral Skies) - featuring Cyril Achard from Taboo Voodoo * 10 Indian Dawn (Firewind) - featuring Thorbjorn Englund from Winterlong * 11 Pictured Life (Virgin Killer) - featuring Neal Grusky from Takara * 12 Return (Beyond The Astral Skies) - featuring William Stravato and Alex Masi * 13 Polar Nights (Virgin Killer) - featuring Eric Sands from Truth Of Fiction * 14 Paganini Paraphrase - featuring Paul Nelson


The last tribute album we reviewed was the excellent Boston package put out by Escape Music late last year. This time around, the good people at Lion Music, in association with Lars Eric Mattson have seen fit to toast one of the premier rock guitarists from the 70's/80's: German maestro Ulrich Jon Roth (Uli Jon or Uli to the rest of you).

Of course, Uli is best known for his time spent with The Scorpions during their 70's heyday. Classic albums like 'Lonesome Crow', 'Virgin Killer', 'In Trance' and the fabulous double live album 'Tokyo Tapes' feature the trademark licks of Herr Roth.

The time he spent with his own band Electric Sun a few years later probably spawned the likes of Fair Warning and Zeno along the way, such was his influence.

His guitar style integrates Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck, all wrapped up in his own package, fused with sweeping classical arrangements that was a forerunner to all those 80's neo-classical heroes (Yngwie Malmsteen, Vinnie Moore etc), plus of course todays heroes including many of the guys here plus a certain Gus G of (dare I say it) Firewind. (geddit?)

The Songs

In fact, the line-up of axe-slingers for this Tribute album makes for impressive reading as well, and according to the liner notes, Lars Eric was inspired to lay a mark of respect for a guitarist who had influenced him so much, and to say thank you for his musical contribution on behalf of an entire generation of guitar players. You won't get any disagreement with us here at Glory Daze either.

The track listing below features a wide variety of his Scorpions material, plus the three Electric Sun albums during the 80's.

My favourite renditions on this CD include 'Polar Nights', played by Eric Sands, a member of that funky Atlanta based outfit Truth Of Fiction. This is a smokin' version, complete with wah wah effects and a convincing vocal display by Mister Kite lead singer Alf Wemmerlind.

Also hot on the 'sonic monitor' is the lead off track 'Electric Sun', featuring hotshot Chris Seberl (Project Alcazar). Crisp riffing and solos that are literally electric.

In Summary

Let me finish by saying this CD is not an attempt to replicate every nuance of Uli Jon's guitar-playing, nor is it a widdly diddly guitar-fest. It is in fact, a celebration of a much maligned guitarist, who is finally getting his time in the 'electric' sun.

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