Great Metal Albums of 1987: Joe Satriani- Not of This Earth

Joe Satriani was one of those artists where I heard their second album before their first one. Therefore, I have always found myself comparing his debut, “Not of This Earth,” to his iconic second album, “Surfing With the Alien.” That’s not really fair to the debut album because it does stand out on its own. However, in 1987, I heard the name Joe Satriani and I learned that he was a guitar instructor to some of the greats. Does Steve Vai and Kirk Hammet ring any bells? Therefore, with the benefit of hindsight, I can say that it would have been a tragedy for music if Joe hadn’t recorded any music of his own.

When he recorded “Not of This Earth,” Joe stated that he didn’t just want to make a guitar album but one which incorporated many types of music. That’ is exactly what he does and the proof of the pudding is in the music. One track where he does this so well is “The Snake.” While like on all of the tracks, there is plenty of guitar to be had, there is also a very noticeable clunking bass line which complements the guitar very well. The intros on both tracks one and three could have been used in suspenseful segments in films. There is an air of foreboding on both of those intros but they lead the way for the rest of the song to blow your mind. In fact, I’ll go out on a limb and say that track three, “Rubina,” sounds very classical. Then again, with all of his knowledge and experience, he could play guitar to any form of music and make it sound brilliant.

For those who want to hear Joe play like a metal guitarist, then the track, “Memories,” is the one. He really lays down the jams on the guitar here but again, if you listen closely, you can hear the acoustic guitar and bass in the background, which both work well with the song. After two rather short but interesting tracks, we get “Driving At Night,” which sounds like a taster to what is to come for the next album. The we get to the song which stands out for me, “Hordes of Locusts.” This is the most metal sounding track on the album, especially with the crunching rhythm guitar and bass in support while Joe just jams away on the guitar. He really makes the guitar scream on this one. Plus, there are guitar parts which sound like a deejay scratching, it’s simply amazing! That is followed by some more guitar string bending and then the closer, ” The Headless Horseman” makes me wonder if I am really being chased by him. Maybe it’s good that the closing track is less than two minutes.

Track Listing:

  1. Not of This World
  2. The Snake
  3. Rubina
  4. Memories
  5. Brother John
  6. The Enigmatic
  7. Driving At Night
  8. Hordes of Locusts
  9. New Day
  10. The Headless Horseman
Joe Satriani

Joe Satriani- guitars, keyboards, bass, percussion

Jeff Campitelli- drums, percussion, DX, whistle

John Cuniberti- vocals (he gives a sinister laugh at the beginning of “The Headless Horseman”), percussion

Do I regret listening to “Surfing With the Alien” before this debut album? Not really, on the one hand, it would have better prepared me for the second album if I listened to “Not of This Earth” first. But I can say that after being blown away by the second album, this one came as a nice surprise.

Next post: King Diamond- Abigail

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10 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1987: Joe Satriani- Not of This Earth”

  1. We think he really is an alien! 👽 Hahahaha! Love his music! ❤️🦋🌀🎼

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love Satriani as he has a way of making you sing along to his songs and yet there are no words (mostly). I don’t have this one on vinyl yet, but I have an E.P. and Surfing and Flying though.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Satch is one of the greatest guitarists.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I tend to think that it doesn’t matter WHEN you hear him, it just matters that you DO. It’s all good!

    Liked by 1 person

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