I have never heard of, let alone actually heard, French rockers SATAN JOKERS, the brainchild of vocalist/drummer Renaud Hantson. From the bio, it seems that “Best Of Live” is a collection of live tracks from the 1980s (as the band has been non-existent for 20-plus years). I don’t usually like my first exposure of a band to come in the form of a live album, as live albums are very hit or miss, but I take what I can get.
I can’t say what SATAN JOKERS studio material sounds like, so I have nothing to compare “Best Of Live” to. But I can say that the drumming of Hantson really stands out. In fact, at first I found myself paying far more attention to the creative and very interesting drumming, than to anything else. But after multiple listens, I can say the whole band were very good, creative musicians. Overall, “Best Of Live” shows a very spirited performance from a band that, to these ears, comes off as a Progressively tinged mix of T. REX, IRON MAIDEN and SWEET. The sound is bit thin, but the recording is old, so that’s forgivable.
SATAN JOKERS sounds like a band that was very good at what it did and the crowd seems to really eat it up, it’s just too bad that the band wasn’t around for very long. So, if you like rather obscure, unique and interesting bands from Metal’s heyday and don’t have a beef with live recordings, “Best Of Live” is a recommended pick-up.
And as a bonus, we get a studio cover version of the DEEP PURPLE classic, “Child In Time”, which makes “Best Of Live” all the better. (Online June 23, 2006)