Joe Satriani

Joe Satriani was one of the best, most influential rock guitarists of the late '80s. Before Satriani became a recording star, however, he taught guitar is San Francisco. Some of his students are: Metallica's Kirk Hammett, Steve Vai, and Larry LaLonde of Primus.

Not of this Earth Joe Satriani - Not of this Earth (Relativity) 1986

1. "Not of This Earth" (3:55)
2. "Snake" (4:40)
3. "Rubina" (5:50)
4. "Memories" (4:00)
5. "Brother John" (2:07)
6. "Enigmatic" (3:25)
7. "Driving at Night" (3:30)
8. "Hordes of Locusts" (4:55)
9. "New Day" (3:56)
10. "Headless Horseman" (1:50)

Joe's first full length studio release is simply phenomenal. I bought this as a new release when I was in college. It was the disc that we usually rocked late at night when we wanted to chill. This disc is more atmospheric than anything Joe would do from here on out. Most importantly, Satriani knows how to write songs, not just drum beats with solos on top making this disc one that appeals to more than just musicians. Not a bad song on this one. "Not of this Earth "was released with two different cover, this one is the original, the other featured a photo of Joe and was changed after his popularity exploded.

Srfing with the Alien Joe Satriani - Surfing With The Alien (Relativity) 1988

1. "Surfing with the Alien" (4:20)
2. "Ice Nine" (4:08)
3. "Crushing Day" (5:16)
4. "Always with Me, Always with You" (3:20)
5. "Satch Boogie" (3:10)
6. "Hill of the Skull (1:46)
7. "Circles" (3:27)
8. "Lords of Karma" (4:46)
9. "Midnight" (1:42)
10. "Echo" (5:38)

This was Joe's breakthrough disc. Satriani's sound was more biting and the musicianship stunning. "Surfing with the Alien," was released in 1987 and was the first rock instrumental album in years to chart in the Top 30 on Billboard's Top 200 Albums. But what really broke the album, was the single "Satch Boogie" that is a staple for rock radio even today. However, other tracks like the twisted "Ice 9" or the melancholy, soulful "Always with Me, Always with You," make the entire album a good listen. Cool cover art as well featuring the Silver Surfer.

Dreaming #11 Joe Satriani - Dreaming #11 (Relativity) 1988

1. The Crush Of Love" (4:20)
2. Ice Nine" [live] (3:58)
3. Memories" [live] (8:46)
4. Hordes Of Locusts" [live] (5:08)

Essentially "Dreaming #11" is a single for "The Crush of Love" backed by three live tracks. "Crush of Love" is the only studio track here, and is one of Satriani's most popular instrumentals. Actually, "Crush of Love" receives quite a bit of airplay in my hometown. I hear it regularly on local rock radio. The song isn't just an exercise for Joe to prove to the world what an amazing guitarist he is. Rather, it is a moody song that tells a story without the help of lyrics. The remaining tracks are all live featuring two from "Not of This Earth" and one from "Surfing With the Alien". All three are outstanding, however I particularly like the extended jam version of "Memories". The original track is a little over four minutes long, while this live version is nealy nine minutes long. All three live tracks were recorded at the California Theater, San Diego, CA on June 11, 1988. (On the album "Time Machine" there are additional tracks recorded at this concert.) The live tracks also featured Stuart Hamm on bass and Johathan Mover on drums.

Flying In A Blue Dream Joe Satriani - Flying In A Blue Dream (Relativity) 1989

1. Flying In A Blue Dream [instrumental] (5:23)
2. The Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing [instrumental] (5:09)
3. Can't Slow Down (4:49)
4. Headless (1:29)
5. Strange (5:02)
6. I Believe (5:54)
7. One Big Rush [instrumental]  (3:25)
8. Big Bad Moon (5:15)
9. The Feeling [instrumental] (0:50)
10. The Phone Call (3:01)
11. Day At The Beach (New Rays From An Ancient Sun)  [instrumental]  (2:04)
12. Back To Shalla-Bal [instrumental]  (3:14)
13. Ride (4:56)
14. The Forgotten (Part One) [instrumental]  (1:12)
15. The Forgotten (Part Two) [instrumental]  (5:08)
16. The Bells Of Lal (Part One) [instrumental]  (1:19)
17. The Bells of Lal (Part Two) [instrumental]  (4:07)
18. Into The Light [instrumental]  (2:29)

Satriani's third album is a far more eclectic mix than his first two albums, which were solely instrumental. The album opens with an instrumental that sounds very much like the material on his first two albums. "Flying in a Blue Dream" is easily on of Joe's most recognizable songs. Likewise, the follow-up instrumental is typical of what anyone expects from Joe. However, after that it gets much more varied in sound; from the straight-forward hard rock of "Can't Slow Down" to the funk of "Strange" to the melodic AOR of "I Believe". Throughout the album there are influences from across the board from blues to blue-grass to jazz and even hints of prog-rock. Joe also branches out into singing and playing some different instruments on "Flying in a Blue Dream". On "Headless" Joe plays some harmonica while "One Big Rush" is a banjo solo. One of the standout cuts on the album is instrumental, "Back To Shalla-Bal". The song is reminiscent of some of the "Surfing with the Alien" materia, and with good reason. The track is named after Marvel Comics' The Silver Surfer who was featured on the cover of "Surfing with the Alien". This is the type of hooky guitar instrumental that made Joe one of the most well respected instrumental guitarists in the world.

Satriani's father died during the recording of this album. The track,"Into The Light", was composed in his memory.

The Extremist Joe Satriani - The Extremist (Relativity) 1992

1. "Friends" (3:27)
2. "Extremist" (3:42)
3. "War" (5:46)
4. "Cryin'" (5:42)
5. "Rubina's Blue Sky Happiness" (6:10)
6. "Summer Song" (4:52)
7. "Tears in the Rain" (1:16)
8. "Why" (4:45)
9. "Motorcycle Driver" (4:56)
10. "New Blues" (6:55)

Satriani continues to explore new musical territory, this time getting a little more aggressive and heavier. "The Extremist" is another fine instrumental album that certainly lives up to its name. One coincidence about this one is that Lanny Cordolla released an instrumental album called "Of Riffs & Symphonies" about this same time with very similar cover art (smokey, tan color) and some of the same studio musicians (Greg & Matt Bissonette).

Joe Satriani Joe Satriani - Time Machine (Relativity) 1993

DISC ONE (studio)
1.   Time Machine (5:07)
2.   The Mighty Turtle Head (5:12)
3.   All Alone (4:22)
4.   Banana Mango II (6:05)
5.   Thinking of You (3:57)
6.   Crazy (4:06)
7.   Speed of Light (5:14)
8.   Baroque (2:15)
9.   Dweller On the Threshold (4:15)
10. Banana Mango (2:44)
11. Dreaming #11 (3:37)
12. I am Become Death (3:56)
13. Saying Goodbye (2:54)
14. Woodstock Jam (16:07)
DISC TWO (live)
1.   Satch Boogie (3:58)
2.   Summer Song (5:01)
3.   Flying in a Blue Dream (5:24)
4.   Cryin' (5:54)
5.   The Crush of Love (5:40)
6.   Tears in the Rain [acoustic] (1:58)
7.   Always with Me, Always with You ( 3:21)
8.   Big Bad Moon (4:57)
9.   Surfing with the Alien (2:51)
10. Rubina (6:44)
11. Circles (4:14)
12.  Jonathan Mover Drum Solo (2:14)
13. Lords of Karma (5:43)
14. Echo (7:49)

"Time Machine" is a 2-CD compilation of tracks from Joe Satriani.. The first CD comprises new, unreleased, and rare studio recordings, while the second one comprises live recordings pulled from tours in 1988 and 1992. Some of the rarities include tracks from Satriani's 1985 self-released EP and "Speed of Light", a song recorded during "The Extremist" session and used for the Super Mario Bros. movie. A large portion of the studio outtakes are from "The Extremist" sessions. Tracks 10-13 are from extremely rare Joe Satriani EP (1985). "All Alone" is an instrumental rendition of the Billie Holliday's "Left Alone". The collection finishes off with a 16-minute long, jazz-fusion, guitar jam that is one of the highlights of the disc. Some of this song reminded me of Frank Zappa's instrumental albums. All-in-all, there's really not much to say about this disc other than, if you like early Satriani material, this disc is a must have as it's more of the same high-caliber guitar shred. There's really nothing of poor quality. It's mostly just solid, enjoyable guitar jams. "Crazy" is one of the few songs to feature any vocals.

Disc two is all live material. Tracks 11-14 were recorded at the California Theater in June 1988. Other tracks from this concert were used on the "Dreaming#11" EP. The majority of the material was recorded in different cities between 1992 and 1993. I love live albums, but instrumental live albums tend to be a let down as the performances are never quite as tight and well-performed as the studio songs. While a loose performance may work well for dirty rock and roll and some heavy metal, for instrumental shred, it's all about precision and performance. The performances included here are outstanding. There is no doubt that Joe is as good a live performer as he is a studio musician. One of the stand-out cuts on the live disc is "Big Bad Moon," a smokin' blues-based number with vocals and a ton of personality. It was also cool to hear a drum solo in the middle of much, much guitar wankery. Overall, I enjoyed the live disc as much as the studio disc.

The collection includes a 24-page booklet with tons of black and white photos and plenty of biographical reading material, including some insightful notes about the live performances.

Joe Satriani (Epic) 1995

1.   Cool #9 (6:00)
2.   If (4:49)
3.   Down, Down, Down (6:12)
4.   Luminous Flesh Giants (5:57)
5.   S.M.F (6:44)
6.   Look My Way [vocals] (4:01)
7.   Home (3:27)
8.   Moroccan Sunset (4:23)
9.  Killer Bee Bop (3:49)
10. Slow Down Blues (7:25)
11. (You're) My World (3:57)
12. Sittin' 'Round (3:37)

Joe Satriani is the self-titled sixth studio album by guitar shredder Joe Satriani. The CD was originally release in 1995 by Relativity Records and reissued in 2008 on Epic Records. The album was produced by Glyn Johns (The Beatles, The Who, Rolling Stones, etc.). Along with Joe, the major players are Nathan East (bass) and Manu Katche (drums). Matt Bissonette (bass) and Greg Bissonette (percussion) also make an appearance on a few cuts.

While Joe Satriani is generally known as a shredder and a technical guitar player, he also plays with a lot of feel. This self-titled release is a slight shift away from Satriani's previous instrumental album and showcases a more stripped down, blues-based approach. This recording isn't so much about flash as it is about substance and creating a feel and an atmosphere. Songs like "Cool #9" are full of lush grooves and riffs while "Luminous Flesh Giants" is more straight-forward hard rock, not all that different from past Satriani records. For the most part, however, the songs are much more bluesy than past recordings. "Down, Down, Down" is full-on blues with Joe giving a soulful performance. "S.M.F", which stands for "Sick Mother Fu**er", is not a cover of the classic Twisted Sister anthem, but is another relaxed, bluesy number, this time featuring some harp playing. "Slow Down Blues" is likewise a blues based number featuring some nice harmonica playing. "Look My Way" is the only song to feature vocals and is an upbeat, swinging, bluesy number. It's one of the more fun moments on the CD. All in all Joe's '95 release is a bit more laid back, relaxed and definitely more bluesy.

Crystal Planet Joe Satriani - Crystal Planet (Epic) 1998

1.     Up in the Sky (4:09)
2.     House Full of Bullets (5:33)
3.     Crystal Planet (4:34)
4.     Love Thing (3:50)
5.     Trundrumbalind (5:13)
6.     Lights of Heaven (4:23)
7.     Raspberry Jam Delta-v (5:21)
8.     Ceremony (4:53)
9.     With Jupiter in Mind (5:46)
10.   Secret Prayer (4:27)
11.   A Train of Angels (3:42)
12.   A Piece of Liquid (3:04)
13.   Psycho Monkey (4:36)
14.   Time (5:05)
15.   Z.Z.'s Song (3:01)

Recorded with longtime bassist Stuart Hamm and drummer Jeff Campitelli, "Crystal Planet" is the seventh studio album from Shredmaster Satch. The guitarist's 1995 self-titled release was a more organic, blues-based album than most of what the guitarist had recorded in the past. With "Crystal Planet" Satch returns to doing what he does best, instrumental guitar rock. The album is chock full of great solos, loud distortion and a nice mixture of influences from hard rock to jazz to blues. There is even the more melodic, melancholy numbers like "Love Thing", which I suppose could be labeled a ballad. Overall, "Crystal Planet" is another fine slab of instrumental guitar music. I find it to be something I enjoy listening to when I want to chill and relax.

Engines of Creation Joe Satriani - Engines of Creation (Epic) 2000

1. Devil's Slide (5:10)
2. Flavor Crystal 7 (4:26)
3. Borg Sex (5:27)
4. Until We Say Goodbye (4:31)
5. Attack (4:22)
6. Champagne? (6:04)
7. Clouds Race Across the Sky (6:14)
8. The Power Cosmic 2000, Part I (2:09)
9. The Power Cosmic 2000, Part II (4:23)
10. Slow and Easy (4:44)
11. Engines of Creation (5:57)

I initially shied away from this release because every review I've ever read stated that "Joe has gone techno". Really? "Engines of Creation" is a very different album for joe, but it's not exactly the stuff you're going to hear as some disco or night club. Rather, this is Joe experimenting with his sound and trying to keep it fresh while still retaining that Satriani signature sound. At the very root of "Engines" are the exact same guitar-based elements that Joe is known for. However, Joe's guitar shred, this time around, is over some very techno-style beats. It's an interesting experiment and successful for the most part. At times the music is almost hypnotic, but there are other times when the album just seems too long for it's own good. Satriani's guitar work is, at times, very similar to what you would expect, however there are other times when he's more off-kilter and experimental than in the past. It's basically Satch pushing his own boundaries and trying to re-create his own sound while not losing his charisma in the process. It's an interesting move. While it will most likely not top my list of favorite Satriani albums, it makes for an interesting listen from time to time.

An interesting side note, "Until We Say Goodbye" was nominated for the 2001 grammy award for best rock instrumental performance.

Live At San Francisco Joe Satriani - Live in San Francisco (Epic) 2001

1.   Time (8:10)
2.   Devil's Slide (4:44)
3.   The Crush of Love (5:04)
4.   Satch Boogie (5:28)
5.   Borg Sex (5:28)
6.   Flying in a Blue Dream (6:41)
7.   Ice 9 (4:54)
8.   Cool #9 ( 6:16)
9.   Circles (4:20)
10. Until We Say Goodbye (5:36)
11. Ceremony (5:57)
12. The Extremist (3:39)
13. Summer Song (8:45)
14. House Full of Bullets (6:55)
15. One Big Rush (4:06)
16. Raspberry Jam Delta-V (6:53)
17. Crystal Planet (6:02)
18. Love Thing (3:48)
19. Stuart Hamm Bass Solo (6:28)
20. The Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing (6:24)
21. Always with Me, Always with You (3:50)
22. Big Bad Moon (6:32)
23. Friends (4:07)
24. Surfing with the Alien (9:17)
25. Rubina (8:08)

Live in San Francisco is a 2001 live album records in San Fran's Fillmore Auditorium. This double CD is close to two-and-a-half hours and serves as a nice testimony to Satriani's long legacy of recording. The song selection is taken from all of Satch's album's dating all the way back to his 1986 debut "Not of this Earth" up and through the 2000 release "Engine of Creation". The guitarist varies the song selection choosing combining up-tempo hard rock numbers with some of his more melodic numbers and even a few mellow ballads. Joe offers a flawless performance. Whether the music has been fixed or overdubbed is nearly impossible to tell, but what is presented sounds tight and well-performed. Bassist Stu Hamm is offered a bass solo and interacts nicely with the crowd. While much of the album is instrumental music, "Big Bad Moon" features Joe singing and playing a harmonica that he also uses to play some slide guitar. Nothing really to add but that "Live in San Francisco" is a solid live offering.

Joe Satriani - Super Colossal (Epic) 2006

1.   Super Colossal (4:15)
2.   Just Like Lightnin' (4:02)
3.   It's So Good (4:15)
4.   Redshift Riders (4:50)
5.   Ten Words (3:29)
6.   A Cool New Way (6:13)
7.   One Robot's Dream (6:16)
8.   The Meaning of Love (4:35)
9.   Made of Tears (5:33)
10. Theme for a Strange World (4:40)
11. Movin' On (4:06)
12. A Love Eternal (3:34)
13. Crowd Chant (3:15)

In 1986 a new artist named Joe Satriani blew me away with an instrumental album titled "Not Of This Earth". What Joe had that many guitar instrumental shred artists didn't have was a sense of melody and composition. Though the man could play a wicked guitar solo he didn't forget that his music wasn't just an exercise in technique and ability over songwriting. Forward to 2006 and Joe Satriani, who despite having less hair, is still making stellar instrumental music. "Super Colossal" celebrates two decades of Joe Satriani as a recording artist by releasing yet another strong guitar-based instrumental album. While production values have changed over the decades, nothing much else has changed. Joe continues to write solid songs in his own signature style. His music contains melody, hooks and has a variety of tempos and textures. Each song tells a story on it's own, despite the absence of lyrics. Joe is as much as songwriter as he is a guitar player. "Super Colossal" may not deviate from Joe's tried and true formula, but why change things when it still works and is quite enjoyable?

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