Paul Gilbert: Five Albums That Changed My Life

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Paul Gilbert has been celebrated for his guitar virtuosity, flawless technique and jaw-dropping playing speed. But at heart, he’s still a rock guitarist who was raised on a steady diet of great music from the Seventies.

Speaking with Classic Rock, Gilbert laid out the five albums that were most essential to his development as a guitar player.

“No one can choose their biological DNA,” he tells the magazine, “but you can choose what music you listen to. I listened to these records so much when I was a kid that they shaped my musical DNA.”

You can read the complete article at Classic Rock.

Robin Trower–Bridge of Sighs (1974)
“Whenever I want to play better, I just imagine that Robin Trower is listening. I picture him standing at the mixing board and thinking, ‘Oh, this is dreadful.’ And then I’d have quit widdly-ing and start playing phrases that mean something, just so he won’t leave.”

Pat Travers–Live! Go For What You Know (1978)
“Pat Travers and Pat Thrall, for a brief time, were the coolest dual-guitar team rock has known. This album captures their amazing solo trade-offs, soaring harmonies and super-tight funk-rock rhythm arrangements.”

Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush–Live (1978)
“This album is another example of superior shred being produced before ‘shred’ was a musical term.”

Van Halen–Van Halen (1978)
“This album is just unfair to everyone. Eddie’s innate musical genius ears, combined with the athletic prowess he got from eight-hours-a-day bedroom practicing, along with an indestructible rhythmic groove developed from jamming with his brother, results in a record of non-stop jaw-dropping awesomeness.”

Led Zeppelin–The Song Remains the Same (1976)
“My mom was cool enough to take me to see The Song Remains the Same at a midnight showing. I was surprised at how boring the jams were and how few of the songs I knew. But I bought the soundtrack album anyway, and it grew on me.”