From my perspective Steve Vai seems to be one of the most misunderstood musicians around. Constantly accused of being a soulless masterbater of the fret board, and all sorts of other fairly off target things. Sure instrumental guitar music isn't everybody's cup of tea, and sure there certainly are guitarists that seem to have little to no idea about melodic structure, and just songs in general. I think it would be short sighted and misguided to classify Vai in this way though. I think part of the problem is that Vai is very much placed in the rock field when folks listen to his music, but that isn't altogether the correct place to put him, because what he is doing and trying to achieve doesn't really line up with Bad Company, Led Zeppelin, The Sex Pistols or any other type of rock band that you could mention .... which isn't to say it is better or worse, it is merely a case of interpretation and difference. Few people could say that Vai isn't an amazing guitarist, but a large group of people would say Amazing guitarist but - it's just one long lead break - plays without feel - it all sounds the same and all these kind of dismissive statements. If one classifies Vai outside "rock music", perhaps in some form of other music, similar to, but not exactly like classical for example, his music makes much more sense, and the fact that a lot of it is clearly written and full of melodic phrasing, based on musical themes rather than just the lengthy ad lib lead breaks some hear it as, it changes the context completely. I sincerely hope some folks will have a listen with a different mindset to some of Steve's many different types of tracks as we look at them along the course of this thread. This isn't a thread I am going to be posting songs on everyday, not like an album thread as such, although we will certainly go through some of the stuff he has done over the years - solo, and with Zappa, Whitesnake, David Lee Roth and various other folks over the years. The idea behind this thread is to try and appreciate Vai for who and what he is, not who and what he is not, which is generally what most folks seem to base their dismissive opinions on. Look, as I say, guitar music isn't for everyone, but if you like guitar music, and not just 25 second musical interludes to rock/pop songs, Vai is very worth having a closer listen to.