Yngwie Malmsteen goes back to the blues for new album

Lightning strike: Yngwie Malmsteen (Image credit: Austin Hargrave)

Yngwie Malmsteen has announced that he’ll release his new studio album later this year.

Blue Lightning will be a blues-focused record, featuring eight covers and four brand new tracks. It’ll launch on March 29 via Mascot Records/Mascot Label Group.

Speaking about the album, Malmsteen says: “I have always played around with old songs, both live and also in the studio. I did a similar album called Inspiration a while ago and it was Mascot who came to me and suggested I do a blues record.

“I grew up in a classically trained family, and people know me for playing in what is called a neo-classical style. But when I got a guitar for my fifth birthday, what I would try to emulate were John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers – I would jam along to what they did on record with Eric Clapton.

That's something people don't realise about me – I do have a strong interest in the blues

Yngwie Malmsteen

“That's something people don't realise about me – I do have a strong interest in the blues. So, when Mascot came to me with the suggestion of doing an album of songs in this style, it didn't faze me at all. In fact, it seemed so natural.”

Malmsteen has picked out material originally recorded by artists including Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, with the guitarist explaining: “There were songs that were immediately clear I wanted to do. These were the likes of Purple Haze and Smoke On The Water which I have been playing since I was a kid. 

“But then I also went for something like While My Guitar Gently Weeps which I wasn't sure I could do. In this case, it's was about trial and error. I am delighted that I was able to do justice to the original.”

To mark the album announcement, Malmsteen has released a stream of the first material from Blue Lightning in the shape of Sun’s Up Top’s Down, which can be listened to below.

Yngwie Malmsteen: Blue Lightning
1. Blue Lightning
2. Foxey Lady
3. Demon’s Eye
4. 1911 Strut
5. Blue Jean Blues
6. Purple Haze
7. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
8. Sun’s Up Top’s Down
9. Peace, Please
10. Paint It Black
11. Smoke On The Water
12. Forever Man

Yngwie Malmsteen: Blue Lightning

Yngwie Malmsteen: Blue Lightning
Guitar virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen's new album Blue Lightning sees him going back to his blues roots, with a record featuring covers and original tracks.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.