Considering the career that Billy Sheehan has behind him, it is very surprising that this is his first solo attempt. Perhaps that is because his reputation has lead him to perform in many bands and to make many guest performances like his jaunt with Steve Vai on this summer’s G3 tour.
Fans across generations are very well aware of his capabilities on bass from bands like Talas, bandmates like David Lee Roth, Steve Vai, and Paul Gilbert, and progressive releases on Magna Carta. Thus, there was no question that Compression (Favored Nations) would showcase his full potential. What is surprising, however, is that aside from a few guest appearances like drummer Terry Bozzio’s performances on “Oblivion” and “Bleed Along the Way,” and former and current touring bandmate Steve Vai’s guitar solo on “Chameleon,” Sheehan has taken on the entire album himself. Proving his versatility as an artist, his bass and ultra bass sounds are arranged with his own soulful and passionate vocals, fluid and at times outrageous guitars, and drum programming to drive the beat home.
The new album, which has already hit the shelves in Japan with an extra bonus track, will be distributed through Red Distributions’ Red Ink division in the US with an anticipated August 21 release. Songs like the intoxicating “Somethin’s Gotta Give,” the upbeat “One Good Reason,” and the deep blues seduction, “Perfect Groove,” will leave fans from any era of his career wanting more, and from the looks of his upcoming release schedule, they will get it. On the way are new releases from Mr. Big and Niacin as well as an instrumental bass album and an experimental bass and drum album with Terry Bozzio.