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Articles Home » 1987 Articles » Moore, Vinnie - 1987 Minds Eye
Moore, Vinnie - 1987 Minds Eye

ARTIST: Moore, Vinnie
ALBUM: Minds Eye
LABEL: Shrapnel
YEAR: 1987
CD REISSUE: 1988, Roadrunner, RR 34 9635 * 2010, Shrapnel, SH-6027-2


LINEUP: Vinnie Moore - guitars * Andy West - bass * Tony MacAlpine - keyboards * Tommy Aldridge - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 In Control * 02 Daydream * 03 Saved By A Miracle * 04 Hero Without Honor * 05 Lifeforce * 06 N.N.Y * 07 Minds Eye * 08 Shadows Of Yesterday * 09 The Journey


As history will recall, 1986-87 was a pretty good year for Shrapnel Records - and its boss Mike Varney. It featured the debut albums of two incredible guitarists: Tony MacAlpine and Vinnie Moore. Both had an appreciation for fusing classical elements into HM instrumental passages, the genre would later become known as neo-classical. A Delaware native, Moore would late move on to a significant career as a leading guitarist both as a solo artist (including his own touring band) plus as a member of established bands such as Alice Cooperplus of course U.F.O where he is now the established six-stringer taking over duties from Michael Schenker and John Norum. However, it was this debut 'Minds Eye' that set the budding youngster up back in 1987. Upon this release, Moore would pick up numerous 'best newcomer' awards from high profile magazines.

The Songs
From my listening perspective, there's quite a bit of Yngwie Malmsteen's influence on this album. An interesting observation considering Malmsteen was relatively new in the USA at the time, and only hardened fans would have heard his earlier work with Alcatrazz and Steeler, but would have become more aware of him during 1985 with his 'Rising Force' album. Moore's super-fast handspeed is apparent on the opener 'In Control'. Backed by a thunderous rhythm section, Moore flies into action. 'Daydream' drops a gear into a slower mode, though the solos still fly off the fretboard as if peeling paint. MacAlpine gets a solo spot on keys for this one. 'Saved By A Miracle' is my favourite track here. The classical intro, dominant guitar motif/riff, and Aldridge's drum solo through the middle make this a memorable one for me. 'Hero Without Honor' is another terrific exhibition - a melodic intro sets the scene, the theme is locked down for a majority of the track with solos travelling all around it. The track goes down into slo-mo mode for the end sequence, a very atmospheric way to finish up. Moore gets to have some fun on 'Lifeforce', with typical 80's metal guitar riffs dominating the mix. 'N. N. Y.' has a guitar tone that featured readily on Varney's US Metal releases. It sounds a bit rawer than the previous tracks, but nothing is lost. The title track 'Mind's Eye' and the next track 'Shadows Of Yesterday' sound very similar to Tony MacAlpine's solo material which in itself is a compliment. The album tails off with the emotion soaked 'The Journey'. The tempo never rises above half-pace, but the solos are tugged at from the heart.

In Summary
The album sold over 100,000 copies at the time, and his follow up 'Time Odyssey' would be released two years on a larger record label (Squawk Records, a subsidiary of Polygram). Many years later in hindsight, GuitarOne magazxine placed 'Minds Eye' at #3 in the top 10 guitar shred releases of all time. Tall praise indeed!

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