The sound of “classic rock” is alive and well on Chickenfoot. Actually, the term classic rock is a little ridiculous, as it is used to describe anything from about four decades of music. Let’s just say that with Chickenfoot the mid-80’s spirit of Van Halen proudly parties on.
This would be Van Halen Mark II, with Sammy Hagar on vocals. One of the most unheralded, yet distinctive voices in rock belongs to former VH bass player Michael Anthony. His harmonizing with Hagar back in the Van Halen days were a big part of the band’s successful singles run during their period together. On the self-titled Chickenfoot debut, they repeat this formula to winning effect with “ Get It Up,” “My Kinda Girl,” and the power-ballad “Learning To Fall.”
Guitar hero Joe Satriani takes on the Eddie role, one he is well suited to. Satriani has played with numerous bands over the years, including Frank Zappa, Alice Cooper, Deep Purple, and even the almighty Spinal Tap. In the drum chair is another virtuoso musician, Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. As Smith has demonstrated with his Bombastic Meatbats on their recent Meet The Meatbats, he is an amazing player.
Although the musicians in the band certainly have the capability to show-off, that was never the intention of Chickenfoot. This is a proudly commercial album, and sounds all the better for it. I have to say, I miss good old radio-rock like this.
Chickenfoot has done pretty well so far, having already been certified Gold by the RIAA. But for whatever reason, the band has released a deluxe limited-edition of the disc exclusively through Best Buy. This version includes the original 11 songs, plus a previously unreleased track titled “Bitten By The Wolf.”
There is also a one-hour long DVD included in the package, featuring a mix of live and studio versions of the Chickenfoot tunes. The highlight of the DVD for me is them doing “Bitten By The Wolf.” Although it is not the full-length song, it shows Satriani really shredding, which is always fun to see.
I recommend this edition of Chickenfoot pretty strongly to anyone who does not yet own the original version. If you do already have it, then it becomes a matter of how much one new song as well as an hour’s worth of video footage means to you. In the US, this version is only available at Best Buy, and is available in the UK and the rest of Europe from earMusic.