Five Records That Changed My Life, Part 48: Micky Crystal

British guitarist Micky Crystal has been the lead guitarist for NWOBHM veterans Tygers of Pan Tang and has also played with Marco Mendoza and Bumblefoot. Roppongi Rocks’ Stefan Nilsson asked Micky what five albums rocked his world.

Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin, Paco de Lucia “Friday Night in San Francisco” (1981)

“I was introduced to this album by my dad when I was starting to take an interest in the guitar. I must have been about 13. I was stunned hearing this for the first time. I was hearing things that I didn’t think were possible on the guitar. I still listen to this album now and it still has the same impact as when I first heard it. You can hear the audience reaction throughout the record and there’s an aspect to it where you can hear that all three guitarists seem to be having lot of fun. Amazing and exciting album that I think all guitar players need to hear.”

Metallica “Master of Puppets” (1986)

“I bought this album on a total whim. It was my introduction to Metallica. I bought every album I could get hold of after hearing this but ‘Master of Puppets’ is my favourite Metallica album. I remember hearing the guitar harmony section in the track ‘Master of Puppets’ and thinking it was one of the most stunning things I’d heard. The opening acoustic guitars of ‘Battery’ through to the relentlessness of ‘Damage, Inc’. Front to back the album is a masterpiece in my opinion.”

Stevie Ray Vaughan “Texas Flood” (1983)

“Without a doubt my biggest guitar hero. I remember being floored by how much energy Stevie Ray played with. I bought ‘Texas Flood’ and studied that album front to back learning how to play that shuffle rhythm of ‘Pride and Joy’ through to learning jazz chords on tracks like ‘Lenny’ and of course the blues with tracks like ‘Texas Flood’. That album had such a huge impact on me as a player. Stevie played with such fire where every note meant something whether he was playing 1 or 100.”

Led Zeppelin “Led Zeppelin IV” (1971)

“When I first started playing the guitar, the blues was what interested me playing wise but I’d listened to a lot of rock and metal prior to playing. Led Zeppelin were that perfect mix of blues and rock. Tracks like ‘Black Dog’ had a huge impact on me. I used to jam on ‘Rock and Roll’ all of the time too. It might be cliché but I have to mention THAT solo… ‘Stairway to Heaven’ is one of my favourite guitar solos of all time. Every note is perfect.”

Mr. Big “Lean Into It” (1991)

“I first heard Mr. Big when I was about 16 or 17 and I loved how they fused incredible technique and chops with great songs. Every song on that album is amazing, I have a real soft spot for the track ‘Road to Ruin’. That vocal harmony intro and then bam straight into that Purple-ish groove, so cool! I have to mention “Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy (The Electric Drill Song)” too as that was one of the first tracks I heard by them and I spent so much time jamming on that song.”