Joe Satriani - Current Top 10

 

 


My top ten "Satch" recommendations

With 20 albums over 20 years, it's a tricky choice.  But here goes.

Crush of Love (Live in San Francisco)

From the Dreaming #11 Album, but extensively reworked so Joe also picks up the A, B, C, D melody which was played by keyboards on the original, this has it all.  It's a great melody that returns to an "easy to play at home" combination of B and G notes with top E bends.  Crush of Love has moody parts, high accents, an amazing mid solo and, at the end, a fantastically fast hammer-on section where Joe flys up and down the fretboard eventually slowing to a stop.  Crush of love is also captured on multi angle on the Live in San Francisco DVD so you can see exactly where Joe's fingers are all the time.  It looks easy and hard at the same time !

Flying In A Blue Dream

From the 1989 Album of the same name, the song starts with Joe working his guitar close to the amp to get some clever feedback that starts the song on a G with a fast whammy.  It's an easy one to play along with, working slowly up the G and onto the B and E strings, with some fast across the board flashes.  The whammy highlights the end of the mid and end sections, this time on a top C some 20 frets up the top E string.

War

From The Extremist album (1992), this is a head down, heavy bassed ripper of a song.  Tight top end notes with lots of finger bending and sustain, this song is in your face from the start.  You know that the solo is coming as the 22nd fret is bent again and again as if to signal the action about to start.  When it arrives, this solo is one of Joe's best.  Mid solo I still have no idea exactly what he is playing, it's a mixture of VERY fast playing and tapping with lots of fast Wah - slowed down using music software I estimated close to 30 notes a second here.  But this is where joe excels, he doesn't lose the melody or the basic structure, it's organised chaos !  Play it loud for maximum effect !

Summer Song

A real feel good song this one.  Joe played this to 100,000 people as part of live aid and it's always a favourite with fans.  He just let's rip from the start and keeps going !  Fast paced, with lots of breakouts but with a catchy main melody that he keeps returning to.  It's on Time Machine (CD2) and also on virtually every live album he has done. NB As the end approaches Joe kicks it all off again - there are some very difficult riffs on Summer Song.

The Entire Crystal Planet Album

Joe's 1998 Album also saw him shave his head ("because it looks cool").  Crystal Planet in my opinion remains Joe's best work to date.  Up In The Sky gets things off to a fast start and it never slows much.  House Full Of Bullets is a fast bluesy number leading to the album titled "Crystal Planet" (tab shown below).  It's all good; Raspberry Jam Delta V has some unbelievably difficult taps (although when I met Joe in 2004 he said they weren't that hard !) and sounds like Daft Punk with guitars.  It's ceaseless music genius.  With Jupiter In Mind has eight bars of extremely quick across the frets playing.  Time (the last but one song) is complicated and fast but a huge pleasure to see live (again, multi angle on the DVD).  ZZ's Song is the last song - a slow one named after Joe's son (Zacharias Zane Satriani).

Finally, check out Joe's signature Ibanez series guitars (I've got a JS100) - nothing sounds like them.

 


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