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Major Impacts

4.5 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 11 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Music
  • ASIN: B00004U05A
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #79,435 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Derailleur Gears
2. Well, I Have
3. TruthOla
4. Migration
5. Led On
6. The White Light
7. How Does It Feel?
8. Bring It To Me
9. Something Gently Weeps
10. Free In The Park
11. Prognosis

Product Description

With Major Impacts, Dixie Dregs/Kansas/Deep Purple vet Steve Morse attempts to give fans an aural portrait of the origins of his wide-ranging style. Rather than merely perform tunes associated with this guitar hero's guitar heroes, he has composed 11 tunes that reflect the styles of his influences. "Derailleur Gears" sets the tone, managing the tricky feat of evoking Cream-era Clapton without sounding like a slavish imitation. Stylists from Jimi Hendrix to Roger McGuinn to John McLaughlin are represented here, and all are readily recognizable. "TruthOla," a tribute to Jeff Beck, Eric Johnson, and Alex Lifeson, falters only in its homage to the original Beck, offering the legato leads of Johnson and the suspended chords of Lifeson, but none of the riding-the-ragged-edge surprise of the Great One. Morse's greatest success, though, is creating a collection of instrumentals that will please even nonguitarists. --Michael Ross

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The thing I like most about "Major Impacts" is that the songs stand up even if you don't know Morse is aping the sytles of other guitarists. Everyone knows Morse is a great technician when it comes to playing, but his compositional skill on these tracks is impressive, even when--as in the case of "Derailleur" and "Truth Ola"--I have trouble connecting the sound to Creem and Jeff Beck, respectively. It doesn't matter.
My favorite cuts are probably the last two on the CD, "Free in the Park" and "Prognosis". The first lays down a nice bluesy Allman Brothers groove, and the second is an intricate Prog Rock sendup of (mostly) Yes and (a little) Kansas. Listen carefully, BeBop Deluxe fans, and you might hear one or two Bill Nelsonesque glissandos. Great stuff.
In fact, I wish Morse would have been a little more progressive on this album, he has progressive roots, and Magna Carta is a progressive label. For example, I'd like to see him play in the vein of Steve Hackett when he was with Genesis and wouldn't mind hearing him try something even less commerical, like Alan Holdsworth.
However, the biggest disappointment for me, and to keep it in perspective, it's only one out of eleven tracks, is the Byrds' influenced cut, "Migration". Morse has the jingle jangle rhythmic sound down, but I would have liked it more if he would have played lead in the style of Roger McGuinn when McGuinn was at his peak as a player. The lead in "Eight Miles High" is a good example, but there are plenty of others spread out all over the "Fifth Dimension" and "Younger than Yesterday" albums.
Oh, well, you can't have everything. Fans of good guitar playing and solid instrumental composition will like this one.
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Format: Audio CD
Most of Steve Morse's albums sound dated, as if they were recorded in the height of the eighties' hair-band guitar pyrotechnics extravanganzas, even when they were recorded during the reign of alternative Seattle grunge bands. Granted, Morse does that whole arena guitar power instrumental better than almost anyone, but sometimes it just sounds a little goofy to hear that power metal in the context of music that's moved on with the times. "Major Impacts", however, is Morse's greatest work. Each song is an original piece meant to pay homage to the guitar heroes of the past -- guitar heroes who happen to have remained timeless. Duane Allman, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, John McLaughlin, and George Harrison are among those honored here. These are guitarists who, despite having made music decades ago, have a style and sound that doesn't strike the listener as dated.
Their impacts have certainly inspired Morse. Half the fun of this album is listening to Morse, one of the greatest rock guitarists ever, play like his heroes. His comprehensions of the various styles of these guitarists is quite adept, and it is fun listening to him quote these guitarists' works throughout the album. But the real fun is in the fact that all of these songs are original, and as much as Morse is playing in the style of these guitarists, it's still Steve Morse. It takes a lot of talent to play in an immediately recognizablt style of one particular guitar god without resorting to mere copying, and Morse pulls it off brilliantly. This album is very rewarding for anyone who is a fan of the eighties instrumental rock, but also to anyone who is a fan of guitars in general. This is perhaps Morse's only timeless album.
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Format: Audio CD
Yet again, Steve Morse serves up a batch of sunny, hard rocking guitar tunes perfect for a cruise with the windows down. Yet again he's found a midway point between axe-fests for guitarists to drool over and brilliant songwriting for anyone to enjoy. Heck, if you look at my review for Stressfest you'll see I'm repeating myself trying to describe it. But if Steve's been showing some similarities among his solo albums, it's only because he's been doing things right all along.
The gimmick this time, as you undoubtedly read on this page before now, is that Steve gives each of his compositions here a different 'flavor' based on a guitarist that's influenced him. Not covers, not blatant rip-offs, but a blend of their style and his own that, in almost all cases, works wonderfully. I've even thought some of them would work as duets - some acoustic picking from John McLaughlin would be icing on the cake of "The White Light," while the only thing missing from "Truth-Ola" is Eric Johnson's sweet guitar tone that Steve doesn't (and shouldn't) exactly match. That song, by the way, to me is also the only one that doesn't quite fit the style of (one of) its influences; in this case, Jeff Beck. The Allman Brothers homage "Free in the Park" partly hits its target, but at first I guessed it was also a nod to David Gilmour's early work in Pink Floyd.
While other guitarists will find plenty of ripping note frenzies to appreciate (Check "Led On" for starters), don't be scared off by Major Impacts being a guitar-based album. It loses half a star from me - or would, if half-star ratings were allowed - just because of "Something Gently Weeps," and I can't give it quite the opinion of perfection I have for Structural Damage and High Tension Wires. However, it's a petty squabble comparing any of Steve's albums since I've never heard the man do anything less than brilliant. You can't really go wrong with any of them.
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