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
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”