Joe Satriani (or Satch to his fans) has consistantly delivered innovitave and constantly-changing styles of music. Where his later albums like "Strange Beautiful Music" produced more thought-provoking sounds and did a good job of separating himself from other so-called "stunt guitarists", Surfing With The Alien really is a showcase of Joe's skills more than anything. It does absolutely rock of course and sounds awesome played loud but I don't think it will do as much for people who aren't fans of instrumental guitar music. So what are all the big Satch fans loving about this? Well, it starts off with the amazing, can't sit still, highspeed "Crushing Day" followed straight away with one of the most beautiful instrumental ballads "Always With Me, Always With You" and the innovative "Midnight" which sounds great through a good hi-fi. If you enjoy this, you should of course check out the rest of Joe's releases but in particular (and relating to SWTA) I would recommend The Extremist, Crystal Planet (in my opinion, Satch's greatest work), Flying In A Blue Dream and his latest, "Is There Love In Space?".
Surfing with the Alien is without doubt one of the finest 'Guitar' albums that you'll ever find. It was released at just the right time, and despite being associated with the poodle-haired widdlers of the time, this album showed a sophistication, technique and composition that very few people could match, and less attempted to emulate. Almost 15 years on, "Surfing" has become a sought-after album by most aspiring rock guitarists, and is frequently referenced by mainstream music magasines using terms such as "Influential", "Original", "Innovative" etc. Satriani has a knack of making the mundane sound interesting, and the interesting sound stratospherically fascinating. It's not just a showy jumble of notes played really fast. there are tasteful phrases, riffs, and some astounding acoustic moments, and of course, some good ol' toe-tapping RAWK! It's not for everybody. Westlife fans will hate it. However, anyone open to music played well, no matter what genre will love this album.
The career defining album. Incredible. The most recent remastered version benefits from the digital jiggery-pokery. After hearing the original, you can hear differences such as the sound of the plectrum hitting the strings on 'Circles'. If there is one rock guitar album you buy...this is it.
This is the album that started the phenominal appeal of Joe Satriani. In my opinion the greatest guitarist in the world today, Satriani sets high standards with this groundbreaking album. Preety much all the tracks are outstanding, displaying just how masterful Joe Satriani is on his guitar. In my opinion the first 5 tracks are instant classics and, considering this album is 15 years old, and on his current tour he plays 7 of the 10 tracks on it, shows that they age well and don't become tiresome over time. This is a great buy if you want to get into guitar music, needless to say if you are an electric guitar fan you will already own this. It is definatley one of the greatest rock albums of all time.
This album was bought by me on cassette in 1988, has since been bought on CD and then the Legacy edition too (which is a good buy - the Montreux show is top class). I`m reviewing it, as have so many others, because it`s so incredible that you feel you have to say something! It`s the sort of album that I cannot imagine ever feeling anything other than utter disbelief and delight when listening to. It`s truly amazing.
Each song has, of course, become famous in it`s own right, and Joe still has to play them live even now; simply because the songs are as vital twenty plus years on as they were back when no one thought guitar instrumentalists had anything to offer the dodgy eighties scene. Opening up with the title track, like the fist emerging from the back cover, it punches you right between the eyes! If Joe just had the chops, and no imagination, you`d respect him but his ideas and technique combined are absolutely frightening. Followed by "Ice Nine" - probably the best of them all, due to the chilling three solos before the famous "lizard down the throat" interlude. "Crushing Day" and "Always With Me, Always With You" are brilliant, particularly the contrast they offer with one following the other. Check out the extended live version of the latter, it`s magnificent. "Satch Boogie" is next, breathless and with a tap-fest to satisfy EVH`s biggest fans. Slight dip in pace with "Hill Of The Skull", and you`ll need technique and serious pick-ups to get those harmonics between the second and third fret if you try and play it, but the switch in "Circles" from gentle but slightly dark rhythm to all-out wahwah attack and back to rhythm is breathtaking. "Lords of Karma" and "Echo" are almost forgotten by some in the context of the majesty that preceded them, but they are two of my favourite Joe songs, and as usual they offer everything that guitars, a bass guitar and drummer can. These two great tracks are interrupted by the tapping masterclass of "Midnight", which will stay with you even if you don`t listen to the album for months.
How I`ve written anything coherent about this CD I`ll never know; because in truth, it`ll leave you speechless.
Well I'm not a long term fan of this amazing guitar player but I have this and Crystal Planet and I must say they are both fantastic instrumental albums. Joe is certainly an excellent and puts out both riffs(usual simple but really amazing) and solos that will amaze you. As a guitarist I have only been playing for around 5 months and i'm sorta teaching myself but I have quite a few guitar Idols which are Tony Iommi, Satriani, Dave Mustaine, Angus Young, Craig Goldy & Herman Li(yes but i love dragonforce so I consider Li an inspiration as they were the first metal band i discorverd and opened a whole new genre to me and no i'm a guitar hero nerd).
Basically check out Joe Satriani on Youtube and search Joe Satriani - Summer Song, that my friend will get you hooked. This is a great start to Satriani and an inspiration to guitar players. So really all you have to is buy a Joe Satriani album and you will be hooked. Rock On! ! !
Joe Satriani's live output was already fairly extensive with two double-DVD concerts and three G3 offerings. However, all this footage shows a much more mature Joe, post-'96 haircut, performing the material very well, but almost as if it were a tribute to his rock 'n' roll past. I was absolutely thrilled when I found out he was releasing a full concert from the late '80s, back in his heyday of long hair and a gritty live act.
The DVD is great fun: Satch really gets into the material and sacrifices perfection for lots of improvisation and new fills. Many of the tracks have not before featured in Satch's videography, and are full of insight for fans who want to see how Satch pulls off his music live. "Lords of Karma" is particularly interesting as it shows Jonathan Mover using an electric drum pad to provide the rhythm guitar part, whilst the solo in "Echo" is entirely different to the album version. Satch also ad libs a delightful alternative solo before he begins the melody. Unfortunately, the set lasts just an hour because the band were late on and it had to be cut; indeed, Satch is so keen to get through it he even returns a beat early after the tapping solo in "Satch Boogie"!
I have never been so keen on Satch's early lineup of Stu Hamm and Jonathan Mover; I feel neither play very tastefully and the dated production and sound quality of this show doesn't help. There is little subtlety in Hamm pounding his way through each track putting his entire hand to the strings, whilst Mover's drum solo is boring and laden with too much double kick drum work. I much prefer Jeff Campitelli, who is clearly a huge Bonham fan and concentrates on the groove rather than competing with Satch for speed and volume. Where Hamm does shine is in his solid accompaniment to "Always With Me, Always With You", where he plays both the bass line and the rhythm guitar's arpeggios.
The CD itself sounds fantastic and is complemented by a booklet in which Joe talks his way through each track. Armed with these, one can really appreciate the remaster, from Joe's huge sound on the title track to the ambience of "Echo".
I definitely recommend this latest release, not least for the bonus live DVD, which shows the timeless and oxymoronic image of Satch, tightly clad in the quintessential rock outfit, performing his outrageous tunes in front of the stage's backdrop that reads "Montreux Jazz Festival".