JASON BECKER

Neoclassical metal / Progressive Metal / Metal Related • United States
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Born July 22, 1969, Jason Becker is a neo-classical guitarist who achieved fame at age 16 as a technical virtuoso and guitar prodigy.

As part of the Mike Varney-produced duo Cacophony with Marty Friedman. He released two albums with Cacophony, Speed Metal Symphony (1987) and Go Off! (1988). He also released a solo album titled Perpetual Burn in 1988. At 20, he was asked to join David Lee Roth's band and recorded A Lil' Aint Enough (1990). Unfortunately while gearing up for a 1990 tour, he began to feel weakness in his hands and legs. He was soon diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS - aka Lou Gehrig's Disease) and had to depart from the tour. The album he featured on, 1991's A Little Ain't Enough, went gold and it was obviously frustrating for Jason not to be able to play his songs on the road. It is often thought
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PERPETUAL BURNPERPETUAL BURN
SHRAPNEL (ORCH) 2002
$11.14
$19.70 (used)
Triumphant HeartsTriumphant Hearts
Music Theories 2018
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PerspectivePerspective
Warner Bros. Label 2013
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The Blackberry JamsThe Blackberry Jams
SHRAPNEL (ORCH) 2003
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CollectionCollection
SHRAPNEL (ORCH) 2008
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RASPBERRY JAMS, THERASPBERRY JAMS, THE
SHRAPNEL (ORCH) 2002
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JASON BECKER Discography

JASON BECKER albums / top albums

JASON BECKER Perpetual Burn album cover 4.23 | 7 ratings
Perpetual Burn
Neoclassical metal 1988
JASON BECKER Perspective album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
Perspective
Neoclassical metal 1996
JASON BECKER The Raspberry Jams album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Raspberry Jams
Neoclassical metal 1999
JASON BECKER The Blackberry Jams album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Blackberry Jams
Neoclassical metal 2003
JASON BECKER Triumphant Hearts album cover 3.17 | 2 ratings
Triumphant Hearts
Metal Related 2018

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JASON BECKER live albums

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JASON BECKER Collection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Collection
Neoclassical metal 2008

JASON BECKER singles (1)

.. Album Cover
5.00 | 1 ratings
Valley of Fire
Progressive Metal 2018

JASON BECKER movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

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The Legendary Guitar Of Jason Becker
Neoclassical metal 2007
.. Album Cover
4.50 | 1 ratings
Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet
Neoclassical metal 2012

JASON BECKER Reviews

JASON BECKER Triumphant Hearts

Album · 2018 · Metal Related
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JASON BECKER has become one of the more memorable talents of the rock universe. While beginning as a child prodigy and dazzling the world with his insanely technical and lightning fast guitar chops in the 80s with his band Cacophony, BECKER easily caught the attention of the guitar nerd’s universe and scored the highly sought after position of becoming guitarist for David Lee Roth following in the footsteps of such greats as Steve Vai and Eddie Van Halen. He managed to record on album, “A Little Ain’t Enough” with Roth before a tiny little pain in his leg was diagnosed as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease which would soon rob him of any future as a guitar player. His destiny would change quickly.

Suddenly BECKER was forced to enter a new chapter of his career long before its time. He would turn to the computer to crank out a magnum opus with what little physical ability he retained and after several years released his album “Perspective” which displayed BECKER’s many possible paths that his career could’ve taken him. Despite being condensed into a mere album’s length, BECKER displayed new aspects of his compositional creativity which seemingly were as vast as his fingers were fast. By the time the album was released in 1996, BECKER had been relegated to a wheelchair with only the ability to move his eyes. His diagnosis was to survive five years but now nearly 30 years later, he’s still alive and has finally released a new album.

While remaining out of the public eye, BECKER released the 2012 self-documentary “Not Dead Yet” which showcased this warrior’s longtime battle with ALS and how his family’s dedication had kept him from an early grave. He announced in 2016 that he would launch his TRIUMPHANT HEARTS project in the form of a crowdfunding campaign which ultimately raised more than $100,000. Once again, BECKER wrote all 14 tracks on TRIUMPHANT HEARTS on computer which display his love of classical music. Unlike his 1996 album “Perspective,” the tracks on this one are performed by a lengthy list of guest musicians including Steve Vai, Joe Bonamassa, Paul Gilbert, Neal Schon, Marty Friedman, Michael Lee Firkins, Mattias IA Eklundh, Greg Howe, Jeff Loomis, Richie Kotzen, Gus G., Steve Hunter and Ben Woods all of whom perform together on the opening single “Valley Of Fire.”

TRIUMPHANT HEARTS is quite a diverse ride through its 78 minutes of music that traverses 14 tracks. Much of the music is heavily fortified symphonic classical music as heard on the outstanding opener “Triumphant Heart” which takes a seductive folk melody and orchestrates the hell out of it, however there include several vocal tracks which include the sappy ballads “Hold On To Love” (2 versions) and a more funkified rocker “We Are One” featuring Steve Knight. “Magic Knight” is a tender acoustic guitar track that features both Uli Jon Roth and Chis Broderick. “Taking Me Back” and “Tell Me No Lies” are the only two heavy metal rockers and are both instrumental.

The rest of the album is a mixed bag. “Blowin’ In The Wind” is a rather sappy Bob Dylan cover and both versions of “River Of Longing” once again gets a little too sentimental although it features some outstanding guitar work by the guests on board. Overall i’m surprised there’s not more guitar shredding given the guest talent on board. While the one track “Valley Of Fire” does feature some finger breaking workouts, it is also quite generic in how it provides a rather basic rhythmic groove that the soloists work around. While the music itself may be a mixed bag, the production is actually really, really well done and BECKER obviously paid a lot of attention to the details.

Ah, i was hoping this would be more like “Perspective,” an album that i really love. TRIUMPHANT HEARTS while it has its merit doesn’t really take me anywhere that i want to go. This is more like a heart tugging tribute or something. While it’s cool to see BECKER still working behind the scenes in his perpetual state of paralysis, it seems perhaps his creative edge has been left somewhere in the past as well since TRIUMPHANT HEARTS doesn’t really seem to get airborne. I was really hoping for a better product and i’m a lenient critic when it comes to an album released under such circumstances but unfortunately i can’t seem to find much to latch onto on this one. While the album kicks off with an interestingly (mellow) opener, the second track as a cheesy ballad throws it off track quickly. Standout tracks are the opener, “Valley Of Fire,” “Taking Me Back” and “Tell Me No Lies.” Hopefully BECKER can find a new lease on a creative edge in the future but this one is somewhat of a disappointment.

JASON BECKER Perspective

Album · 1996 · Neoclassical metal
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Tragedy is certainly no stranger to musicians across the centuries whether it be the untimely demise of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart or the much larger list of modern rock guitarists ranging from Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Randy Rhoads or Kurt Cobain who met an untimely death before their time. Being snuffed out in your prime is one thing and as bad as it is, it has to be even monumentally worse when an artist is perched to be the best thing in his game only to suddenly be stricken with a disease that leaves him alive yet paralyzed and unable to play for the rest of his remaining life.

Such is the case of a young JASON BECKER who had taken the guitar world by storm with his insane technical shredding that found him on virtually every guitar magazine in the 80s. While creeping into the scene with Marty Friedman and their band Cacophony, BECKER cemented his status with his pyrotechnical guitar wizardry on his Shrapnel Records debut “Perpetual Burn” which found his neoclassical compositional prowess coupled with blitzkrieg guitar soloing taking him to the world of Ygnwie Malmsteem and beyond. The late 80s saw this fast riser at the mere tender age of 16, to be chosen as the next coveted guitarist for David Lee Roth following hot in the heels of Steve Vai.

BECKER’s success was all but guaranteed but then fate dealt a strange blow to this modern day Mozart. He quickly began to lose his motor skills and was soon diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. This could not come at a worse time and despite his efforts to record on Roth’s “A Little Ain’t Enough,” lost mobility so quickly that he was unable to tour. Struggling to comprehend his impending doom, BECKER was forced to make sobering decisions beyond his years and race the clock before his body would completely shut down and he would be unable to move even a single finger. 
That’s where this album PERSPECTIVE comes into the scene. Faced with his entire career stolen from him, BECKER had to take the little time he had left and dish out his magnum opus in a rather short time. This album displays an artist’s love of music and the process of losing his physical ability to move all the while the music keeps churning inside. At the beginning of recording PERSPECTIVE, BECKER had already lost a significant portion of his physical ability to play guitar and therefore took the show to the computer where he painstakingly composed the album and allowed other guest musicians to lend a helping hand.

What normally should’ve been divvied up into a lifetime of work suddenly had to be condensed into a single album and therefore PERSPECTIVE displays a completely different aspect of BECKER’s musical abilities. While already a proven composer albeit submerged beneath the cacophonous din and speed of his guitar shredding techniques, PERSPECTIVE finds BECKER in a much more relaxed and contemplative mood with not only the neoclassical leanings on display but a plethora of disparate musical genres joining in for good measure. The album includes a veritable who’s who in the music world with guests ranging from Steve Perry of Journey on guest vocals to fellow David Lee Roth drummer Gregg Bissonnette.

The album starts of with the rather odd sounding “Primal” which is about as non neoclassical guitar leaning as one could’ve imagined but instead an rhythmic African music inspired track that adds various strains of ethnic music from around the world. The guitar playing showcases BECKER’s last ability to play simple power chords before he would lose all guitar playing ability completely. The following “Rain” borrowed a guitar riff from the vaults and orchestrated it whereas the three tracks “End Of The Beginning,” Life & Death” and “Serrana” display BECKER’s love of classical music in his own unique compositional flair with multi-suite parts and outstanding musical dynamics, tempo changes and excitement. They are the crown jewels.

The album is rounded out by an outstanding a cappella version of a track BECKER had in the vaults called “Higher” and inspired by Bobby McFerrin, whose back up group Voicestra would find two members joining in for recording. “Blue” is a rather basic blues track which lightens up the thick atmosphere of the album and “Meet Me In The Morning” is a vocal led Bob Dylan cover. “Empire” is a Japanese soundtrack sounding piece. The album took nearly six years to finish and finally saw the light of day in 1996 well after the disease had completely crippled a young BECKER and left him in a wheelchair for the rest of his days but much like Stephen Hawking, his mind remained alert and continued to crank out music through his computer albeit at an infinitely slower pace than before.

PERSPECTIVE is point blank a testament to the human spirit. This album symbolizes the sheer will power to complete a project before the point of no return. It could be argued that this could be a better album than it is and those arguments would be quite valid however the point of PERSPECTIVE is not to display the talents of a normally talented composer but rather one who has been compromised beyond human comprehension. While not perfectly executed, PERSPECTIVE dishes out nine outstandingly brilliant tracks but most of all conveys his most tragic chapter in full emotional regalia.

Most of all, PERSPECTIVE displays what could’ve been. Once BECKER matured past his shredding stage, he was primed to become one of the best musicians on the scene whether it be for film soundtracks, classical performances or a continued interested in metal. This is one of the few albums that can literally bring me to tears as the notes touch deep in the soul. A perfect album perhaps not, but considering all that went into making it, the best possible album under the horrific circumstances at play. I’ve always loved this album for its uniqueness as it single-handedly unleashes nine distinct paths BECKER could’ve continued his musical talents. While only a teaser of what could have been, this is a brilliant life’s work for such a young artist faced with the impossible.

JASON BECKER Perpetual Burn

Album · 1988 · Neoclassical metal
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Jason's only solo album as a neo-classical shredder before Lou Gehrig's Disease took its toll leaving him paralyzed. I would think that everyone who loves metal has heard Jason's ridiculously talented fingers wailing up and down the scales at speeds that still make me wonder if he is half alien or something.

Although this was released as a solo album, Marty Friedman adds his additional guitar handywork and Atma Amur from Cacophony makes a reprise. The result is a full band sound and because this is totally instrumental a more satisfying (at least to me) experience than the two Cacophany albums.

This album is basically a modern day Mozartesque guitar wankfest. I for one love this kind of metal music as much as any other and if one listens to “Altitudes,” “Perpetual Burn,” “Mabel's Fatal Fable” or “Air” you will be wondering how it is possible to play this kind of music and just where Jason would be now if he hadn't been inflicted by the horrible disease that paralyzed him in his prime.

Poised to be the next huge thing in rock, this album landed him the coveted spot as guitarist with David Lee Roth after Steve Vai. The craziest thing about this album is that Jason was only 16 years old when he recorded this. OMG!

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