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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
25
4.8 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 29 September 2000
This is not just an album of simply breathtaking guitar work - though there's plenty of that;what this album is really about is stunning composition. Eric Johnson serves up so many gorgeous melodies here,on guitar and vocals,you're left reeling by the time "Venus reprise" washes over you.This is a finely crafted piece of work with one of the greatest finales ever recorded. It's possible to enjoy this music on several levels too - the vocals are strong enough to make it accessable,whilst the sheer virtuosity of Johnson's guitar playing presents a feast to all musos. I think "Lonely in the Night" may contain the most exquisite epic guitar solo of all time...seriously. You'd better buy this and decide for yourself!
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VINE VOICEon 13 July 2004
I must have bought this album 5 times! I have one framed on my wall, beneath the original lithograph of it's beautiful front cover, because it really is that good.
Venus Isle is by far the best CD in my collection, and it's up against some stiff competition, from some amazing musicians, like Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Dream Theater, Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Eric Johnson is my favourite guitarist and musician, and this album is a clear showcase of what he is capable of. The most outstanding thing when you listen to mr Johnson is, of course, his tone. On this album it is perfect, and if you concentrate hard on what the different instruments are doing in each song, you'll never hear any tone you don't like the sound of.
Venus Isle is a brilliantly ballanced combination of vocal tracks and instrumentals, so there's never a moment when you'll be thinking "oh god, another guitar solo". Eric has such good taste, the song arrangements are flawless, and the different moods and vibes expressed throughout the album blend seemlessly.
He has a good singing voice too, and writes good songs. The best piece on there is Lonely In The Night, written by EJ and Vince Mariani, and it hosts the best guitar solo I have heard. This is the sort of album suitable for a variety of tastes, and it is equally at home as background music for a dinner with friends, as it is being something to fully concentrate on, something to take your mind on a journey.
Venus Isle is ageing brilliantly - it will always sound fresh, and you will always hear something new every time you put it on.
This is guitar music for everyone, not guitar music for guitarists. 5 stars doesn't seem enough!
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on 5 June 2006
My second Johnson CD I bought was Venus Isle. Released 6 years after Ah Via Musicom I didn't really know what to expect, 6 years is a long way to go and enough time for lots of changes in style ...

Looking at the songs, you'll find there Manhattan and Camel's Night Out, Johnson played these two on the G3 tour with JS and SV. And for me, they are classics.

This is an excellent album. The first two songs are beautiful (Venus Isle, Battle We Have Won) and the following ones are of the same high quality. On the cover you can read that EJ is called Baron Von Tone, well, listening to how he can play and how it sounds, you cannot disagree. Don't expect any races, you will find nice melodic songs with very technical solos, you will find guitar sound that is just one of it's kind.
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on 14 January 2003
One word sums up this album; Amazing. It's one of the best albums I've heard and there's not one negative thing I can say about it. Ok, some songs sound a little similar but is there a guitarist that can make themselves sound totally different in one style of music? This is an album worthy of any music fan's collection. I bought this album out of curiousity to see what Eric Johnson was like (I'd only heard about 6 of his songs previously) and all I can say it was money well spent. Satriani was one of my favourite guitarists up until now but I find Eric's music a lot more relaxing and easy to listen too. He's got a nice voice on tracks he performs vocal duties on. If you're into laid back soft rock/rock and melodic instrumentals, this album is for you.
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on 7 November 1999
Full of spanking good tunes. Eric's playing has matured over the years, but has lost none the early "attack" - rather it has mellowed. My favourites are "Manhattan" and "Camel's Night Out" - these have a rocky/jazzy feel and his fluttering guitar style really shines. "SRV" is a homage to the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughn - a real trip down memory lane. Vocal numbers such as "Where the Sun Meets the Sky" and "All About You" embody the mood of late 90's (and I hate to use the term) AOR.
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on 8 July 2000
What can you say about an album which has everything? The tone which is as close to perfection as one could possibly get, the guitar playing is quite simply phenominal, the different styles used to make each track different, the addition of such subtle singing, this album is a must for anyone who claims to be 'a music fan'. My personal favourites, are "venus isle", "battle we have won", "SRV", "manhatten","song for lynette", "when the sun meets the sky", and "pavilion" - this should convey to anyone, how much I rate this CD as there is only 4 tracks left to mention, and that is only because I cannot fit the titles of the songs in. This is quite possibly the best CD I have every heard. AWESOME!
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on 16 June 2002
oh my god, ive always beena rock/blues fan and was recently introduced to joe satriani and steve vai. Whilke their music is excellent and technically dazzling, i was sometimes left wanting by their music. A friend then recommended eric johnson and this album. WOW! If you have any sense and can afford it then buy it, its that simple. Thank me later.
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on 12 September 2000
What can you say about this album, it has everything any music lover needs, real tone and feeling, depth in playing, it rocks from blues through 2 jazz and rock this is the ultimate CD, the best i have ever bought. Rock on
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on 7 September 2004
I actually purchased this album based on the reviews I read here at Amazon, and I have to agree this is a fantastic piece of work. Technically, the playing throughout this album is outstanding, but complexity of the guitar is hardly noticed because it fits so well within the song. At no point do you find yourself saying, 'he only put that bit in to show off' - as with many virtuoso guitarists. You will find yourself singing songs from here all day, and wonder why this album isn't issued as standard with every CD player!
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on 2 November 2004
Venus Isle stands proud in my music collection. The the mood and quality of the arrangements are just perfect. I've had this album for many years now and I always go back to it with the same enthusiasm as when I first played it. The work is timeless with soaring guitar solos that lift your soul. Just perfect notes and tones all the way. This gem of an album remains undiscovered by many. My only regret is that Chis Johnson has never been able to recapture this magic formula, but maybe thats what makes it so special.
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