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Steve Smith And Vital Information

In addition to serving as the drummer of one of the all-time definitive arena rock acts, Journey (during their most successful period from the late '70s through the early '80s), Steve Smith has also played with a wide range of other artists. Born on August 21, 1954 in Brockton, MA, Smith began drumming at the age of nine, when he took lessons from respected big-band drummer and instructor Bill Flanagan. Subsequently, Smith played a variety of musical styles (swing, R&B, hard rock, fusion, big band, etc.), and enrolled at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. In October of 1976, Smith signed on with jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, touring as a member of his band, and appearing on the album Enigmatic Ocean (1977). After briefly serving as the drummer for Ronnie Montrose's band in 1978, Smith was invited to join Journey, who were in the midst of a musical switch -- from fusion to arena rock. The group couldn't have picked a better-suited (and versatile) drummer than Smith, as he manned the kit on such mega-hit albums as Evolution (1979), Departure (1980), Escape (1981), and Frontiers (1983), during which time Journey became one of the U.S.' most successful rock bands.

But at the peak of Journey's success, Smith was fired by singer Steve Perry (who supposedly wanted to go in a more "soulful" direction). Undeterred, Smith shifted his attention to the more musically challenging and varied outfit Vital Information, which he had founded in 1983 while still a member of Journey. Vital Information issued albums on a regular basis throughout the '80s (including such standout titles as Global Beat and Live Around the World: Where We Come from Tour 1998-1999, among others). He also joined the all-star jazz/rock outfit Steps Ahead in 1986 and stayed with them until 1993. Smith joined a reunited Journey (who had been on hiatus since 1987) during the late '90s, resulting in a brand new studio album, Trial by Fire (1996), and a proposed world tour. But on the eve of the tour, Perry discovered that he had a degenerative hip condition, and the tour was ultimately scrapped entirely. In addition to his recording with Journey and Vital Information, Smith has either recorded or toured with Steps Ahead, Randy Brecker, Allan Holdsworth, Frank Gambale, Stanley Clarke, Mariah Carey, Ahmad Jamal, Stuart Hamm, Tony MacAlpine, Dweezil Zappa, Y&T, and many others. Smith also enjoys helping other drummers, as he has given clinics all over the world throughout the years (even issuing an instructional video in 1987), and was voted "Number One All-Around Dummer" in Modern Drummer Magazine's reader's poll from 1987 though 1991. In 2001, Modern Drummer again voted for Smith, but this time he was among one of the Top 25 Drummers of All Time; the next year the magazine voted Smith into their Hall of Fame.

Among Vital Information's most notable albums of the '90s and 2000s are Vitalive! (1991), Easier Done Than Said (1992), Ray of Hope (1996), Show 'Em Where You Live (2002), and Come on In (2004). ~ Greg Prato, Rovi
full bio

Comments

lamontlittle 2 2
Love Steve his dual performance with victor wooten proves how versatile he is. And he is a monster drummer and his drum history knowledge is second to none. He knows stuff that most drummers dont. A true student of the art of drumming.
schnar, u didn't understand the post.
Neal Peart is one of the best all around drummers out there? really? Don't listen very closely to a lot of drummers, do you, shawn.
The best all around drummer out there besides neal peart.
ahpitre
Even when he played with Journey, he always was melodical and very original. His beats, and fills were always different than what other drummers of soft/pop rock played, And his feel for playing the emotional/po w e r ballad is one of the all time greatest. Not to mention seeing him live, where he expanded the music, and played awesome drum solos. That's what's great about Steve Smith, he can play any genre, and dominate it with amazing technique, speed, but most important melodically and original.
Great band.
when ya get da time view this: http://www.y o u t u b e . c o m / w a t c h ? v = B t 7 c U 5 C R p K 0
The 2 times I've had the honor of meeting and seeing Steve in clinic, solidified him in my top 5 drummers of all time. His command of any genre he chooses to play is simply awe inspiring!
If you can run down a copy of two albums:

KIT WALKER:DANCI N G ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD
KIT WALKER:FIRE IN THE LAKE

...Steve Smith on drums.Steve Smith DOMINATES! Powerful albums with powerful players.None more so than the drummer.
The main thing he probably got out of playing with Journey ,is RICH.
riker401
In this world of music, Hats off to Steve Smith for his multi level in music style
Which gave him a position to work with other well know performers I seen him with
Journey back in the 80's, Steve rock-on brother.
anthonysaint a m a n t
Mr. Smith has persevered. "Wise words stand the test of time. And his word are wise.."
wfatstein57
GeoE,do you realize how much money he made with Journey?
GeoE, no music is a waste of time. come on
good jazz, too bad he wasted time w/journey, if you like 'em great. He does play well though.
gr1howard
Killin'
kounsellor
Forgotten in this bio is SS's truly inspiring double DVD "Drumset Technique/Hi s t o r y of the U.S. Beat" which came out in 2002. It quickly became a staple for many drummers (including myself; along with muscular therapy, it helped save my drumming career from tendonitis). Smith is also a very nice and generous person, and seems to have survived his years in the insanity of the music business quite well. Bravo for Steve Smith.

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