Joe Satriani
Not of This Earth



by sunsinger USER (16 Reviews)
September 5th, 2005 | 8 replies

Release Date: 1986 | Tracklist

"My goal was to make a guitar-record that would be enjoyed by all". Joe Satriani took 107 hours to debut his talent in early 1985. There was a lot of hype based around Joe after this release, and not without reason. Although, he still seems to be reaching for his instrumental voice and finding the wrong notes, his power to perform made him into a well-known face.

The self-title track begins with phased acoustic strumming with a glassy tone and then the drums enter in with a very 80's feel. Anyone listening at the time will now be aware of Satriani's virtuosic skill; even for a debut his impressive guitar work was complimented with radio-friendly melodies and heavy riffs. It seems like a promising start, but The Snake plays a funk-style bass-line with jazz percussion. On the first listen, it seems strange to think that there would be any solo, let a lone shred on this track, although it is pulled off well despite the already tiresome synthesisers on the album.
Until about two minutes into Rubina, it seems like the few notes coming from Satriani would have to be strummed delicately and spaced so far apart, no one would be able to recognize him. That is until those two minutes are up, and one of the most impressive grandiose solos on the album plays for the next minute or so before the keyboards and simple drum pattern finish off the sombre ballad.
Memories may be another fabricated piece from Not of This Earth, but the lead work and riffs are unbelievable. The potential in Satriani is more than evident and a memorable sign of things to come. Next to Brother John, there is some awe-inspiring guitar work without the need of any 80's makeshift instruments.
Then there is a bump in the road, and a number of colourless tracks take you to the end. That is with the exception of Hordes of Locusts. With some very influential playing and inherent talent, the rest of the album looks slightly dull, next to Memories and …Locusts. Until The Headless Horseman, that is. With backdrop stomping and crass whistling, it's only natural for Satriani to take centre stage with no support from the keyboards this time. Joe Satriani plays a Spanish Fly-style instrumental without rest for two minutes to end his debut.

It seemed like Joe Satriani was at times over-whelmed to show what he could do with six strings and 22 frets. Make no mistake, the tinny, almost robot drumming made it hard for me to believe there was in fact no drum machine at all.
To call this album a master-piece would be flattering, especially next to Satriani's second release Surfing with the Alien, but by no means would I could it a dismal effort or a poor album. Not of This Earth is more of a learning experience with a few uplifting tracks and a final product for die-hard fans who need to complete their collection.

Best Tracks: Memories, Hordes of Locusts, Headless Horseman.

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user ratings (111)

Comments:Add a Comment 
September 5th 2005


Althogh im not into this genre and am not a guitarist i found this album quite entertaining.

March 11th 2007


This is still a pretty good album. I like the use of the pich axis theory in the title track. Rubina is a classic, still being played at some shows that he does. Descent review, i agree with you on the fact that it was probably just a learning experience album for him.

June 8th 2009


Good review. Definitely the weakest Satch i've heard, but that doesn't mean it hasn't got it's own charms.

The Snake is awesome, I love the solo which drops into the metal riff at 1:58. Giving the jazz fusion sound of the track it's really unusual but it totally works. I also dig the title track and Hordes of Locusts pretty heavily, and whilst the rest of the album is by no means terrible these three make the album for me.

Staff Reviewer
March 1st 2012


The Snake is indeed awesome

December 2nd 2014


Album Rating: 5.0

This album is very underrated. This album is a masterpiece that know one recognizes

June 25th 2015


Album Rating: 5.0

This album is underrated

February 18th 2017


"Tiresome synthesizers"... This record was released in 1986. This is what happens when you review an album 15+ years later without taking into account context. You end up with a pretty useless review with no depth.

October 14th 2022


Driving At Night is phenomenal. Get in a fun car at midnight and go for a spin, you'll see what I mean.

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