The term "guitar god" gets thrown around a lot, but if there was one player worthy of such a crown, it would be Joe Satriani. Since the '80s, the New York native has built up a discography featuring some of the most inventive and inspired guitar work in rock history. Along with Chad Smith [Red Hot Chili Peppers], Sammy Hagar [Van Halen], and Michael Anthony [Van Halen], Satriani formed a supegroup called Chickenfoot and their 2009 self-titled debut album was a huge hit. Next month the group will be issuing 'Chickenfoot III,' their second studio album. To celebrate the record, Satriani gave Noisecreep a list of the five albums that changed his life.
Jimi Hendrix (1968)
It's hard to pick one out of the first three Hendrix albums for me, but this one is so big in its scope, that it shines through for me. From '1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)' to 'Voodoo Child (Slight Return),' Hendrix sounds like 10 different players exploring every guitarist's fantasy. His playing and singing on this record is so in the pocket and great. Track after track he just keeps out-doing himself. It still takes my breath away.
'Band of Gypsys'
Jimi Hendrix (1970)
This recording of Jimi, Buddy Miles and Billy Cox is so beautiful, so very soulful and so heavy. Everything Jimi played on this record created a new, and as of today, unmatched standard for live performance by an electric guitarist. 'Machine Gun' alone is a tour de force that still gets me choked up when I listen through the entire piece.
'Performance Rockin' the Fillmore'
Humble Pie (1971)
This is what live records are supposed to sound and feel like. There are so many inspirational performances on this double disc live set, and it sound so "live," just like your there! It's one of those recordings that made me daydream of being a guitarist, performing on stages around the world, living the rock star life. And look what happened!
Jethro Tull (1969)
I love this record for all its unique energy, heart and soul. There is nothing quite like it. Andy Johns' production is inspirational, as are the songs and the performances. Ian Anderson's sense of melody and time are so unique, and always spot on. I still love everything about this classic disc. The songs are timeless.
Tony Williams New Lifetime (1975)
The first time I heard the incredible guitar wizardry of Alan Holdsworth I almost had a heart attack. He could do everything I was dreaming of doing on a guitar in terms of picking, articulation, legato, and melodic improvisation. His work on this record blew all guitarists out of the water. The first time I heard this record was at a friend's house after a bit of improv session. He put the disc on and said, "This guy is doing what you're trying to do". I was never the same after that.