As I’ve been thinking about Eddie Van Halen over the past couple of days, the sheer number of artists whose careers arguably might not have existed if not for him is pretty amazing. A whole genre of virtuosic guitar technicians came about, with almost classical-style instrumental compositions. There was a time in my musical journey when I listened to a lot of these artists. Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, John Petrucci, Yngwie Malmsteen and Paul Gilbert. Not that I don’t still appreciate their various styles, but very few people can listen to an entire album of what they do. Today’s selection reminds me of when all I wanted was to be able to replicate their high octane shredding. My tastes, and playing style, have mellowed and diversified a lot since, but it’s still fun to hear someone with face-melting speed from time to time.