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Five Albums That Changed My Life: Jeff Scott Soto

Frontiers Records

Since the mid-’80s, Jeff Scott Soto has been one of the most sought-after melodic rock vocalists in the business.

The Brooklyn-bred 47-year-old has sat in the vocal throne for everyone from Journey and Trans-Siberian Orchestra to Yngwie Malmsteen‘s Rising Force and Talisman.

Later this month, Soto will be releasing ‘Damage Control,’ his latest solo album. Besides his soaring vocals, the record features guest appearances by Joel Hoekstra (Night Ranger), Jamie Borger and Nalle Påhlsson (Treat), Casey Grillo (Kamelot), and Dave Meniketti, founding member of Y&T.

Although he’s built his reputation singing hard rock-flavored tunes, Soto’s tastes run the gamut, from soul to salsa music. That’s why we asked him to be the latest musician to take part in Noisecreep’s ‘Five Albums That Changed My Life’ series.

‘A Night At the Opera,’ Queen (1975)

“This for me was the quintessential band of all time. They had legendary performances and songs that only one band dare conquer on a single album. The brilliance of the vocal layering on not only ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ but ‘The Prophet Song’ mixed with the novelty items such as ‘Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon’ to ‘Seaside Rendezvous,’ Queen really outdid themselves on this album and to this day it sounds absolutely stunning to me! Freddie, Brian and Roger sharing vocal duties made me yearn to have a band with multiple vocalists as the evidence of what you can do were endless.”

‘Diana Ross Presents The Jackson Five,’ The Jackson Five (1969)

“The Jackson Five’s debut album is what set the course for me to want to become a singer, I would have been all but 4-years-old when this album came out but as it was my first album when I was about 5, it impacted me to want to be “just like Mike.” The innocence captured from these “kids” is evident that they would become icons in the music world.”

‘Van Halen,’ Van Halen (1978)

“Growing up, I hated hard rock music, I listened to more like Motown and Top 40 but Eddie Van Halen single handedly changed the course of my life and musical direction when I heard the blistering ‘Eruption’ which led to the party time phenomena that was to become Van Halen. Roth was a God to all up and coming singers, not so much as a vocalist but as in how to be witty, entertain and be the King of the stage. This album is still gold to me after so many years.”

‘Evolution,’ Journey (1979)

“I remember hearing ‘Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin” for the first time thinking, “this sounds all too familiar.” Growing up listening to Sam Cooke from an early age, finally there was a singer in a rock outfit stylizing the old R&B crooning into a band with edge. Steve Perry was and still is a mentor that I too have borrowed from through my own course of being an artist. This album has slick production, smooth as silk vocals and great songs.”

‘The Grand Illusion,’ Styx (1977)

Styx was probably the first rock band that ‘did it’ for me. ‘Come Sail Away’ was in sorts an American ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and again, displayed the talents of three vocalists in one band. Dennis DeYoung, Tommy Shaw and James Young showed how diverse this formula could be. I was a massive fan and knew every word to every note on this album as well as many others by them. ‘Castle Walls’ and ‘Fooling Yourself’ are brilliant songs.”

Watch Jeff Scott Soto’s ‘Look Inside Your Heart’ Video

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‘Damage Control’ will be released on March 27 in North America via Frontiers Records. The album will be released in two configurations: the basic version in CD jewel box and a deluxe edition in digipak format. The deluxe edition contains three additional bonus tracks and a DVD with videos and interview footage. To pre-order the deluxe physical CD, click here; click here to pre-order the regular version. To pre-order the digital version of the album, please click here.

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