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Prime Cuts

Billy Sheehan

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Album Review

Although titled Prime Cuts, this 2006 release does not feature the best-known work of bass extraordinaire Billy Sheehan. In other words, no tracks from his Talas, David Lee Roth, or Mr. Big eras are included (or even tracks from his two solo albums, 2001's Compression and 2005's Cosmic Troubadour). What is included, however, is a sampling of tracks that Sheehan lent his talents to, released via the Magna Carta label. Most fans will be most interested in the album-closing "Bass Solo (Buffalo 1994)," which certainly doesn't disappoint, as Sheehan taps, slaps, and pops away — making his four-string sound like a six-string. Elsewhere, you'll find the hyper funk workout "Elbow Grease" (credited to Niacin), a cover of Rush's "The Trees" (for a Rush tribute album, Working Man), and the ethereal "Sub Continent," which is credited to Sheehan and drum wiz Terry Bozzio. Despite not being a true Billy Sheehan "best-of," Prime Cuts does include a solid sampling of his work with the Magna Carta label thus far.

Biography

Born: 19 March 1953 in Buffalo, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Often called "the Eddie Van Halen of the bass," Billy Sheehan just happened to catch his big break playing with former Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth. Although Eddie Van Halen gets the lion's share of credit for popularizing the two- handed tapping technique on guitar, it's been rumored that Sheehan began utilizing the same technique around the same time, albeit on his bass, resulting in a debate during the '80s (among guitar geeks, at least) as to who was the true originator. Hailing from the...
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