Joe Lynn Turner reveals what he feels was the key in working with Yngwie Malmsteen & Ritchie Blackmore
Former Rainbow and Yngwie J. Malmsteen lead vocalist Joe Lynn Turner was recently interviewed by Andrew Daly for Metal Castle. Turner was promoting his new studio album Belly of The Beast, which was released via Music Theories on October 28, 2022.
The singer was in Rainbow from 1980 to 1984 during which the band released the studio albums Difficult To Cure (1981), Straight Between The Eyes (1982) and Bent Out of Shape (1983). He was in Malmsteen‘s band from 1987 to 1989 and handled the lead vocals on the studio album Odyssey (1988).
Turner was asked what it was like to manage the larger than life personalities of Rainbow guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and guitar virtuoso Yngwie J. Malmsteen to which he replied (with slight edits):
“They both can be difficult, but anybody looking for perfection is difficult. And there is no such thing, in my opinion, as perfection because I believe you have to be perfectly imperfect. But I’d have to say that Ritchie was always very song-oriented; he was always playing for the song. And I think Yngwie wasn’t necessarily aware of that before I came into the band. And Polygram put me with him to do what I had done with Rainbow to make Yngwie a bit more popular on the charts. In other words, they wanted me to make Yngwie more commercial, which we did within the Odyssey record. I think that while Ygnwie was difficult, he did become more song-oriented once I joined the band. And I think that’s what prompted the success, but since we parted ways, for one reason or the other, he’s mostly gone back to his old ways.
Yngwie is a bit stubborn, but I like Yngwie a lot. He’s a very gifted guy, and he’s got a personality that can be harsh, but he can also be a teddy bear. So, it was an interesting experience working with Ritchie and Yngwie and something I will never forget. I always told people that to communicate with these guys; I needed to be a psychologist. [Laughs]. And I have to be a ringmaster, who gets a whip and a chair and goes into the lion’s cage to deal with these people to get my point across. But the key was making them think that my ideas were their ideas. But it was never about my personal gain; it was me trying to get us to a place where we did things that benefited the situation we were all in. Because when you’re working with these guys, ego is a huge part of the equation. In other words, I’d have to convince them and say, “Look, this is the hook. This is the chorus. This is what we need people to walk away singing from this thing.” I was never about the credit; I was always just about getting the job done.”
You can read the rest of the interview with Joe Lynn Turner at Metal Castle‘s website.
Rainbow‘s “Stone Cold” video (from Straight Between The Eyes album):
Yngwie J. Malmsteen‘s “Heaven Tonight” video (from Odyssey album):