PAUL GILBERT Paul The Young Dude - The Best Of Paul Gilbert/Gilbert Hotel (Mascot Roads 2004)
November 1966: Edward Brooke becomes the first black senator to be elected in the U.S.A, Jack Lynch becomes the new Irish Prime Minister, Art treasures are endangered as Florence suffers its worst floods for a thousand years, but most importantly: on the sixth day of this month we have the birth of Paul Gilbert.
Paul started playing guitar at the age of five, under the influence of his parents. Four years later he will discover Eddie Van Halen who's guitar playing will motivate him to form his first band. In 1984 he entered G.I.T (Guitar Institute of Technology) where he became a teacher, one year later (!!!). At the same time he formed his first band called "Electric Fence", which performed strictly cover songs. But destiny had other plans for this young virtuoso.
In 1986 he formed a band called "Racer-X" with which he released two albums "Street Lethal" and "Second Heat". One of his band mates at Racer-X was Scott Travis who now plays the drums for Judas Priest. More success was on the way though. In 1989 Paul joined forces with Billy Sheehan ( a phenomenal bass player), Eric Martin and Pat Torpey. The name "Mr.Big" was adapted after a song from the legendary band "Free". The band's second album contained "To Be With You", an acoustic song which brought the band #1 status in America and throughout the world. Paul remained in the band until 1996, when he decided to pursue a solo career. Since then he released six solo albums and several instrumental videos for young guitar enthusiasts.
"Paul The Young Dude" is a collection of songs from Paul's solo career. I know that plenty of you would wish that there would also be songs in this CD from the Racer-X/Mr.Big era, but believe me that this collection has plenty of nice songs which will keep you totally satisfied. Paul Gilbert is a musician who was never afraid to experiment with his music. This collection mixes Hard Rock dynamites such as "My Religion", "Down to Mexico" and "Let the Computer Decide" with more Classical influenced songs like G.V.R.O (traditional by J.S Bach) and "Gilberto Concerto". I was really happy to see that "Kate is a Star" is also included in this album (my personal favourite from Paul's solo career). This 17 track CD also contains five new tracks: "I'm Not Afraid of the Police", "I Feel the Earth move", Superloud", "Girls Who Can Read Your Mind" and &q! uot;The Second Loudest Guitar in the World" - a song which explains exactly why Paul was given the title "virtuoso".
And as if that wasn't enough, Paul also decided to release "Gilbert Hotel" - an additional ten track CD with acoustic songs where the "commercial" harmonies of "Three Times Rana" and "Black Rain Cloud"(excellent), meet the classical opus "N.F.R.O" and the brilliant cover of Genesis' "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway".
I feel that any further references are unnecessary. If you like Paul's work you need to add this CD to your collection - if you don't, you need to book an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible!
Review by John Stefanis