Thursday, 30 December 2010

"Couldn’t Stand The Weather" by STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN and DOUBLE TROUBLE. A Review Of The 2010 2CD 'Legacy Edition' Reissue.

"…Rain Or Shine…It’s Always Here To Stay…"

It's hardly surprising that Stevie Ray Vaughan's 2nd album has become a 2CD 'Legacy Edition' - it was his breakthrough record and is still a huge fan favourite. But re-listening to it now a full 26 years after the event, you're clobbered with his astonishing fretwork, his effortless cool and what a tragic loss to music he was - taken away from us at only 35 in 1990. 

But to the details of this reissue first... 

“Couldn’t Stand The Weather” by STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN and DOUBLE TROUBLE on Epic/Legacy 88697559432 was released 26 July 2010 - a 2CD ‘Deluxe Edition’ Remaster (by VIC ANESINI) that breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 (79:02 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 8 are the original LP "Couldn't Stand The Weather" released May 1984 in the USA on Epic FE 39304 and June 1984 in the UK on Epic EPC 25940

Tracks 10, 11, 13 and 14 are 4 of the 5 bonus tracks that appeared on the 1999 Expanded CD remaster of "Couldn't Stand The Weather" (the missing track is a short 'SRV Interview')
Tracks 12, 15 and 19 are 3 PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED versions of "The Sky Is Crying", "Boot Hill" and "Stang's Swang"  
Tracks 9, 16, 17 and 18 are from the posthumously released album "The Sky Is Crying" (1991)

Disc 2 (75:56 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 13 are a live concert recorded 'The Spectrum' in Montreal on 17 August 1984 (late show) and are listed as PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED (see below).

Eagle-eye fans will notice that of the 11 bonus tracks on Disc 1, only THREE are actually previously unreleased (the rear packaging clearly states this) - the rest are on other CDs fans will already own. Which leaves the live stuff on Disc 2, but that too has been made available via another label. This will mean that dedicated fans will feel they're being asked to fork out for only 3 songs, but I feel for the rest of us - this set is a feast of studio and live brilliance worth every penny. 

The 3-way foldout digipak is nice and there's a photo-festooned 24-page booklet with great liners notes by ANDY ALEDORT, Associate Editor of the "Guitar World" magazine. The mastering is by VIC ANESINI and the sound quality is fantastic - big, ballsy and clear. 

Niggles - there's no footage and there should be. There was a visual excitement about SRV - and I don't just mean that he looked the part - he literally exuded the Blues in his every flourish on the fret-board and growl into the microphone (check out the DVD of "Live At The El Mocambo" from 1983 for such fireworks). The wonderful 'Legacy Edition' of Jeff Buckley's "Grace" was a 3-disc set with a DVD in it and far better for it. 

I batter on about the visuals because it’s one thing to hear Stevie Ray Vaughan make that Stratocaster talk, its another matter entirely witnessing him do it. On film you can graphically 'see' his musicality and fluency. Another thing all really great guitar players have (Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana, Tommy Emmanuel) is that they can rock it out one moment, but do the beautiful the next. Check out YouTube for videos of "Couldn't Stand The Weather" (lyrics above) and then follow it with "Lenny" - excite and sway - SRV could do both.  

I've loved rehearing this album and the extra tracks are an absolute blast. Ok, there is duplicity and diehard fans will already have much of it, but for the rest of us mere mortals, this is a timely reminder of just how blisteringly good Stevie Ray Vaughan was. 

If you haven't succumbed before, then this is the place to start - there's a whole lot of genius on here for not a whole lot of money. Probably the only guitar player who made all the greats 'nervous' - and that's saying something. 

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Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

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