Essential: A masterpiece of hard rock music.
Surfing with the Alien belongs to its era like Are You Experienced? belongs to its own – perhaps it doesn't transcend its time the way the Jimi Hendrix Experience's 1967 debut does, but Joe Satriani's 1987 breakthrough can be seen as the gold standard for guitar playing of the mid- to late '80s, an album that captures everything that was good about the glory days of shred. Certainly, Satriani was unique among his peers in that his playing was so fluid that his technical skills never seemed like showboating – something that was somewhat true of his 1986 debut, Not of This Earth, but on Surfing with the Alien he married this dexterity to a true sense of melodic songcraft, a gift that helped him be that rare thing: a guitar virtuoso who ordinary listeners enjoyed.
I chose the hit "Memories" from this LP, because is where one can find all the versatility and virtuosity of Satriani.
Dreaming #11 is something of an oddity: a mini-disc released in 1988 with three live tracks and one new studio track.