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Modern Primitive / Passion & Warfare (25th Anniversary Edition)

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Album Review

Modern Primitive, the ninth studio album from guitar virtuoso Steve Vai, connects the dots between Vai's 1984 album Flex-Able and his breakthrough 1990 release Passion & Warfare. The album sees Vai completing song sketches and tracks penned at the time, giving an insight into the move from the prog-infused funk of the '80s to the trademark solos of the '90s. A 25th anniversary remastered version of Passion & Warfare is also included.

Customer Reviews

The Once and Future VAI

'Passion and Warfare' is still groundbreaking 25 years later! The bonus material, while interesting, doesn't add a thing to the original 'P&W' track listing. 'P&W' was a brilliantly conceived, unified body of work from beginning to end in its original form. If anything, the bonus tracks give you an appreciation for the excellent editing work done 25 years ago in that they were NOT included then.

'Modern Primitive' shows off the once and future VAI with tracks that are VERY much like the material from 'Flex-able', as well as material that foreshadow 'Real Illusions'. This collection just goes to show you how ahead of his time VAI was (and is)!! However, there are a LOT of Steve-fronted vocals here, so if you're not into his vocal style, this disc might not be your thing. His vocal work on "Mighty Messengers", however might be his best ever! A LOT of space is dedicated to the song set "Pink and Blows Over" which any sane person will only listen to ONCE.

A Five Star rating for sure -- until "Pink and Blows Over" is considered; then it loses one.


Been waiting for this release for what feels like forever; caveat: I'm a huge fan and have been since I first heard Flex-Able in 1984. The two pre-order tunes that just became available (Bop! & Lovely Elixer) sound phenomenal and are currently making me very happy. My advice? Get into it.


25 years ago this release blew my changed my life as a guitarist. All the "new" material is ground breaking ....Bop..Dark Matter...Pink and Blows Over Pt. 2 and 3 is music that cannot be categorized. It is the most different music I have ever heard....which is the best thing I can say. The Passion and Warfare mix sounded great as well...a subtle but better mix from the one that blew my mind 25 years ago. HIGHLEY recommended.


Born: June 6, 1960 in Carle Place, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Six-string wizard Steve Vai, along with his onetime teacher Joe Satriani, set the standard for rock guitar virtuosity in the '80s. Born on June 6, 1960, and raised in Carle Place, New York, Vai became interested in the guitar via such legendary artists as Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Alice Cooper as a teenager and, upon starting high school, took lessons with an older player from the school, Joe Satriani. Playing in several local bands, Vai quickly picked up on the instrument, and by the age of...
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