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 (opens in new tab)

Yngwie Malmsteen: Blue Lightning (opens in new tab)
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 more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.