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“Surfing With The Alien” – Legacy Edition by Joe Satriani

Artist: Joe Satriani
Title: “Surfing With The Alien” – Legacy Edition
Label: Epic/Legacy
Release Date: 8/7/2007
Genre: Instrumental Progressive
Rating: 5/5

In 1987 Joe Satriani proved to the world that a guitar-oriented album could be a blockbuster that everyone could enjoy even if they were not axe slingers themselves. It was only his second album but it was loaded with technical displays that made aspiring guitarists drool and even upgrade their practice regimen in order to better comprehend exactly what the instrumentalist was doing on the songs. The album was adorned with a striking cover of Marvel Comics’ Silver Surfer soaring through space and hence comes the title of the album and its opening track. Now as the album reaches a milestone in history, Sony Legacy has issued a digitally remastered version and included a bonus DVD that is loaded with unreleased material. As expected the sound with today’s studio contributions make it sound even better but there was clearly something else about it that stood out and that was its overall consistency. The fascinating thing about this recording when one looks back on it some twenty years later was how solid it has remained and how relevant the material still is when compared to other records of its type that are released today. One of the key appeals for me as the listener was how the albums guitar work actually sung to you at times like during “Always With Me Always With You” and at other times it just blasted you with technical prowess and acumen like during its title track. Satriani was already a noted player and had taught students who became guitar heroes in their own right. Some of his most famous pupils consist of Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, Testament’s Alex Skolnick and Steve Vai. The album was almost entirely done by Satriani himself as well since he handled the guitars, the bass, and the keyboards along with some of the drum programming. This was before the days where Pro-Tools made a musicians life easier folks so it just adds to the levels of respect that Joe deserves.
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