SONIC-RECREATION.COM high definition, high definition LP to Digital [FLAC] transfer services. A division of H8 Enterprises.

Home Catalog ***Rare & Collectible*** Order Information Contact Us About Us Site Map

Eric Johnson

Read Eric Johnson's biography

Eric Johnson - Tones [Reprise Records 9 25375-1] (1986)

LP to Digital [FLAC] transfer bundle $44.99
plus shipping

ITEM# SR-RE9253751
Ratings: C=VG; LP=VG+

Please allow two to three weeks for delivery.


Eric Johnson



Released: 1986
Label: Reprise Records
Catalog: 9 25375-1
Pressing: Allied Record Company
Genre: Rock, Pop Rock
Note: Hole-punch in album cover

T R A C K L I S T:
01 Soulful Terrain
02 Friends
03 Emerald Eyes
04 Off My Mind
05 Desert Song
06 Trail Of Tears
07 Bristol Shore
08 Zap
09 Victory
Submit a review.

Album Review

Daniel Gioffre []

Tones, Eric Johnson's first solo album, is an exceptionally strong debut, and a record that is just as good as the guitarist's breakthrough 1990 release Ah Via Musicom. Grouped with long-time compatriots Roscoe Beck and Tommy Taylor, Johnson's trademark composing voice and so-sweet electric guitar are already on full display. True to the album's title, Johnson showcases many different guitar tones, from the violin-like sustain of his trademark distortion to the bell-like timbre of his clean-toned rhythm work. Johnson also sings on five of the nine songs on Tones, and his voice is as competently expressive as ever. The second half of this record is really where it moves from being simply ''good'' to ''great.'' Emerging from Stephen Barber's almost new-agey Fairlight CMI vamp, ''Trail of Tears'' kicks into a driving groove punctuated by Johnson's chordal stabs and arpeggios and carried by one of the guitarist's best vocal melodies. The multi-tiered arrangement is also one of the high marks of Johnson's catalog. This track segues in turn into the wonderful ''Bristol Shore.'' This song features Johnson making his guitar sound like a koto as well as throwing in some impossibly in-tune upper-register licks that are played so sweetly they seem to threaten to fly off into the stratosphere (pun intended). The lack of a ''Cliffs of Dover,'' a catchy, driving instrumental showcase for Johnson's chops, does not cheapen Tones in any way. It is a beautiful and important album by one of the greatest electric guitarists ever to pick up the instrument.

Eric Johnson's Biography

Timothy Monger []

Genre-hopping guitar ace Eric Johnson emerged during the mid-'80s with a distinctive style that blended the adventurous rock chops of Jimi Hendrix with the blues power of Albert King while folding in myriad other styles and influences from jazz fusion to folk and classical. Known for his dexterity, precision, and perfectionism, he is also a singer and songwriter with a knack for writing melodic rock songs. Based in Austin, Texas, he earned a reputation throughout the late '80s and '90s as an eclectic and virtuosic player, winning a Grammy Award for his dynamic instrumental ''Cliffs of Dover'' from his breakthrough third album, Ah Via Musicom. In 1996, Johnson took part in the inaugural G3 tour alongside fellow trailblazing axemen Joe Satriani and Steve Vai while occasionally gigging with his side project, Alien Love Child. His output over the next decade consisted of previously unreleased material, live sets, and a 2005 studio LP, Bloom, that ranged from instrumental hard rock to new age and country. Throughout his career, Johnson has maintained a steady live presence in a variety of formats and facets, and his studio work in the 2010s reflected this. Although he occasionally returned to his hard rock fusion, more and more his releases turned to other interests, as on Eclectic, his 2014 blues-jazz collaboration with Mike Stern, and 2016's entirely acoustic EJ, which also saw him playing more piano. He tonally revisited that album with 2019's EJ II, a semi-acoustic full-band set that explored Americana, folk, and jazz sounds.

Growing up in Austin in the 1960s, Johnson began playing guitar at age 11 and was drawn to an unusual range of influential music from rock dynamos like Hendrix and Cream to Chet Atkins' nimble fingerpicking and jazz players like Wes Montgomery and the great Django Reinhardt. Later, the great Texas blues ace Stevie Ray Vaughan left his mark as well. After cutting a demo with a psych-rock group called Mariani in 1970 (he was only 15 at the time), Johnson spent some of his post-high school years at the University of Texas at Austin and living in Africa with his family. After returning home, he found some regional success as part of a mid-'70s fusion band called the Electromagnets, who recorded a pair of independent albums before disbanding in 1977. Unable to find a label deal for his own music, he devoted himself to session work and played on records by some high-profile artists like Carole King and Cat Stevens while also gigging locally.

The tides turned in 1984 when Johnson landed a deal with Warner Bros. through a connection to Christopher Cross. A breakout performance on Austin City Limits brought more attention his way, and he finally made his solo debut with 1986's Tones, establishing the unique mix of instrumental rock, power pop vocal tunes, and blues/jazz fusion that became his hallmark. His real breakout came four years later with 1990's Ah Via Musicom, which made a strong crossover showing on the Billboard charts and yielded his signature showpiece, ''Cliffs of Dover,'' which won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance.

Johnson's inherent perfectionism cost him some of the ground he had gained, however, and his follow-up didn't arrive until 1996. While Venus Isle made a decent chart run, its mix of rock and world music elements didn't sit as well with critics. That same year, he joined Joe Satriani and Steve Vai to complete the inaugural trio of virtuosic guitar shredders on the G3 tour. He also formed a side project called Alien Love Child, who performed occasionally and released a live album in 2000. Prior to that, a 1998 album called Seven Worlds offered up the lost material from his time with mid-'70s band the Electromagnets. Another anthology, Souvenir, appeared in 2002 and featured previously unreleased material.

Johnson finally returned to new music with 2005's Bloom, an album divided into three phases that contained such a range of styles it played almost like a compilation. Despite this, it was well-received and earned a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Instrumental Album. That same year, his 1988 Austin City Limits performance was issued on DVD and CD, and he also filmed an instructional guitar DVD called The Art of Guitar. During the 2010s, Johnson continued to evolve and explore various musical forms, beginning with 2010's rock/fusion set Up Close, followed in 2014 by the duo album Eclectic, with jazz guitarist Mike Stern. Johnson took a quieter turn on 2016's EJ, offering up the first all-acoustic release on which he also played several piano pieces and supported it with a solo tour. Collage, which featured five originals and five interpretations of songs by inspirational musical figures in Johnson's life, including Stevie Wonder, Jimi Hendrix, and the Beatles, followed in 2017. Two years later, he again visited the acoustic world with EJ II, a fuller-bodied acoustic band set with a strong Americana feel to it.
Questions or comments? Send us E-mail.
Send us E-mail
    © Copyright 2011-2020 - SONIC-RECREATION.COM is solely owned and operated by John Haight. All Rights Reserved.