Few "guitar shredders" of the late '80s were able to cross over into the upper reaches of the pop charts, but Joe Satriani proved to be an exception to the rule. And with over eight full-length studio albums in the shops by late 2003, Satch was ripe for a "best-of" collection – resulting in the release of the double-disc overview Electric Joe Satriani: An Anthology. If you're a newcomer and are looking for a finely balanced set of highlights from throughout Satriani's career, Electric Joe Satriani is definitely the way to go.
Along with teaching some of the top rock guitar players of the '80s and '90s, Joe Satriani is one of the most technically accomplished and widely respected guitarists to emerge in recent times. Born on July 15, 1956, in Westbury, New York, and raised in the nearby town of Carle Place, Satriani inspired by guitar legend Jimi Hendrix picked up the guitar at the age of 14 (although he was initially more interested in the drums). Quickly learning the instrument, Satriani began teaching guitar to others and found a kindred spirit in one of his students, Steve Vai. By the late '70s, however, Satriani had relocated to Berkeley, California.
G3: Live In Concert matches six-time Grammy Award nominee Joe Satriani with three-time Grammy nominee Steve Vai, and Grammy winner Eric Johnson. The group's 1996 North American tour, and features three tracks apiece by each of the guitarists as well as three no-holds-barred jams featuring all three axe-men. G3: Live In Concert is sure to please all lovers of guitar wizardry. This high-energy CD showcases the eclectic compositional skills of the three men, with tracks featuring everything from pumped-up fusion grooves to funk-infused rhythms and jazz-flavored numbers. Each tune, though, is really a vehicle for the soaring guitar pyrotechnics for which Vai, Satriani and Johnson are famous.
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…