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Blog // Sounds
July 6, 2007

Surfing With The Alien

No, this is not a review of 4: Rise Of The Silver Surfer (that‚Äôs coming over the weekend). Glancing through the magazine racks this week, I was startled to see Joe Satriani on the cover of Guitar Player magazine commemorating the 20th anniversary of the release of ‚ÄúSurfing With The Alien,‚Äù the seminal 80s instrumental […]

No, this is not a review of 4: Rise Of The Silver Surfer (that’s coming over the weekend).

Glancing through the magazine racks this week, I was startled to see Joe Satriani on the cover of Guitar Player magazine commemorating the 20th anniversary of the release of “Surfing With The Alien,” the seminal 80s instrumental rock album.

20 years ?!?

I can still remember the first time I peeled away the shrink wrapping and dropped the needle onto that classic slab of vinyl. It was a musical paradigm shift for me, a revelation of what was possible on the guitar and in an ironic way, an early nail in the coffin of my rock playing days. The elements of that album were not original; rock rhythms, programmed beats, jazz harmony, metal and blues phrasing. But, the sound and combination of those elements was electric and breathtaking and the sound was truly stellar.

I soon set about trying to learn every hook, riff and solo and in time learnt them all (with varying degrees of perfection).

The piece in Guitar Player is worth the cover price alone Рrevealing a lot about the process of recording the album, the gear used and a good does of Satriani’ humour. It brings back lots of memories to read about how small studio recording was done in that era, to see the DIY guitars that were played on the album (before the Ibanez endorsements kicked in) and to realise that Joe even used the same brand of personal planner as I had back then.

I’ll be picking up the commemorative re-issue of the album not just for the DVD of Satriani’s 1988 Montreux concert, but also in the hope of a better mastered CD. My one big grip is that the first generation CD release of Surfing was nowhere near as full and rich as the vinyl cut.

So, here’s to you Joe for one of the greatest guitar albums ever made!

[tags] Surfing With The Alien, Joe Satraiani [/tags]

Responses
Toni 15 years ago

I shall have to look out for that. Satch was never a hero for me like he was for you, but he’s defo done some interesting stuff.

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