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Pop/Rock - Released August 7, 2007 | Epic

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Pop/Rock - Released October 4, 1995 | Epic - Legacy

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A guitar virtuoso and genius of instrumental composition, Joe Satriani explores deeper waters with a haunting yet richly entailed work of stripped-down blues-rock and improvisational jazz. This record, self-titled as Joe Satriani, puts the guitar wizard into a streaming new light of musical impression, as his efforts point toward a sincere evolutionary progression in composition and arrangement. With a collective of the most witty, crafty, and enticing musicians in jazz and blues, Satriani blends soaring, scintillating scale passages with pulsating, engaging melodic lines. With the help of his main group during these sessions -- Andy Fairweather Low on rhythm guitar, Nathan East on bass, and Manu Katche on drums -- Satriani reaches further into his musical self to bring out soulful grooves and mesmerizing yet catchy riffs, creating a relaxed, yet gripping intensity to these jams. Spontaneous in meter, rhythm, and melody, Satriani never fails to let the listener in on his enchanting and seemingly overabundant sense of creativity. Perhaps the only weakness throughout the majority of the album's 12 tracks is his intention to strip down and use only the effects of his Marshall amps, therefore, sadly diminishing his trademark flair for the highly alluring sonic territory he covered on his critically acclaimed Surfing With the Alien, Flying in a Blue Dream, and Time Machine. Still, with all due respect, his plethora of extremely gifted backup musicians sincerely adds a diverse range of textures and colors, bringing out a much-needed live feel to an otherwise bland album of blues-oriented jazz-rock. Perhaps the highlight of the record in the punch and volume of the progressive-oriented blues jam, "Killer Bee Bop" is a tune drenched with well-placed percussion and racing guitar lines. Because he is not afraid to seek the darker and once-unapproachable territories of guitar rock to find vibrant and refreshingly new sounds, Satriani puts forth once again a successful album, painting a mixture of blues and jazz in a variety of meters and keys. The single "(You're) My World," released over the airwaves as radio-friendly material in early 1995, is a misleading example of Joe Satriani's real development during the production of this record. A slow listen to the material on this release will captivate the listener's spirit for this guitar hero and reveal Joe Satriani's true nature, in that he and his Ibanez instrument are one and the same. ~ Shawn Haney
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Rock - Released May 25, 1992 | Epic - Legacy

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The Extremist lives up to its name, continuing Joe Satriani's tradition of exploring new musical and compositional ground. A vastly different array of musicians assists him in creating the songs displayed on this all-instrumental disc, and as such the songs are different from even the usual envelope-pushing Satriani fare. The chugging "Summer Song," the warm "Friends," the slamming "Motorcycle Driver," and the crunching "The Extremist" show Satriani's talents as a guitarist are undiminished, while the more traditional neo-folk approach to "Rubina's Blue Sky Happiness" and the bluesy "New Blues" are different from anything he has done before. So, too, is the droning rock of "War" and the plaintive, questioning funk-rock of "Why." ~ Phil Carter
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Pop/Rock - Released October 30, 1989 | Epic

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Rock - Released May 3, 2013 | Epic

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In 2013, over a quarter century removed from his first album, Joe Satriani uses his solo albums as a way to stretch himself, both to flaunt his skills and perhaps to move him into areas where he's not quite comfortable. Unstoppable Momentum, his first album since 2010's boogie- and prog-heavy Black Swans & Wormhole Wizards, finds the guitarist occasionally indulging himself in a bit of swing, letting him ride an elastic beat ("Three Sheets to the Wind" has a supremely delicate touch), and he also digs into a bit of a nasty ZZ Top groove on "Jumpin' In," a boogie he turns inside-out on its immediate successor "Jumpin' Out." This is a pretty good indication that this is the work of a virtuoso who enjoys playing with his surroundings, tweaking tempos and arrangements to coax out unexpected wrinkles. Compared to Black Swans, this is livelier and fuller, containing a greater variety of textures, rhythms, and attacks, spending not quite so much time with head-down, barrel-headed boogie and rather suggesting jazz, blues, even soul. Satriani often seems a little too restless for his confines -- he seems to enjoy when the tempo slows, so he can get a little lyrical -- but part of the appeal of Unstoppable Momentum is how Satch decides he should abandon his comfort zone, at least in part. He still adheres too strongly to the heavily phased instrumentals that make him feel stuck in a past before MTV, but he'll also indulge in a bit of swing, rhythm, and momentum that not only give Unstoppable Momentum character, but suggest there's an audience outside of guitar fanatics for this densely layered instrumental music. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released October 13, 1993 | Epic

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Rock - Released February 17, 1997 | Epic

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Pop/Rock - Released April 1, 2008 | Epic - Red Ink

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Pop/Rock - Released March 6, 2006 | Epic

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The most frightening thing about "Super Colossal" is that it starts off sounding horrifically similar to the chorus of Billy Squier's "The Stroke." Thankfully, this is remedied immediately, and Satch returns to familiar territory. The sound of the title track is big and booming, but the tone and delivery are instantly recognizable. Satriani doesn't pull any new tricks out of his bag, but lets his fingers do the talking throughout most of the record. And, of course, it wouldn't be a Satriani record without a few midtempo numbers thrown in for good measure, and "It's So Good" certainly delivers a swaggering punch that is reminiscent of not only Flying in a Blue Dream but moments of protégé Steve Vai's epic album Passion and Warfare. There are moments of delicate frailty and instrumentals with a romantic and optimistic feeling, tempering the high-energy blues-driven guitar shredders and leaving Super Colossal with a nice sense of balance -- except for the album's finish. "Crowd Chant" is arguably one of the weirdest moments in a career full of eccentricity, but it's painfully out of place. However, with its catchy melody and call-and-response verses, it's going to make one heck of a concert singalong. On the whole, Satriani really doesn't push boundaries or stretch his guitar vocabulary too much here, but even on his worst day his productions could best any other shredder du jour based simply on the fact that he crafts songs rather than insipid guitar-scale exercises to flaunt and flail around carelessly. ~ Rob Theakston
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Pop - Released April 12, 2004 | Epic

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Guitar boss Joe Satriani's ninth album reflects the terrain he's traveled more than it points to an unexplored one -- and yes, that does prove to be a good thing. Satriani has explored many directions over eight previous albums, mashing together rock, blues, jazz, and pure technical proficiency in a dizzying blend that bears his unique signature. Is There Love in Space? recalls two distinct projects from his catalog, the groundbreaking Surfing With the Alien and the exotic Strange Beautiful Music. From the former is the driven, balls-out, tough blues-and-hard rock riffs and hooks, while from the latter are involved and sometimes intricate melodies and Eastern-tinged modes -- though none of the electronica. Satriani's sense of writing catchy turnarounds and hooks is ubiquitous here, and though he uses keyboards, they are never employed as more than devices to further along the framework of a particular tune. Even the vocal cuts here work well, "Lifestyle" with its roosty rock & roll vocal, boogie on methamphetamine whir, and bombastic power chords is a great choice for a single, as is the stomping, metallic "Hands in the Air," which updates Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild" riff in extremis. The mid-tempo tunes, such as the wah-wah-phased title track and the shimmering "If I Could Fly," are nice changes of pace too. The funky future blues of "I Like the Rain" features a slightly annoying vocal, but in its ZZ Top-fueled desert boogie, it hardly matters. The masterpiece on the set is "Searching," however. It's slow- to mid-tempo stride and minor key cadence pushed to the limit by the razor-wired and feedback aesthetic of its ten-minute sprawling excess. While guitar hero records are anything but cool in the new century, this guitar hero offers one cool little record. ~ Thom Jurek
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Pop/Rock - Released October 5, 2010 | Epic - Red Ink

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Apparently his time in Chickenfoot made Joe Satriani want to get back to where he once belonged, so he goes retro on 2010’s Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards. About as far away from the heavy-footed party rock of Chickenfoot as possible, Black Swans is pure guitar prog, filled with compressed boogies, sci-fi synths, exotic flourishes, and all of Satch’s phasers and flangers in full-tilt overdrive. Often, it feels like a throwback to the glory days of Surfing with the Alien, but there are crucial differences and they're not subtle, either. First off, Satriani’s rock doesn’t rock so hard -- when the tempo is a little faster or when a song is built on riffs, not melody, it’s for a change in color, so nothing on Black Swans plays aggressively. Furthermore, the album lingers instead of pushes, Satriani setting the tone with long legato melodies and solos with plenty of pauses. As such, it’s not a record that will tear your head off but rather a record to appreciate for its contours and textures, a mature work from one of the great rock guitarists. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released June 24, 2002 | Epic

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Rock - Released March 7, 2000 | Epic

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Pop/Rock - Released December 18, 1986 | Epic - Legacy

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Not of This Earth was the first studio release from guitar wizard Joe Satriani (not counting the hard-to-find Joe Satriani EP). This all-instrumental album was making ripples in the guitar-playing community not long after it was released, and it's easy to see why: superior compositions, a signature style, a unique tone, and playing that's out of this world. Satriani shifts musical gears deftly, often layering multiple tracks together to make a complex soundscape. The fiery sound of "Not of This Earth" and "Hordes of Locusts" is tempered by the cool, dark tone of "Driving at Night," the far-out Eastern approach of "The Snake," and the quiet, thoughtful "Rubina." Satriani's fluid playing and wicked licks are enough to drop jaws and widen eyes. There isn't a weak track on this disc, even though the guitarist was still maturing when he released it. ~ Phil Carter
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Rock - Released January 12, 2018 | Legacy Recordings

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The electric guitar world has been following Joe Satriani’s adventures since the middle of the 80s. A virtuoso - a magician even - of this instrument that he plays like no other, this American has die-hard fans as well as harsh critics. Blending rock, metal and blues, his music - mostly instrumental - never forgets to lean against strong compositions. Satriani’s writing even sent some sparks flying on his classic albums, Surfing With The Alien released in 1987 and Flying In A Blue Dream, released two years later… With What Happens Next that was created with drummer Chad Smith and bass player Glenn Hughes, the sexagenarian guitar hero still remains deeply rooted in his formula. Astounding solos, rhythmic and slick melodies, there’s no palace revolution in Satriani’s country, and just his impressive know-how is enough to amaze novice guitar players. A very solid album. © CM/Qobuz
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Pop/Rock - Released October 26, 2010 | Epic - Legacy

The Essential Joe Satriani is a solid alternative to the equally stellar two-disc career overview Electric Joe Satriani: An Anthology, with the main difference being that it spans 13 albums -- all the way from 1986’s Not of This Earth to 2008’s Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion of Rock -- instead of stopping short at 2002’s Strange Beautiful Music. Since much of Satch’s notable material comes from the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, either option makes for an excellent starter pack and does indeed cover the “essentials,” including shredder faves “Surfing with the Alien,” “Satch Boogie,” "Summer Song," “Always with Me, Always with You,” and “Flying in a Blue Dream.” For newcomers hoping to get acquainted with the Guitar God via a single disc, Sony/Legacy's Playlist: The Very Best of Joe Satriani compilation offers a cheaper alternative. But, for those looking for a thorough chronological overview, this is the best to date. And, as a nice bonus, the liners include an explanation of each song's inspiration, penned by Joe Satriani himself. ~ Jason Lymangrover
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Rock - Released July 24, 2015 | Legacy Recordings

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Joe Satriani may have retained the services of keyboardist Mike Keneally for Shockwave Supernova, the guitarist's 15th studio album -- Keneally has been in Satch's orbit for a while now -- but he chose to invite bassist Bryan Beller and drummer Marco Minnemann (from the inventive instrumental rock band the Aristocrats) to be his rhythm section for the bulk of the record. This slight shakeup reinvigorates Satriani, who already sounded spry on Unstoppable Momentum. Where that record hearkened back to his '80s heyday, splitting time between arena-friendly riffing and lyrical solos, Shockwave Supernova exists in the heady world of intricate time signatures and elastic instrumental interplay; it is more the child of pre-MTV AOR -- a world where Rush and Allan Holdsworth split time on the stereo of MAD Magazine readers. It's proud egghead music that grooves on its own technical acumen, where Satch and company love to mess with expectations by sliding into a swinging blues groove or dabbling in a bit of bossa nova. What matters, as it always does on a Satriani album, is the instruments, but more so than on his other records, Shockwave Supernova feels like a collaborative record; it's as fun to hear him play with his band as it is to hear him soar on his own. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released April 24, 2012 | Epic

Recorded live at the Metropolis in Montreal, Quebec on December 12, 2010 and released as a double CD and 3-D Blu-ray, Satchurated was filmed live on the Wormhole Tour in support of Joe Satriani's 2010 album Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards. Ten of the 25 songs he plays are from that album; otherwise he samples from his greatest hits with crowd favorites like "The Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing," "Always with Me, Always with You," and "Flying in a Blue Dream." Satriani is accompanied by a workhorse backing band: drummer Jeff Campitelli, bassist Allen Whitman, keyboardist Mike Keneally, and rhythm guitarist Galen Henson. Of course, Satch is the shining star here with his flawless guitar solos. Apart from a few extended parts -- like when "Memories" spreads out into a space jam with jazz inflections -- for the most part he stays true to the way the songs were written, which is a pretty amazing feat in itself. With every eight bars comes a new astounding trick on the fretboard. There is no mistaking his signature sound at this point in his career, and the audience is full of diehards, which makes the rowdy call and response of "Crowd Chant" a fun experience. Ideally, fans will want to watch the DVD filmed by veteran concert producers Pierre and François Lamoureux as well, to see just how fast Joe's fingers move and hear the 7.1 Surround Sound mix, but the CD stereo mix is great, putting this release right up there with Satriani Live! and Live in San Francisco. ~ Jason Lymangrover
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Pop/Rock - Released June 14, 2006 | EPIC - Red Label

Drawn from a concert recorded May 3, 2006, at the Grove in Anaheim, CA, Joe Satriani's Satriani Live! comes as both a double-CD and a simultaneously (and separately) released DVD. The audio version presents more than two hours of typical Satriani guitar work. He was promoting his latest album, Super Colossal, but that didn't prevent him from casting back across his career for selections from such previous sets as Joe Satriani (1995), The Extremist (1992), Flying in a Blue Dream (1989), and particularly Surfing with the Alien (1987), making this a de facto best-of. The crowd was wildly enthusiastic, and Satriani wasted little time doing anything other than playing, pausing only occasionally to talk about his guitar and his guitar picks. The first disc maintains a steady pace, but the guitarist varied the mood in the second half of the show, turning to what pass for ballads in his repertoire ("The Meaning of Love," "Made of Tears," "Circles," "Always with Me, Always with You") before revving up for a powerful finish. Casual fans can pick this up as a good sampler of the entire Satriani catalog, while more intense fans will enjoy noting differences between the live versions and the studio recordings with which they're already familiar. ~ William Ruhlmann

Rock - Released December 9, 2016 | Legacy Recordings

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