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Memory Crash

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Album Review

The 1980s were littered with six-string shredders who pushed the instrument to the max in the realm of hard rock/heavy metal. But Johnny Thunders look-alike Steve Stevens (who gained great success and acclaim as the guitarist in Billy Idol's band) was the king six-stringer of the pop genre. And while he had reunited with Idol during the early 21st century, Stevens also managed to continue issuing solo albums on his own, as evidenced by the 2008 release Memory Crash. The mostly instrumental album certainly showcases Stevens' instrumental prowess, but also touches upon styles not usually associated with this mile-high-haired guitarist, including his love of vintage prog rock (namely, Yes). And there are flashes of Yes-like déjà vu, such as the Steve Howe-esque acoustic guitar included on the track "Prime Mover" (before leading into a carbon copy groove of Billy Cobham's "Stratus," off his classic 1973 release Spectrum). Elsewhere, you'll find a tune that would make Joe Satriani proud, "Hellcats Take the Highway," a kickass cover of Robin Trower's "Day of the Eagle" (which features a cameo by Doug Pinnick of King's X on vocals), and an album-closing acoustic ballad/love song, "Josephine." While he may not have racked up the amount of guitar magazine front covers as Steve Vai and Yngwie Malmsteen in the big '80s, Steve Stevens could certainly keep pace with the rest of the pack in the solo department. And this is proven once and for all with Memory Crash.

Customer Reviews


I got an email reply in 1997 from Steve telling me to keep an eye out for his "Wacky flamenco album", and that blew me away to the point I still listen to it to this day. This album is no different. Steve you are a genius and your creativity with how to bring out every emotion possible from your guitar knows no bounds. This album truly shows how great of a player and composer you are and may your next album not take so long to come out because I honestly can't get enough of it.

Stevens Gets To Be The Star of His Own Show

Besides knowing Steve Stevens from providing all of those great licks on classic Billy Idol albums, I always respected his body of solo and collaborative work. On the amazing trio of Bozzio, Levin, Stevens (Black Light Syndrome 1997 & Situation Dangerous 2000), he impressed me as one of the most fluid and exciting guitarist of his day and he continues to play as if he just landed from another world on Memory Crash. This is primarily an instrumental rock album with the exception of the Robin Trower cover “Day of the Eagle,” where Dug Pinnick (a fine bass player) provides some otherwise weak vocals and “Josephine,” where Stevens plays a bluesy lead guitar and adds some distorted vocals of his own. Stevens does a great job with the guitar work on the Trower classic but I wish he had someone more capable of handling the vocals than Pinnick, that being said it still did not take away from the exceptional fretwork of the main star of the show. Stevens comes flying out the gate with the opener “Heavy Horizon.” It starts with techy computer like sounds to fit right along with the title of the album, and then he jumps right into bending those strings with the precision and sharpness of laser-guided smart bomb. He plays all the instruments with the exception of the drums, where the reliable Brian Tichy steps in to help lead this awesome display of guitar techniques and fireworks. This dude is one of those amazing Guitar Gods that never lets up and continues to amaze every time he decides to record. Memory Crash will be in a music review book some day as one of the best albums you never heard. Stevens is not a mainstream artist and he steps into the background when he plays with Billy Idol so it is unlikely that this is the type of album that will chart or bring him worldwide fame, but we would be missing the whole point if we thought that way for one second now wouldn’t we? Those of us that know good music when we hear it and understand the talent it takes to record an album like this are in his corner every step of the way and always will be. My personal favorite is the Satriani like “Small Arms Fire.” Man does the track rock and Stevens just outdoes himself on this one, peeling off riff after riff as if it was a walk in the park. This is a powerhouse rocker where Stevens cuts loose and shows everything he has in his arsenal. One thing to keep in mind is the fact that he plays everything and if you listen to the bass, it is above average as well. Believe me this man knows his instrument and is probably one of the most underrated guitar slingers on the planet. The title track is another blazing quick-fingered keeper; it falls into a solid second place for best tracks. Now here is where the artist shows us his versatility and the word one-dimensional never enters the picture during the course of this recording…he pulls out the acoustic guitar out on ‘Water on Ares” and sounds like he could be playing on Antonio Carlos Jobim album. Once the acoustic run is over he brings us back down to earth to remind us of his electric guitar mastery then just as quickly reverts back to the acoustic and then mixes it all in together towards the end of the track to wrap up a pure rock and roll ride from start to finish. The entire album is one exciting ride to be honest. Every track has another slice of guitar wizardry that goes beyond explanation; you have to hear it all to appreciate it. Once you do listen to this album once it will never be enough, it will find a permanent home in your stereo, iPod and inside your brain - no Memory Crash here! Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-August 3, 2008

A long time coming!

Another GREAT but long overdue album from Steve Stevens! This guy is a true musician.


Born: May 5, 1959 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Rock

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

One of the flashiest guitarists (both visually and instrumentally) to emerge from the '80s rock scene was Steve Stevens. Born in Brooklyn, New York, on May 5, 1959, Stevens first picked up the guitar when he was only seven years old, and later became an avid prog rock fan, especially the likes of Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Yes. Honing his craft while playing in Manhattan, Stevens recorded an unreleased album with his band, Fine Maribus, and also played as a session guitarist on Peter Criss' best...
Full Bio
Memory Crash, Steve Stevens
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  • $9.90
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Metal
  • Released: Feb 21, 2008

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