Ah Via Musicom

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Ah Via Musicom
Studio album by Eric Johnson
Released February 28, 1990 (1990-02-28)[1]
Recorded March 1988 – June 1989 at Riverside Sound, Arlyn Studios, Saucer One Studio in Austin, Texas; Studio Seven
Genre Instrumental rock, rock
Length 40:58[2]
Label Capitol
Producer Eric Johnson
Eric Johnson chronology
Tones
(1986)
Ah Via Musicom
(1990)
Venus Isle
(1996)
Singles from Ah Via Musicom
  1. "High Landrons"
    Released: 1990 (1990)[3]
  2. "Righteous"
    Released: 1990 (1990)[3]
  3. "Cliffs of Dover"
    Released: October 1, 1991 (1991-10-01)[4]
  4. "Trademark"
    Released: 1991 (1991)[3]

Ah Via Musicom is the third studio album by guitarist Eric Johnson, released on February 28, 1990 through Capitol Records.[1] The album reached No. 67 on the U.S. Billboard 200[3] and remained on that chart for 60 weeks.[5] All four singles charted on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart, with three of them being top 10 hits: "High Landrons" at No. 31, "Righteous" at No. 8, "Cliffs of Dover" at No. 5 and "Trademark" at No. 7. "Cliffs of Dover" went on to win the Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance at the 1992 Grammys.[6]

Overview[edit]

"Cliffs of Dover" has endured as one of Johnson's best-known songs and is a mainstay at his concerts.[7] It was ranked No. 17 in a list of "100 Greatest Guitar Solos" by Guitar World magazine,[8] No. 34 in a list of "50 greatest guitar tones of all time" by Guitarist magazine,[9] and remains a highly regarded staple within the guitar community.[10]

Several other songs are dedicated to fellow guitarists: Johnson stated in a March 1990 interview with Guitar Player magazine that "Steve's Boogie" is dedicated to Austin-based pedal steel guitarist Steve Hennig, while "Song for George" is dedicated to an 80 year-old guitarist friend of his named George Washington. Furthermore, "East Wes" is dedicated to jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery, and takes its name from the 1966 album East-West by The Paul Butterfield Blues Band.

A DVD-Audio edition of Ah Via Musicom was released in 2002 through Capitol Records, but without Johnson's input. After he expressed disappointment in the sound quality and mixing, it was soon withdrawn by the label after 2500 copies were sold.[11][12] In an August 2005 issue of Guitar Player, he confirmed that an authorized 5.1 DVD-Audio edition of the album was the works, but as of yet without a release date.[13]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[14]

Robert Taylor at AllMusic gave Ah Via Musicom 4.5 stars out of five, praising Johnson for his "excellent chops and a clear tone" and describing the album as having "reached near-classic proportions within the guitar community."[14]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Eric Johnson, except where noted. 

No. Title Length
1. "Ah Via Musicom" (Johnson, Steve Barber) 2:05
2. "Cliffs of Dover"   4:10
3. "Desert Rose" (Johnson, Vince Mariani) 4:57
4. "High Landrons"   5:46
5. "Steve's Boogie"   1:52
6. "Trademark"   4:44
7. "Nothing Can Keep Me from You"   4:23
8. "Song for George"   1:49
9. "Righteous"   3:29
10. "Forty Mile Town"   4:13
11. "East Wes"   3:30
Total length:
40:58

Personnel[edit]

  • Eric Johnsonlead vocals (tracks 3, 4, 7, 10), guitar, piano, electric sitar, arrangement, engineering, production
  • Jody Lazo – vocals (tracks 7, 10)
  • Steven Hennig – guitar (track 5)
  • Steve Barber – keyboard, synthesizer, arrangement
  • Tommy Taylor – drums (tracks 1–7, 9–11), percussion (tracks 4, 7, 10), arrangement
  • Paul Bissell – percussion (track 1)
  • James Fenner – percussion (tracks 10, 11)
  • Roscoe Beck – bass (tracks 1, 3, 7, 9, 10), arrangement
  • Kyle Brock – bass (tracks 2–6, 11), arrangement
  • Reggie Witty – bass (track 7), arrangement
  • Wee Willie – harmonica
  • Vince Mariani – arrangement
  • Richard Mullen – engineering, mixing (tracks 4, 7, 8, 10)
  • Chet Himes – engineering
  • Bob Lacivita – engineering
  • Walter New – engineering
  • Dave Parks – engineering
  • Stuart Sullivan – engineering
  • Michael Frondelli – mixing (except tracks 4, 8, 10)
  • Bernie Grundmanmastering

Chart performance[edit]

Album[edit]

Year Chart Position
1990 Billboard 200 67[3]

Singles[edit]

Year Title Chart Position
1990 "High Landrons" Billboard Mainstream Rock 31[3]
"Righteous" 8[3]
1991 "Cliffs of Dover" 5[3]
"Trademark" 7[3]

Awards[edit]

Title Event Award Result
"Cliffs of Dover" 1987 Grammys Best Rock Instrumental Performance Nominated[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Eric Johnson - Ah Via Musicom CD". CD Universe. Retrieved 2014-03-27.
  2. ^ Ah Via Musicom (CD release "CDP 7 90517 2").
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Ah Via Musicom - Eric Johnson | Awards". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2014-11-11.
  4. ^ "Cliffs of Dover - Eric Johnson". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2014-03-27.
  5. ^ "Eric Johnson - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 2014-03-27.
  6. ^ a b "34th Grammy Awards - 1992". Rock On The Net. Retrieved 2014-03-27.
  7. ^ "Eric Johnson Concert Setlists & Tour Dates". setlist.fm. Retrieved 2014-03-27.
  8. ^ Guitar World Staff (2008-10-21). "100 Greatest Guitar Solos: No. 17 "Cliffs of Dover" (Eric Johnson)". Guitar World. NewBay Media. Retrieved 2013-09-16.
  9. ^ "The 50 greatest guitar tones of all time... ever!" | Eric Johnson - Cliffs Of Dover, Ah Via Musicom (1990)". Guitarist. Future plc. 2010-11-02. Retrieved 2013-09-16.
  10. ^ Stone, Doug. "Cliffs of Dover - Eric Johnson". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
  11. ^ Lieck, Ken (2002-03-29). "Dancing About Architecture". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2014-11-11.
  12. ^ Lieck, Ken (2002-06-21). "Ah, DIY DVD". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2014-11-11.
  13. ^ Leslie, Jimmy (August 2005). "Obsessive Perfectionist Eric Johnson Is Trying Go With the Flow". Guitar Player. NewBay Media. Archived from the original on 2008-01-03. Retrieved 2014-11-11.
  14. ^ a b Taylor, Robert. "Ah Via Musicom - Eric Johnson". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2014-11-11.

External links[edit]