The First Shred Records You Bought


What were a few of the first real shred type albums you bought? Try to remember if you bought them on record, cassette, or CD.

I don’t remember the particular order but I bought these records:

Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force
Racer X Street Lethal
Vinnie Moore Mind’s Eye


the first real “shred” I heard was when I was almost 17 (woulda been 1984) and my mom was out of town and some friends came over with some beer and they brought some records over. I heard VH 1 and it blew my mind. I heard Eruption and had no idea what it was lol. We all loved the intro to Aint Talkin 'Bout Love. That was 4 years before I started playing guitar. I was one of those types that thought id never be able to play guitar and that it was for others but not me.

So I was a big VH fan and I thought that was what good music was. I got my first guitar in '88 when I was 20. In those days you could get records, CDs, or cassettes. I almost always got cassettes so I could play them in the car and so I could make compilation cassettes

In either late 86 or 87 a friend of mine told me to listen to this CD of some supposed great guitar player. I had never heard of the dude and the music was all weird sounding. Sounded like some kind of opera. It was Yngwie Malmsteen Trilogy lol. I wasnt quite ready for it yet

I started buying guitar magazines maybe in dec 87 then bought my first guitar in jan 88. Young folks gotta remember this was WAAAAAAYYYY before the internet lol. That magazine was IT as far as guitar info. So I would usually buy whatever I saw mentioned a lot in the mags and usually it was when they had tab for a song or reviewed a record

not sure the exact order but these are the actual shred albums I had back then:
Satriani Surfing with the Alien CD. one of the first guitar CDs I got. blew my mind
Yngwie M Rising Force CD
Racer X Street Lethal CD
Vinnie Moore Time Odyssey cassette, player it until all the writing wore off the cassette
Greg Howe first album cassette

A bit later I got:
Yngwie Odyssey cassette
Yngwie Eclipse cassette
Vai Passion and Warfare
Nitro OFR cassette lol. This was sort of a joke to me. awesome playing but a bit too much cheese
Holdsworth Heavy Metal Fatigue and IOU cassette. Hard for me to listen to since I liked pop song structures etc
Frank Gambale Thunder from Down Under cassette - see above note lol
those were the main actual shred albums I remember

Also during that time I was heavily into these bands:

Blue Murder. Have probably listened to their first CD more than ANY other album. got it in the car right now

Michael Schenker/UFO, Hendrix, Trower, Whitesnake, Tesla, Skid Row, Extreme, The Cult, BulletBoys, Badlands, Ozzy, Scorpions, Judas Priest, Dokken, Lynch Mob

Obviously I started playing right at the peak of “hair metal” so thats what I liked

It took a few years but I finally dug back and really got into Led Zep

here I am now, 51 yrs old, I have a 30 min commute to work so I bought some CDs for the car. Kinda funny how tastes dont change. here is my main rotation:

Van Halen. I have the 6 pack of Roth Cds. VH2 is the absolute peak for me
Blue Murder first CD. pure classic. John Sykes is the BEST combo singer/writer/lead player
Ozzy Diary and Blizzard
Whitesnake Greatest Hits
Yngwie Odyssey. I like it but wish I had bought either Eclipse or Fire and Ice
RacerX Street Lethal lol

at home on Mp3 I listen to tons of Yngwie. Listening to a lot of Greg Howe lately


First shred song I ever heard was Yngwie Black Star, from his live album LIVE!!!.

That was also my first shred album.

That version is simply perfect.


Black Star was the first neoclassical shred I ever heard. I discovered it because Guitar Player Magazine used to include a little flexible record I think they called a Soundpage. In 1985 they had an issue with Yngwie on the cover in the May edition and I think that was the same edition that had the Black Star soundpage. I listened to it and then I went out and bought the album.


yeah, those were the magazine years lol. good stuff

I remember one of them had Cacophonys 'Go Off" on the flexible record. i was like WTF? my ears just werent ready for it lol. Still not my thing but I can appreciate the skill (song would be so much better wthout the disjointed intro! lol)


Rising Force
Marching Out
Maximum Security
Time Odyssey
Surfing with the Alien
Second Heat
Out of the Sun

I think that’s the order of the first shred albums I bought- all on cassette, except Maximum Security which was gifted to me on vinyl.

Can’t discount the importance of VH1, Tribute and Back for the Attack, although they aren’t really shred per se.


yeah I keep remembering more.

I deffo had Tony Macalpine Maximum Security


I had that (Macalpine’s 2nd album) too! I bought the Edge Of Insanity record first - probably within a year or so of its release.

A few other of the earlier records I bought that had with some very technical guitar playing were:

Mahavishnu Orchestra - “Birds Of Fire” and “The Inner Mounting Flame” (the latter on cassette for some reason)

Al Dimeola - “Elegant Gypsy” and “Land Of The Midnight Sun”

Passion Grace And Fire - The Trio

Joe Satriani - Surfing With The Alien

Gary Moore - Victims Of The Future - I was VERY influenced by his solo in “Shapes Of Things” I especially like the machine gun-like attack of his picking on the muted low strings

Van Halen - Self titled and “Fair Warning” BTW, EVH was never one of my big influences but I have a ton of respect for is accomplishments. I bought the debut album because it had most of my favorite Van Halen songs on it and I bought Fair Warning for “Unchained” and “Mean Streets.” Eventually I also appreciated the solo in “When Push Comes To Shove.”

So I bought quite a fw of what most people would probably consider “shred records” although I don’t know that John McLaughlin or Al Dimeola would be too happy with that description :slight_smile:

These albums, especially the ones with Yngwie, all inspired me and Yngwie was a huge influence on my playing although not necessarily my songwriting.

As much as I liked these “shred albums”, my favorite albums of all were usually ones that had guitar that was passionate, fiery, and intense although not necessarily “shred.” Examples of what I mean by this are Judas Priest’s albums from the 1970s (especially Sad Wings Of Destiny), Dio’s albums (Holy Diver is one of my top 5 all time favorite albums), and everything by Queensryche from their self titled EP up to and including Empire.

These albums of bands that had amazing lead vocalists and guitarists who played reasonably difficult solos but whose emphasis was on playing great songs with solos that enhanced the songs were my favorites of all. I was fortunate enough to see Priest, Dio and Queensryche several times each.

Vivian Campbell’s solos on the Holy Diver album are very intense and passionate while also being shred or pretty close to it - especially the leads in “Don’t Talk To Strangers” and Rainbow In The Dark." If you haven’t heard those, you should!

Metallica, Megadeth, and Slayer were interesting to me because they had such fast rhythm guitar, which in 1983 was virtually unheard of. In fact, I had to by “Kill 'Em All” in an import record store because none of the other record stores in my area carried it. I have the version that was printed by Megaforce Records so it’s probably worth some money today even though I have no intention of selling it :smile:


dude i had EVERY one of the same cassettes lol (if u take out the Metallica and Megadeath)

Before I played guitar I had a GF and she had a compilation tape with “Im always gonna love you” by Gary Moore. I had no idea who it was lol. Later on I got Corridors of Power and Victims of the Future etc.

Same GF had a cassette with No Place to Run on one side and Obsession on the other. I had never heard of UFO or Michael Schenker but eventually I got way into UFO and Michaels solo stuff

I have ‘A Decade of Dio’ in my car right now. Yeah that whole first Dio solo album was amazing. One of the best “driving” albums ever.

I had the one cassette with Paco, Al, and John and to me it was just massive overkill lol

this one

to this day i still sort of have those “where is the song?” sensibilities. This is why I listen to Yngwie so much. he may not be the best songwriter but he aint that bad

to me the ideal is somewhere between Yngwie, VH, Whitesnake (with Sykes etc), Dio, Ozzy to where its still sort of ‘pop’ songwriting but with some decent shreddiness too.

The fusiony Holdsworth/Gambala kind of stuff is deffo an acquired taste. I can take it in small doses. Stuff like Dream Theater and Symphony X I just havent quite warmed up to yet.

Greg Howe is about as progressive as I can get so far lol


not “shred” per se but this is just a top 10 solo of all time. I was hearing this about a year before I started playing guitar


Yes! I feel the same way. That’s so cool that not only are we roughly the same age but the stuff we like best are bands like Dio, Priest, Queensryche, Whitesnake - bands who have great songs, great singers, and just happen to have some pretty damn impressive lead guitar as well even if it’s not necessarily “shred.” Of the guys who definitely are shred, I agree that Yngwie had the best songs of all the shredders. The innovator of the genre is usually the best!

Have you heard Savatage? Criss Oliva was a great player and their songs were good too!


I always saw the song Gutter Ballet referenced but I wouldnt know it if i heard it lol. I might have heard it once

Coming out of the VH sort of vibe I was more open to stuff like Tesla and Skid Row.

I sort of lost interest in music altogether when grunge and alternative came in an all of a sudden you could listen to radio all day and not here a solo. I didnt care so much for the sort of heroin vibe of the grunge stuff though nowadays I do dig AIC, STP, Soundgarden. Since I am a singer now too I dig some of them as much for the singers. Like I dig Chris Cornell but not so much Kin Thayil

I sort of stopped even listening to much music around 93-94 or somewhere around there. i was playing a lot of golf and I let guitar sort of sit on the back burner for a while. I would still hear a nice CD along the way like Coverdale Page etc.

When the internet came along and Napster and all of that I started rediscovering my roots etc and it was like rain falling on a dry ground lol. I had forgotten how much I loved guitar music and then even stuff I would have considered “cheesy” (Steve Stevens Atomic Playboys) was all of a sudden awesome sounding lol

Thats why i have deep respect for Yngwie. Dude does what he does and is oblivious of trends lol. Whereas a lot of our “heroes” tried to water down to accommodate trends or whatever, Yngwie kept the flag flying high

With 20 or so albums under his belt, yeah dude is bound to have some filler but he also has some great songs


Well the first guitar solo I ever fell in love with was Brian May on “Bohemian Rhapsody” but as far as proper shred goes, it might have been Vivian Campbell on Dio’s Last in Line album. Around that time was also Jari Maenpaa on the first Wintersun album. He completely blew my mind in high school. Same with Michael Romeo of Symphony X. I was also into bands like Queensryche and Fates Warning and more modern bands like Iced Earth in high school but it was more about the songwriting, riffs and the singing than the lead guitar.

I got more into the “classic” shredders in college. Malmsteen, Al Di Meola, the works.


Absolutely. The man is a true artist, He plays the music he believes in whether it’s considered trendy or not. I’ve always found it strange that some people ask “When is he going to stop playing all that classical stuff and play some blues.” It’s as strange to me as asking Clapton the opposite would be, yet I’ve never heard anyone ask “When is Clapton going to play some classical influenced music”?


yeah u bring up Clapton lol. The old double standard. “Yngwie plays the same licks for last 20 years”…meanwhile Clapton played same licks for over 50 years lol

Its funny, Clapton was about my FIRST ever knowledge of guitar. i was like 8 or 9 probably. We had the record of “Eric Clapton at His Best”


stuff like Bell Bottom Blues, Layla and the super melodramatic version of Little Wing. It made a deep impression on me.

Mom said he was the best so that was that lol. Eventually she destroyed the record because I listened to all of that lost love and heroin vibe so much I was actually becoming a depressed child lol

I just never have understood why Clapton didnt at least try to update his technique any at all…ever. I mean, when Eddie came along and was gushing over Clapton in his interviews, it would have been SO easy for EC to invite Eddie out for a week to hang out and trade licks


I wouldn’t expect Yngwie to play blues, although he’s actually not bad at it, but it would be cool if he challenged himself a little more. That said, he’s far and away my favorite player of that scene and I’ll always be a fan.


if I had a wife like his im not sure id ever play guitar


My first was some compilation of insturmental guitar music - in middle school my mom wouldn’t let me listen to music while doing homework if it had words, since she was worried it would distract me (I know, madness, but I was like 13, lol) - so I grabbed a compilation with some “shred” stuff on it, I remember Surfing with the Alien, Erotic Nightmares, some Yngwie tune… And I thought it was cool and all but it didn’t really floor me. After hearing a live version og Always With Me, Always With You, and being floored, I grabbed the full surfing album, which I thought had awesome guitar but sounded pretty dated to a kid listening to grunge in the mid 90s.

I think the first live G3 album and then Satriani’s Crystal Planet were the first two that really floored me.


Never really listened to shred
But grew up with Randy Rhodes and EVH.

I love music with a bit of shred in there but I cant get into the always fast music, I zone out.

Don’t get me wrong, I respect it and am currently studying it to a degree so I can steal what I like but as far as listening because I enjoy a whole song.
I haven’t found that to be the case.

That is all subject to change as I continue digging around


Lots of great albums have been mentioned.

Not strictly shred, but I still remember hearing Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush live in San Francisco for the first time. I was completely blown away - amazing tone and feel, blistering solos and riffs with this psych rock vibe.

And of course Al di Meola, John McLaughlin and Paco Di Lucia. They really did capture some magic on that recording.

Another that comes to mind that I bought early on was Time is the Enemy with Shawn Lane. The final track of the same name - Jesus H Christ! Just ridiculous.