Joe Satriani called it the worst record he ever made, but his debut EP featured his most innovative work

Photo of Joe Satriani
(Image credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

We all know Joe Satriani as the electric guitar innovator who put instrumental shred on the map and taught some of the brightest talents to emerge from the ’80s and ’90s. Yet his earliest solo efforts – recorded long before Surfing with the Alien made him a household name in the guitar world – show another, more esoteric side to the guitar god, and one many fans may not be familiar with.

Released in 1984, the Joe Satriani EP was Satch’s debut solo material. At that time, his band, the Squares, were struggling to land a record deal and splintering over creative differences. Buzz was growing around Satriani himself, however, who was seeking new horizons, and had already started to receive offers from other artists, including Eddie Money.

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Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.