Jesus TFC, is Steve Vai’s Passion and Warfare really coming up to 20 years old?

Wow. I scared myself thinking about this when I dusted off this platter for a quick spin at the weekend – Vai’s Passion and Warfare (which unofficially jostles with Yngwie J. Malmsteen’s Rising Force album for ‘Best Shred Album Ever’ )was released in 1990! Scary because it shows a) how old I am and how long I’ve been playing and b) how it’s looking increasingly unlikely that I’ll be living the Rock Guitar God lifestyle anytime soon being a hamfisted musical cretin, who, unlike the statuesque and hawk-featured Vai, suffers gross physical deformities (including dwarfism) which preclude appearances in public places such as on stages of the rock stadia around the world.

19-fucking-90! 18 years ago! (yes – I bought it the day it was released).  That muthafucker has stuff all over it that to this day nobody else can play. I’ve had the tab book of it for at least the last 10 years and I can probably play about 3 notes from the entire album (the first 3 notes of the backing of For The Love Of God if you must know – the 3 slowest notes on the album).

Just goes to show what a super guitar stud Vai is/was. Ignoring his quasi-spiritual silliness for a while and the fact that he ‘dreamt’ the concept of album while high from tantric orgasms (see here for how he approached his music-making back then [and perhaps still does]) one can’t deny that this is one of the highest of high water marks ever committed to tape, that hasn’t been bettered since for sure. Technical? Check. Musical? Check. Melodic and harmonically sophisticated? Check. Jawdroppingly fast? Check? Experimentally groundbreaking? Check. <Insert other superlatives here>

If you don’t have, it, what the hell are you waiting for?

Passion and Warfare


3 Responses to “Jesus TFC, is Steve Vai’s Passion and Warfare really coming up to 20 years old?”

  1. Hey.
    Nice blog.
    Would you like to exchange links?
    I have a blog ( and a website (

  2. Hey Ben – thanks for visiting

    It’s done! Check my link sidebar widget.

    Love your Minarik-a-like btw. 🙂

  3. This album was the first one I ever purchased on cd, about a week after it came out. I remember I had paid rent, and had about $26(US) left for groceries to last me the next two weeks. The cd was $20. You KNOW I bought it. I don’t recall what I ate for the next two weeks, but I can tell you that $20 was money well spent!~

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