I ain’t braggin’ or nothin’ but I can listen to a little piece of a Satriani song and tell you the title of that song. If you’re unfamiliar with Joe Satriani, you might think that’s no big deal. But if you know that very few, extremely few, of his songs have words, then you might get an idea how difficult that skill is. Unless you’re him, how are you going to know the title of every song? Especially since he has written such a large amount of musical material. He’s actually in the dictionary under the word ‘prolific’.
To illustrate his prolificness, in his solo career alone, he has put forth about 18 albums. So that’s not counting what I would call side projects like Chickenfoot. That’s not counting live recordings or repeated material in compilations and such. With those same exceptions, he’s created around 450 songs. I’m still guessing when I say he’s only made about five or six of those with lyrics. The rest are instrumental.
I don’t even need to argue that the instrumental songs are just as good as any song with lyrics. Joe Satriani sells his music. The fans, like me, have spoken. We enjoy the cosmic canticles he creates.
Speaking of cosmic, listening to most of Satriani’s music is very much like hearing a landscape, or seeing the emanations of a radio station. It can be extremely thrilling, assuming you’re in the right frame of mind already. If you’re too stiff and stubborn, unable to flex, then you won’t likely see the possibility of intergalactic surfing that his guitar is defining before your very ears.
Now, before I stay in that mode, let me give you one more perspective. When I hear a signature Satriani instrumental, I envision science fiction scenes. My wife, though, says that all of his music reminds her of summertime. She loves summertime the most, so that really is a compliment. Mostly, she likes his slower, quieter?, love songs, so maybe those are all she’s talking about, but does it matter? I don’t think so. Once she explained her perspective to me, I could hear summertime in all of his music as well. Whichever perspective you happen to agree with at the moment, you can see that we relate it with what we enjoy. To make the definition as simple as possible, Joe Satriani makes happy music.