Surfing With The Alien has always been my favorite Joe Satriani album. He is a special guitar player and that is evident with his first release. He was riding on the success of Not Of This Earth and everyone was waiting in anticipation of what was to come next; and the media was even throwing "sophomore slump" verbatim around. Then Surfing With The Alien hit the racks and there was no denying that a great career was set in stone. Satriani blew everyone away and silenced the naysayers with this incredible album, proving that he was indeed a resilient and talented artist who could grow and realize his potential.
The 2006 remastered version sounds much cleaner and more dynamic than the original release, so the sound quality of 2007's Sony Legacy Edition is no surprise to me. If the only copy you have is the original recording you will immediately realize the incredible difference. The original 10 tracks from Surfing With The Alien have always sparkled with energy, but now there is much more depth and clarity on the bass and treble. You will not know how much better a recording can be until you hear a remastered version like this. Joe has a little help on this album, but he demonstrates his versatility by playing guitar, bass, keyboards, percussion/drum programming, and his guitar playing is a screaming, razor-sharp religious experience for any instrumental rock fan.
There have been a few additions as the Sony Legacy Edition offers a full performance of an unreleased live show at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1988.The concert is featured in crunching 5.1 surround sound and the restored video is visually stunning - it is like being right there in the audience. Joe and his band are in tip-top form and they make a lot of music for a trio. During the performance Stu Hamm plays bass and Jonathan Mover is on drums. They are a solid rhythm section for Satriani and support his lengthy and intricate runs superbly. Hamm displays several different styles of bass playing during the performance; he is particularly adept at slap bass, and Mover is in constant motion, forever shaking his long locks from his eyes whilst pounding away at the speed of light to keep time for his counterparts.
The DVD also includes an informative booklet with color pictures, two original videos: "Satch Boogie" and "Always with Me Always with You," and an interview with Spinal Tap guitarist Nigel Tufnel.
This is great find for any Satriani fan or guitar freak. The price is right too, it sells for only $18.97 at Amazon and retails for $24.98, either way it is a great bargain for what you get in return.