Vai, Steve - Alive In An Ultra World

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Epic Records/Sony
Catalog Number: 85183
Format: CD
Total Time: 89:55:00

First I must say that I was shocked to hear that this tremendously ambitious project by Steve Vai has not experienced brisk sales. It has generally been ignored by the music buying public. I am here to tell you that you are missing one the greatest live albums ever recorded if you don't buy this now. Alive In An Ultra World is two-disc set in tribute to the culture, native ethnicity, and music of nations all across the globe. Vai studied music from one hundred fifty ethnic albums and played one hundred four shows before realizing the dream of this breathtaking work of recorded rock-ethnic masterpieces. This set is a culmination of four years of sweat and patience. Utilizing a mobile studio to translate his vision into workable songs for his band, Vai went through some painstaking and difficult processes to make all of this happen. Keep in mind he didn't have a top-notch studio in Los Angeles and the comforts of home to work out of. With all of that in mind, that makes this entire excursion that much more fascinating and incredible. Each song has a write up by the man himself. He talks about the countries he visited, his experiences, and how the musical process started and how it was finished. It is imperative that you read the information provided for each track so you find an understanding, meaning, and appreciation for each countries music and tradition. Above all, the total experience is not only found in the music, it is in the words of the man that made it all happen.

Disc one starts things off with a proud march in honor of Poland called "Giant Balls Of Gold." It's a powerful rocker that never lets up, and a fitting way to kick off a live rock and roll album. "Blood And Glory" for the United Kingdom is the most regal and exciting track on the disc. It's a true reflection of the pageantry relevant to the Queen's land. The most eclectic and tasteful track is Vai's ode to Spain entitled "Iberian Jewel." Visions of the run of the bulls come to mind while listening to this gorgeous soundtrack set to a proud and diverse countryside.

Disc two opens with "The Power Of Bombos." It's a rousing Greek number that has the audience dancing in the streets, chanting, and hollering. The audience reactions are fabulous throughout these performances. "Incantation" for Bulgaria is a song that will send chills up and down your spine. The crowd goes berserk when they realize what this American guitar hero has done in tribute to their country. Vai can also sing quite well, which may come as a surprise to some of you. He provides some solid vocals for "Alive In An Ultra World" and "Light Of The Moon." I was taken aback by the brilliance of Vai's multiplicity with the guitar. His appreciation for each country and their music was evident.

Vai gives a heartfelt nod to all of those involved in the making of this live pearl. He shares his feelings through his music in a very special way. Every country he played for could tell that he believed in what he was doing, and it all came from the inside, there is nothing superficial about any of this. This is music that will excite, heal, and give hope that the world will one day unite regardless of race, religion, or upbringing. That's what this is all about. Music is universal, and indeed we are one as humanity onboard mother earth. Feel the music and its meaning, it's a beautiful thing.

Disc One: Giant Balls Of Gold (Poland) (4:45) / Burning Rain (Japan) (4:50) / The Black Forest (Germany) (6:38) / Alive In Ultra World (Slovenia) (3:53) / Devil's Food (Holland) (10:09) / Blood And Glory (United Kingdom) (8:45) / Whispering A Prayer (Ireland) (4:38) / Iberian Jewel (Spain) (4:38)

Disc Two: The Power Of Bombos (Greece) (5:04) / Incantation (Bulgaria) (8:53) / Light Of The Moon (Australia) (5:47) / Babushka (Romania) (6:42) / Being With You (In Paris) (6:24) / Principessa (Italy) (5:51) / Brandos Costumes (Gentle Ways) (Portugal) (6:04)

Steve Vai - guitars
Philip Bynoe - bass, vocals
Chris Frazier - drums
Eric Goldberg - keyboards
Mike Keneally - guitar, keyboards, vocal
Mike Mangini - drums
Dave Weiner - guitar, acoustic guitar, sitar

Frank Zappa - Tinseltown Rebellion (1981/1990)
Frank Zappa - You Are What You Is (1981/1990)
Frank Zappa - Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar (1981/1986)
Frank Zappa - Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch (1982)
Lisa Popeil - Lisa Popeil (1983)
Frank Zappa - The Man From Utopia (1983)
Frank Zappa - Them Or Us (1984)
Flex-able (1984)
Flex-Able Leftovers (ep) (1984/1998*)
Frank Zappa - Thing Fish (1984/1986)
Heresy - At The Door (1985)
Alcatrazz - Disturbing The Peace (1985/2002)
Public Imagine Limited - Album/Cassette/Compact Disc (1985)
Frank Zappa - Meets The Mothers Of Prevention (1985)
Bob Harris - The Great Nostalgia (1986)
Shankar/Caroline - The Epidemics
David Lee Roth - Eat 'Em And Smile (1986)
David Lee Roth - Sonrisa Salvaje (1986)
Randy Coven - Funk Me Tender (1986)
Western Vacation - Western Vacation (1986)
Frank Zappa - Jazz From Hell (1986)
Dudes OST (1987)
Frank Zappa - Guitar (1988)
David Lee Roth - Skyscraper (1988)
Frank Zappa - You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol 1. (1988)
Various - Guitar's Practicing Musicians (1989)
Frank Zappa - You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 3 (1989)
Whitesnake - Slip Of The Tongue (1989)
Rebecca - The Best Of Dreams (1990)
Passion & Warfare (1990)
Alice Cooper - Hey Stoopid (1991)
Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey OST (1991)
Frank Zappa - As An Am (1991)
Encino Man OST (1991)
Frank Zappa - You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 4 (1992)
Frank Zappa - You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 5 (1992)
Frank Zappa - You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 6 (1992)
Various - Zappa's Universe (1993)
Sex And Religion (1993)
PCU OST (1993)
Whitesnake - Greatest Hits (1995)
Alien Love Secrets (1995)
Various - In From The Storm (1995)
Frank Zappa - Strictly Commercial (1995)
Various - The Songs OF West Side Story (1996)
Fire Garden (1996)
Wild Style - Cryin' (1996)
G3 Live In Concert (1997)
Various - Merry Axemas: A Guitar Christmas (1997)
Munetaka Higuchi w/Dream Castle - Free World (1997)
Frank Zappa - Have I Offended Someone? (1997)
Various - Angelica (1997)
David Lee Roth - The Best (1997)
Gregg Bissonette - Gregg Bissonette (1998)
Frank Zappa - Cheep Thrills (1998)
Al Di Meola - The Infinite Desire (1998)
Various - Merry Axemas, Vol. 2: More Guitars For Christmas (1998)
The Seventh Song - Steve Vai Archives Vol. 1 (1999)
Various - Radio Disney Kid Jams (1999)
Thana Harris - Thanatopsis (1999)
Frank Zappa - Son Of Cheep Thrills (1999)
The Ultra Zone (1999)
Joe Jackson - Symphony No. 1 (1999)
Gregg Bissonette - Submarine (2000)
Alive In An Ultra World (2001)
Billy Sheehan - Compression (2001)
Ghosts Of Mars OST (2001)
The Secret Jewel Box (2001)
Various - Roland Guitar Masters (2002)
The Elusive Light and Sound, Vol. 1 (2002)
Various - Guitars For Freedom (2002)
Mystery Tracks Archives, Vol 3. (2003)
The Infinite Steve Vai: An Anthology (2003)
Archives: Vol 4 (2005)
Real Illusions: Reflections (2005)
Live Album (2007)
Sound Theories: Vols. 1-2 (2007)
Original Album Classics (2008)
Naked Tracks Vol 1-5 (Guitar Center) (2009)
Where The Wild Things Are (2009)
Playlist: The Very Best Of Steve Vai (2010)
Where The Other Wild Things Are: Live In Minneapolis (2010)
Western Vacation (2010)

Alien Love Secrets (VID) (1997)
Live At The Astoria In London (2003) (DVD)
Visual Sound Theories (DVD) (2007)
Where The Wild Things Are (DVD/BR) (2009)

* reissue w/bonus

Genre: Rock

Origin US

Added: October 26th 2001
Reviewer: Keith "Muzikman" Hannaleck

Artist website:
Hits: 773
Language: english


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