Edge of Insanity


Edge of Insanity is the first studio album by guitarist Tony MacAlpine, released in 1986 through Shrapnel Records. In 2014, nearly thirty years after its release, MacAlpine performed the album in full during a series of shows in California and Baja California.[2]

Edge of Insanity
Tony MacAlpine - 1986 - Edge of Insanity.jpg
Cover art by Guy Aitchison
Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 1986 (1986-01)
StudioPrairie Sun Recording Studios in Cotati, California
GenreInstrumental rock, neoclassical metal
ProducerMike Varney
Tony MacAlpine chronology
Edge of Insanity
Project: Driver
Alternative cover
Japanese edition
Japanese edition

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [3]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal4/10[4]
Kerrang!     [5]

In a contemporary review, Paul Henderson of Kerrang! defined MacAlpine's technical abilities on guitar and piano as "quite phenomenal", but found his playing "totally cold" and with "a serious lack of rock 'n' roll attitude", while, in contrast, praised "the masterful, superbly sympathetic, yet also inspired" performance of bassist Billy Sheehan and drummer Steve Smith.[5]

Andy Hinds of AllMusic described Edge of Insanity as following "the rough blueprint of Yngwie [Malmsteen]'s model" and praised MacAlpine's "impressive licks" and "exciting guitar/keyboard interplay". However, he remarked that "his second album, Maximum Security, is much better."[3] Canadian journalist Martin Popoff gave the same judgement, but considered Edge of Insanity "nicely intimate, versatile and not embarassingly recorded."[4]

In a 2009 article by Guitar World magazine, Edge of Insanity was ranked fourth on the all-time top ten list of shred albums. The staff wrote: "The album that launched Mike Varney's Shrapnel Records, Edge of Insanity shows off Tony MacAlpine's fearsome shred chops not only on the six-string ("Quarter to Midnight") but also on the ivories ("Chopin, Prelude 16, Opus 28")."[6]

Track listingEdit

All music is composed by Tony MacAlpine, except where noted.

Side one
1."Wheel of Fortune"3:43
2."The Stranger"3:59
3."Quarter to Midnight (Live Solo)"2:24
5."Empire in the Sky "5:54
Side Two
6."The Witch and the Priest"3:33
7."The Taker"3:22
8."Chopin, Prelude 16, Opus 28" (Frédéric Chopin)1:20
9."Edge of Insanity"4:18
10."The Raven"4:13
11."No Place in Time"4:00
Total length:41:17
Japanese edition bonus track[7]
12."Birds of Prey (Billy's Boogie)"3:45
Total length:45:02
^† – On some reissues of the album, "Empire in the Sky" is split into two tracks.




  1. ^ Edge of Insanity (CD release "SH-1021cd").
  2. ^ "New Southern California Dates!". tonymacalpine.com. Retrieved 2014-02-13.
  3. ^ a b Hinds, Andy. "Tony Mac Alpine - Edge of Insanity review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 2017-08-13.
  4. ^ a b Popoff, Martin (1 November 2005). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 2: The Eighties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. p. 205. ISBN 978-1894959315.
  5. ^ a b Henderson, Paul (29 May 1986). "Tony MacAlpine - 'Edge of Insanity'". Kerrang!. No. 121. p. 18.
  6. ^ Guitar World Staff (7 September 2009). "Top 10 Shred Albums of All Time". Guitar World. Archived from the original on 28 May 2011. Retrieved 2017-08-13.
  7. ^ MacAlpine, Tony. "Session notes: Edge of Insanity". tonymacalpine.com. Archived from the original on 2010-01-17. Retrieved 2014-02-13.

External linksEdit

  • In Review: Tony MacAlpine "Edge Of Insanity" at Guitar Nine Records