My birthday is in about a month and I want to get a virtuoso instrumental album but don't know which one. From what I've heard I like Satch better than Vai, but there are so many Satch albums, which one is the best? Also, I have 2 songs from Suspended Animation (Petrucci) and like them both so that's a possibility too. Anyone have any recommendations?
Surfing With the Alien by Joe Satriani tends to be the most popular.

For the best IMO, get Virtuoso by Joe Pass, it's one guy on guitar but he can carry a whole record alone.
I might get flamed for posting an album from one of the older virtuoso's...

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Electric Tears, Population Override, or Colma all by Buckethead
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At the risk of being lynched, Super Colossal is probably one of Satch's best albums to date, you might want to check it out. If you're looking at Vai, Alien Love Secrets is his most accessible album. Also check out Eric Johnson's Ah Via Musicom.
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