Category Archives: Chickenfoot

Chickenfoot – III

Chickenfoot – III [Classic Rock Fan Pack Exclusive Limited Edition] (2011, earMUSIC)

1. “Last Temptation” … 4:02
2. “Alright Alright” … 4:39
3. “Different Devil” … 4:24
4. “Up Next” … 4:33
5. “Lighten Up” … 5:12
6. “Come Closer” … 4:08
7. “Three and a Half Letters” … 4:07
8. “Big Foot” … 3:49
9. “Dubai Blues” … 5:02
10. “Something Going Wrong” … 5:16
Bonus Tracks
11. “Down the Drain” (Live in Phoenix) … 9:13
12. “Oh Yeah” (Live in Phoenix) … 6:23

Sammy Hagar – Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals
Joe Satriani – Guitar
Michael Anthony – Bass, Backing Vocals
Chad Smith – Drums, Percussion

Producer: Chickenfoot & Mike Fraser

This super group’s debut was decent but nothing particularly thrilling. It sounded like a bunch of guys having fun but it didn’t really translate when it came to the songs in my opinion. Well, on Chickenfoot III (they skipped the second album) this very much feels more like a band that has written real songs and not bunch of guys jamming.

Because of how underwhelmed the debut left me, I wasn’t sure if I was going to pick this album up. I saw Classic Rock magazine was doing yet another “Fan Pack” release and figured if I ever was going to buy the album that I might as get the album that comes with a magazine. It’s a bit more bare bones than the Alice Cooper release (or even Whitesnake): 132-page 3-D magazine, a pack of 5 Chickenfoot guitar picks and a pair of 3-D glasses. The artwork inside and out of the album packaging are in 3-D as is the CD label itself but all of that I believe is standard with the first pressed copy of the album (just like the “heat sensitive” version of the debut).

Onto the music, what can you say as far as the playing goes? Sammy’s vocals sound just as good as ever, no one’s going to say Satriani can’t play guitar and Chad Smith is the perfect drummer for this type of band. Then you have Michael Anthony who in addition to bass is adding his usual fantastic backing vocals to help enhance things (the VH boys have some real balls letting him go based on backing vocals alone).

Like I said earlier, this very much feels like more of band now. Hagar says the first album came together very quickly while III was a much more laborious project. Well, if that means gelling better and Joe & Sammy writing better songs together… that’s fine by me! In fact, the only that I think fall a bit flat are “Dubai Blues” and “Lighten Up”. The rest of the album are just great rockers, good ballads (“Different Devil” sounds like something Van Hagar would’ve done), something socially relevant (“Three and a Half Letters”) and the albums ends with something a bit experimental that uses acoustic guitars and a banjo — the excellent “Something Going Wrong”.

Bonus live tracks are always kind of a throwaway to me. They are exclusive to this Fan Pack edition. “Down the Drain” and “Oh Yeah” may be two of the better songs from the debut but all they do is really highlight how mediocre that debut was and how much better this album is.

Chickenfoot’s III had revived my interest in this band after milquetoast debut, is one of the year’s best releases and I hope we get to see a third album (IV?) from these guy down the line.

Highlights: “Last Temptation”, “Alright Alright”, “Different Devil”, “Up Next”, “Come Closer”, “Three and a Half Letters”, “Big Foot”, “Something Going Wrong”

Buy ‘III’ at!

CHICKENFOOT – Chickenfoot

Chickenfoot – Chickenfoot (2009, Redline Entertainment)

1. “Avenida Revolution” … 5:56
2. “Soap on a Rope” … 5:32
3. “Sexy Little Thing” … 4:14
4. “Oh Yeah” … 4:54
5. “Runnin’ Out” … 3:52
6. “Get It Up” … 4:41
7. “Down the Drain” … 6:17
8. “My Kinda Girl” … 4:32
9. “Learning to Fall” … 5:13
10. “Turnin’ Left” … 5:48
11. “Future in the Past” … 6:38

Sammy Hagar – Vocals
Joe Satriani – Guitar, Bass, Harmonica
Michael Anthony – Bass, Backing Vocals
Chad Smith – Drums, Percussion

Produced by: Chickenfoot and Andy Johns

With a name like Chickenfoot, you’d think this was a Buckethead project/album.

I’ve already seen tons of reviews trashing this album, talking about the lack of chemistry, “sub-Metallica” tunes like “Avenida Revolution” (WTF does that even mean?) and the restrained, unemotional playing of Joe Satriani. Well, this album isn’t a home run, but don’t let the critics fool you, it’s a GOOD album.

The whole album is pretty much on par with “Soap on a Rope” and “Down the Drain”, both were songs that the band released months ago for streaming online. If you like those songs, you’ll like the rest. It took me quite a few spins to get into the album, but now I”m picking it apart and liking it a lot. I didn’t like “Soap on a Rope” or “Down the Drain” all that much when I first heard those either, but now they’ve grown on me too.

Basically, to me, this album sounds like a Sammy Hagar solo disc with a few Van Halen tunes thrown in. By the way, how great is it to hear Michael Anthony backing Hagar on vocals again? The songs that remind me most of Van Halen are “Sexy Little Thing” (which is the best song on the album, IMO), “Oh Yeah”, “Runnin’ Out” and “My Kind Girl”.

The rest seems like what you might hear from Sammy Hagar as a solo act– it’s a mix of good time party rock and songs with a message about love, life and the state of the world.

I’m a bit dismayed Satriani doesn’t have much more to do on this album. Sure, he has his moments, but his playing is definitely more restrained than I thought it would be. Not that the guitar should be the star of the album, but I figured we get a few more smokin’ solos and we don’t. He’s plays for the songs and the songs only.

For the amount of talent of the band, I had really high hopes. I think everyone did. And while it wasn’t quite Van Halen + Joe Satriani + Red Hot Chili Peppers, it’s still a darn good party rock album and I hope this band will not be a one-time deal.

In a smart move, this release was a Best Buy exclusive. Not that I think it’s smart to go exclusive with Best Buy (who REALLY dropped the ball with Chinese Democracy), but going exclusive is a safer bet in today’s musical climate for veteran acts and artists.

The front/back covers are pretty cool. They are heat sensitive and go from black to revealing the band members on the front and the track listing on the back. Nice, fun touch.

Highlights: “Soap on a Rope” “Sexy Little Thing”, “Oh Yeah”, “Runnin’ Out”, “Down the Drain”, “My Kinda Girl”, “Learning to Fall”

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