Malmsteen has careened through the netherworld of neo-classical heavy metal for three decades, a self-created, self-certified genius who remains absolutely certain of his destiny.
“He has been lauded, fêted and acclaimed for over 30 years” ran the sleevenotes that accompanied a compilation of his early days. True, but much of that praise has fallen from the lips of Yngwie himself. He has never been backwards at coming forwards.
After being brought to America by the shredfinder general Mike Varney and showcasing his chops with Graham Bonnet in Alcatrazz, he was soon positioning himself front and centre, picking up a fine singer in Jeff Scott Soto for Yngwie J Malmsteen’s Rising Force and Marching Out.
Joe Lynn Turner, who'd lost his job with Rainbow when they disbanded in 1984, hooked up with Yngwie in 1987. He proved an excellent foil on Odyssey, edging Malmsteen towards the same slick commercial sound as he had with Rainbow, although the guitarist's playing was more restrained in the wake of a near-fatal car accident that had left him in a coma.
Odyssey was still Malmsteen's most successful album, and remains his highest-charting American release.
Odyssey is the fourth studio album by guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen, released on 8 April 1988 through Polydor Records. The album reached No. 40 on the US Billboard 200 and remained on that chart for eighteen weeks, as well as reaching the top 50 in five other countries. As of 2019 it remains Malmsteen's highest-charting release on the Billboard 200.
Steve Huey at AllMusic gave Odyssey two stars out of five, calling it "a more subdued, polished collection seemingly designed for mainstream radio airplay", but that it "shows little difference in approach from [Malmsteen's] previous output". He praised Joe Lynn Turner's vocals and Malmsteen's guitar work, but remarked that the latter sounds "constrained and passionless" due in part to his recovery from a near-fatal car accident in 1987.
People say you should learn something new every day. And today, why not have that new thing be how to install Seymour Duncan YJM Fury pickups into a Fender Strat electric guitar, courtesy of Yngwie Malmsteen himself?
“These are designed…by me,” Malmsteen says at the top of the video. “With Seymour Duncan, obviously.”
With that, Malmsteen unboxes the loaded pickguard, which is equipped with a trio of single coil “stack” pickups – “which means they’re humbucking single coils, which is extremely cool,” he says – as well as a YJM volume pot.
Malmsteen then takes you through the process of soldering in the new pickups and volume pot. Afterwards, he pops in the pickguard, and voila! He’s ready to unleash the fury once again.