Guitar virtuoso Richie Kotzen burst onto the heavy metal scene as a teenager with a lightning-fast guitar technique. After recording three albums for the Shrapnel label -- including his 1989 self-titled debut, the following year's Fever Dream, and 1991's Electric Joy -- he was recruited into the party-metal group Poison to replace C.C. DeVille, who was forced out of the band due to his substance abuse problems. Kotzen recorded 1993's Native Tongue with the group, and the album showcased his shredding style as well as his blues-based influences. However, Kotzen left the band to return to his solo career, which included collaborations with fellow guitar hero Greg Howe. By the end of the '90s, Kotzen was also working with the latest lineup of Mr. Big, as well as the fusion group Vertú. In 1999 he released Bi-Polar Blues and the following year saw the domestic release of three albums -- Something to Say, Wave of Emotion, and What Is... -- which were previously available only in Japan. Slow and Change arrived in 2003, followed by Get Up in 2004 and Acoustic Cuts the following year. His first compilation, Instrumental Collection: The Shrapnel Years, was released in the summer of 2006, with the all-new Into the Black arriving later that fall. © Heather Phares © 2013 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/richie-kotzen-mn0000852081/biography
During the '80s, Shrapnel dominated the shredder guitar market with prodigies that seemingly had cartilage removed from their joints in order to play 128th-note guitar solos in the blink of an eye with samurai-like precision. One of those ambitious young axegrinders was Richie Kotzen, who would later show up in Poison. This collection of his tenure in Shrapnel presents two phases: the hard-rocking years when guitar acrobatics were at the forefront of compositions (1989-1997), and the more melodic and composition-friendly albums of the 2000s. The first four tracks find Kotzen competently backed by the amazing combo of Stu Hamm on bass and Journey drummer Steve Smith, and pretty much set the tone for the first half of the disc with over the top antics and musicianship shadowing the mother of all shredders, Steve Vai. Things wind down a little bit, but Kotzen's abilities only mature and grow stronger as time goes by. This is a great overview of the accomplishments of one of guitar metal's unsung heroes. © Rob Theakston © 2013 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/release/instrumental-collection-the-shrapnel-years-mr0001433938
If you are a Richie Kotzen fan, you will already have all these tracks in your collection. There are no new tracks on this album. The album is composed entirely of thirteen instrumental tracks. If you are not familiar with this great and underrated guitarist, this album serves as a good introduction to the man’s great talent. Listen to Richie’s great “Fever Dream” album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 114 Mb]
1 Squeeze Play 4:38
2 Strut It 4:10
3 Unsafe At Any Speed 3:14
4 Cryptic Script 3:55
5 B Funk 4:19
6 Acid Lips 4:45
7 Hot Rails 3:35
8 Slow Blues 4:21
9 Pulse 6:20
10 Dose 5:58
11 The Answer 1:19
12 Conflicted 2:11
13 Unity (Jazz Bee Bop Instrumental) 2:43
All tracks composed by Richie Kotzen
Richie Kotzen - Electric Guitar, Bass Guitar, Wurlitzer Piano, Keyboards
Danny Thompson - Bass on "B Funk", "Acid Lips", "Hot Rails", "Slow Blues"
Stuart Hamm - Bass on "Squeeze Play", "Strut It", "Unsafe At Any Speed", "Cryptic Script"
Jeff Berlin - Bass on "Pulse" & "Dose"
Steve Smith - Drums on "Squeeze Play", "Strut It", "Unsafe At Any Speed", "Cryptic Script"
Atma Anur - Drums on "B Funk", "Acid Lips", "Hot Rails", "Slow Blues"
Gregg Bissonette - Drums on "Pulse" & "Dose"