The Essential Joe Satriani is a solid alternative to the equally stellar two-disc career overview Electric Joe Satriani: An Anthology, with the main difference being that it spans 13 albums -- all the way from 1986’s Not of This Earth to 2008’s Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion of Rock -- instead of stopping short at 2002’s Strange Beautiful Music. Since much of Satch’s notable material comes from the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, either option makes for an excellent starter pack and does indeed cover the “essentials,” including shredder faves “Surfing with the Alien,” “Satch Boogie,” "Summer Song," “Always with Me, Always with You,” and “Flying in a Blue Dream.” For newcomers hoping to get acquainted with the Guitar God via a single disc, Sony/Legacy's Playlist: The Very Best of Joe Satriani compilation offers a cheaper alternative. But, for those looking for a thorough chronological overview, this is the best to date. And, as a nice bonus, the liners include an explanation of each song's inspiration, penned by Joe Satriani himself.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Lymangrover
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2