This trio would tour extensively and they would get tighter as a unit – the live set on Time Machine — but this might be the only filmed footage of them on the Surfing tour, which alone makes this a worthwhile purchase. It's not uniformly great but it's never terrible and there are frequent moments of sonic nirvana.
The DVD gives the options of DTS, Dolby Digital, and Stereo mixes.
The Liner Notes
I can't help but think Gordon Hauptfleisch, our fabulously talented resident expert on the joys of liner notes would appreciate the lovely booklet that accompanies this release.
Digital music and the digital marketplace has its place in the music universe but there are some things digital just cannot deliver. The feel of the tangible object, the fun and excitement of flipping through pages of lyrics, credits, and exposition on slick pages held in your own hands are all part of the experience, part of the experience digital cannot deliver.
The liner notes do more than give background on the album, they tell us something about the creator. His ambitions, confidence, doubts, and humor are all on display in track-by-track notes, the stories he tells about the making of the record and the ill-fated Montreux performance.
The music has no words, so it is in the presentation of this 20th Anniversary Edition of Surfing With the Alien that we see how personal this record still is to Satriani and how much love he still has for it. The glossy pages, the photos, the notes, the remastering, the DVD… all of these combine to make this feel like a big deal, giving fans the opportunity to participate in the joy of these songs once again.
The third time is the charm for Surfing With the Alien. This is the definitive version of a classic record.