Passion and Warfare

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Passion and Warfare
Studio album by Steve Vai
Released September 1990 (1990-09)[1]
Recorded The Mothership
Genre Instrumental rock
Length 53:15
Label Relativity/Epic
Producer Steve Vai
Steve Vai chronology
Flex-Able Leftovers
Passion and Warfare
Sex & Religion
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[1]

Passion and Warfare is the second studio album by guitarist Steve Vai, released in September 1990 through Relativity and Epic Records. It has been certified Gold by the RIAA. It was written based on a series of dream sequences that Vai had when he was younger, and in the guitar music book of the album, Vai sums it up as "Jimi Hendrix meets Jesus Christ at a party that Ben Hur threw for Mel Blanc". It was all recorded in The Mothership studio at his home in the Hollywood Hills, a 1,600-square-foot (150 m2) building in which his guitar parts for Whitesnake's 1989 album Slip of the Tongue were also recorded. As such, Whitesnake frontman David Coverdale has small spoken parts on Passion and Warfare.

Vai utilized many unusual recording techniques on the album. For what would come to be one of his most popular songs to date, "For the Love of God", he fasted for ten days and recorded the song on the fourth day of the fast.[2] "Blue Powder" was originally recorded in 1986 as a showcase track for Carvin, using their X-100B amplifier, and given away with Guitar Player magazine in flexi disc format. Vai was introduced to Carvin by his mentor Frank Zappa, who had also used the X-100B. The drums were subsequently re-recorded for the album.[3]

The equipment used to record Passion and Warfare was: Ibanez JEM and Universe guitars; Charvel Green Meanie guitar; Marshall JCM900 and Carvin X-100B amplifiers; ADA MP-1 preamplier; Boss DS-1 distortion pedal; Eventide H3000 harmonizer; Lexicon 480L.

The song "For the Love of God" is available for download for the 2007 video game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, and was voted the 29th best solo of all time by a readers' poll in Guitar World magazine.[4]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Steve Vai. 

No. Title Length
1. "Liberty"   2:03
2. "Erotic Nightmares"   4:15
3. "The Animal"   4:01
4. "Answers"   2:56
5. "The Riddle"   6:24
6. "Ballerina 12/24"   1:43
7. "For the Love of God"   6:03
8. "The Audience Is Listening"   5:30
9. "I Would Love To"   3:41
10. "Blue Powder"   4:44
11. "Greasy Kid's Stuff"   2:58
12. "Alien Water Kiss"   1:10
13. "Sisters"   4:07
14. "Love Secrets"   3:40
Total length:


  • Nancy Fagen – vocals & hysteria (track 8)
  • Jamie Firlotte – boy vocals (track 8)
  • David Coverdale – background vocals
  • Rudy Sarzo – background vocals
  • Adrian Vandenberg – background vocals
  • Pascal Fillet – background vocals
  • Laurel Fishman – background vocals
  • Lillian Vai – background vocals
  • Pam Vai – background vocals
  • Joel Kaith – background vocals
  • Corky Tanassy – background vocals
  • Jamie Kornberg – background vocals
  • Lauren Kornberg – background vocals
  • Corinne Larue – background vocals
  • Famin' – background vocals
  • Darla Albright – background vocals
  • Laura Gross – background vocals
  • Rupert Henry – background vocals
  • Suzanna Harris – background vocals
  • Julian Angel Vai – background vocals

Chart performance[edit]

Year Chart Peak position
Australian Albums Chart[5] 25
Billboard 200[6] 18
Canadian RPM Top Albums[7] 27
Dutch Albums Chart[5] 32
New Zealand Albums Chart[5] 12
Swedish Albums Chart[5] 27
Swiss Albums Chart[5] 35
U.K. Albums Chart[8] 8


Country Provider Certification
Canada[9] CRIA Gold
U.K.[10] BPI Silver
USA[11] RIAA Gold


External links[edit]