Joe Lynn Turner Recalls Saving Yngwie Malmsteen’s Album

During a recent chat with Marcelo Vieira, Joe Lynn Turner recalled the making of Yngwie Malmsteen’s fourth studio record ‘Odyssey,’ back in the late ’80s and discussed how the guitarist’s label asked for his help to create some commercial hits for the album.

After Turner’s successful run with Rainbow, it would be fair to say that recruiting the singer was the right call since he quickly clicked off with the band and had significant chart success. Not so surprisingly, the vocalist’s commercial success with Rainbow caught Malmsteen’s label, Polydor’s, attention.

The rocker recently discussed how the record was a highlight of his and Yngwie’s career, with strong performances and production. Then, he also recalled how the guitarist’s label contacted him, asking Joe to help out a ‘brilliant’ guitar player who couldn’t make it to the charts. Turner accepted the challenge, and the rest was history, with ‘Odyssey’ receiving commerciality and recognition on charts.

The singer’s recollection of the behind-the-scenes of ‘Odyssey’:

“‘Odyssey?’ I think it’s one of our best… his and my best work, I really do. I think song-wise, [it] is very strong, [and] production-wise. [It was] very strong performance-wise. Very strong for Yngwie and myself. I love this album, And again, in my opinion, recording it was one of the highlights of my career, and I think we tried to push each other a lot to reach higher ground.

So, for me, I believe Yngwie’s playing is very melodic off this record. His solos were really exceptional.[And] I did the job I was hired to do by [then] Polygram. They wanted Yngwie originally. They came to me and said, ‘Can you do what you did to Rainbow? You made them have some chart success. Yngwie, [a] brilliant guitar player, but he can’t get on the charts. Make some commercial songs.’

That’s what I did with ‘Heaven Tonight.’ But yet, we kept the integrity of the metal side of it. We kept the heavy side of it with ‘Riot in the Dungeons,’ ‘Deja Vu,’ [and] ‘Crystal Ball.’ I can go on and on.”

For Turner, his addition to ‘Odyssey’ was significant for the album as he helped the record turn into commercial success and make it to the charts. However, he also knew to appreciate Malmsteen’s memorable guitar riffs and performance, calling it one of the best works he and Yngwie had ever done in their careers.