Steve Vai was a disciple of Frank Zappa, and there’s a great deal of the Zappa style in his playing. But Vai has surpassed Zappa in terms of technically ability, if not in the sheer creativity, prolific output, and innovation which remains the sole domain of a select few like Frank Zappa.
“For The Love Of God” is Steve Vai’s masterpiece. It was apparently written during a 10 day fast, which fits with the spiritual nature of the song.
The album version runs to 6 minutes, and the most popular live recording goes to 9. This is Vai really allowing himself the space to solo, without having to cut anything away.
The backing track is actually quite unremarkable, a cliched although pleasant soft rock stroller. This is probably intentional. The star of the song is Steve Vai’s guitar, so it’s only natural he wants all attention focused on that.
The solo was rated number 29 on Guitar World’s reader survey top 100 guitar solos.
“For The Love Of God” was released in 1990 on the album Passion & Warfare.