Joe Satriani surfs right back to the 1980s on appropriately titled new single Nineteen Eighty

Joe Satriani has announced his 17th (!) solo album, Shapeshifting, due out April 10 via Sony Music/Legacy Recordings.

In advance of the album’s release, the electric guitar player has unveiled the first single, Nineteen Eighty, which sounds, well, like something straight out of the titular year, mixed with a bit of late-'80s Surfing with the Alien-style flash.

According to Satch, the retro feel of the song shows him revisiting the musical approach of his early '80s band the Squares, who “dialed back the guitar solos and histrionics to try to create a cooler new wave vibe.”

To make that vibe even more era-appropriate, Satch used a vintage MXR EVH phaser on the song.

(Image credit: Sony)

“I’ve always been a huge fan of Eddie Van Halen,” he said. “In my mind, he just crystallized that era. The late '70s and early '80s, he kind of saved rock guitar. So that’s what I would have been doing.”

Shapeshifting was co-produced by Satriani and Jim Scott. Musicians on the record include drummer Kenny Aronoff (John Fogerty), bassist Chris Chaney (Jane’s Addiction) and keyboardist Eric Caudieux, with additional contributions from Lisa Coleman (The Revolution) and Christopher Guest.

You can pre-order Shapeshifting in a variety of configurations - and with extra goodies - at (opens in new tab).

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.