A GREAT ALBUM JUST GOT BETTER
Stuart Jefferson | San Diego,Ca | 07/27/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Two discs 79, 75 minutes each approximately. The digitally remastered sound is crisp and clean. The 24 page booklet goes into some depth on SRV and his music. Comments from his rhythm section (DOUBLE TROUBLE) give added depth, along with an overview by a knowledgeable writer from Guitar World. There are also photos of SRV and a 2 page spread of various advertising items to promote the album-a nice touch.
First I must confess that for me, this (original) album still stands as possibly Stevie Ray Vaughan's finest release. While valid arguments could be made for other albums, this set of songs gets to the heart of who Vaughan was. Blessed with a ragged, worn sounding voice and large hands, when Vaughan sang you knew he wasn't kidding. But its when he wrapped that big hand around the neck of his guitar that you knew he was the real deal when it came to the blues. The music was intense, and just seemed to pour out of him ("The Things That I used To Do") in a desperate, pleading torrent of sound. Yet he was capable of playing Wes Montgomery/Kenny Burrell/Joe Pass jazz-like passages ("Stang's Swang"), intense guitar driven instrumentals ("Scuttle Buttin'"-which has its origins from the great guitarist Lonnie Mack, "Wham!"-a Lonnie Mack composition, and Freddie King's "Hide Away"), and moody songs ("Lenny"), which show how sensitive and mature his playing could be. This album is proof that SRV was a truly multi-faceted musician. and could (and would) take his music wherever it suited him.
The first disc, which includes the original album, also contains a number of tracks (8) that have been previously released on other albums. Is this another example of a record company padding out an already fine album with tracks we're all familiar with? Perhaps. Or is it an attempt to give, in one package, a better picture of just who SRV was? Whether you decide to purchase this for the live disc and the remastered original album, which includes 3 previously unreleased tracks (along with the 8 previously released songs) is something every listener will have to decide for themselves. While I don't like padding an already fine album with tracks I own elsewhere, their inclusion does help paint a better picture of Vaughan's music at this stage. The 3 unreleased studio tracks, "The Sky Is Crying" (an awesome trio version), "Boot Hill", and an alternate of "Stang's Swang" (a trio version different from the original), are welcome additions for those (like me) who can't get enough of SRV during this period.
The second disc, live from 1984 (when the original album was released), is, in a nut shell, full of the guitar work that Vaughan is revered for. Its also where the rhythm section (DOUBLE TROUBLE) proves how valuable they were to Vaughan's sound. In this live context Chris Layton (drums) and Tommy Shannon (bass) play intuitively as equals, not just backing musicians for Vaughan's guitar. His combination lead/rhythm style, his crying, pleading, bent notes, his hurt-sounding sustain, and his searing single notes that sound as if they could pierce you like a knife-point are all over this disc. From slow blues ("Tin Pan Alley"), to shuffles ("Love Struck Baby"), to fiery guitar pyrotechnics ("Voodoo Child (Slight Return"), Vaughan's command of his guitar (and the blues) is evident. Tracks like Guitar Slim's "The Things That I Use To Do" (whose original 1950's version is smokin'), "Texas Flood" (by the late Larry Davis-a good blues singer/guitarist) and "Couldn't Stand The Weather" help show SRV as one of the best blues players from the modern era. Add some uptempo tracks along with a bit of funk and you have a complete picture of just who Stevie Ray Vaughan was, and what his music was all about.
So, if you can get past the already released tracks, and think of them as completing a better picture of SRV, this updated release, along with the live second disc is certainly worth purchasing. Sony Records has certainly priced this set at a fair (low) price, which is added incentive. For anyone who likes modern era blues guitar-look no further."
SRV Finally Gets The Deluxe Treatment
Blues.at.Sunrise | 07/30/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Well, being one who grew up almost exclusively on the music of Stevie Ray Vaughan (because my parents saw his last concert at Alpine Valley and were so impressed with him), I am happy to see that he has finally been given the Deluxe/Legacy Treatment for one of his albums.
The original album, which consists of only eight songs is great in its own right, but with the addition of twenty-four extra songs this legacy edition really captures where the band was at during that time period, particularly where they were in the studio. I had always heard that the Couldn't Stand The Weather sessions were very productive and that he had cut two and a half to three albums worth of material during those sessions. We had been given a glimpse of some of the outtakes on The Sky Is Crying and other releases, but it is refreshing to be able to hear all of the previously released outtakes from this session with their original/intended album. You do get three Previously Unreleased studio outtakes which are very good, in particularly a different version of The Sky Is Crying (which is different than the one released on the Blues at Sunrise album) and an early version of Boot Hill, which really sounds live and is the reason that I love it (It should be mentioned that this version he is not playing slide, unlike the 1989 version that appeared on The Sky Is Crying). The third unreleased studio outtake in an alternate take of Stang's Swang, which does not have the horn section and does sound quite different but still good. I still have not determined if this is the same version that was released as a very limited promo with the SRV Box Set that Best Buy gave away, but even if it is, it is still good and is now available to the mass public.
The live concert which is from the August 17 late show from 1984, and was recorded in Montreal. The concert was actually a King Biscuit Flower Hour Show, and can be heard for free along with three other concerts (including the early show from the same day) at King Biscuits website. The show is not the complete show, the one song that I wish they would have included was "Tell Me", but I can't complain too much about a great live concert that shows the trio really at the height of their abilities (before the addition of Reese Wynans and before the Drugs took a serious toll on Tommy Shannon and Stevie). The versions of Voodoo Chile (Slight Return), and Tin Pan Alley are really, in my eyes and ears, worth the price alone. And the version of Texas Flood, as always is great (and he really uses the Albert King bends in that one). The whole concert is fantastic and it sounds great.
I only have two complaints with this edition, the first, as I have already mentioned is that the concert is not complete, and second is that you do not get the "SRV Speaks" that was released on the 1999 remaster. But for the price, which is very low, compared to other deluxe editions, I can't complain at all, for the music is fantastic and I am elated to finally see SRV get the deluxe treatment that he so rightfully deserves. So if you are a fan of Albert King, Buddy Guy, B.B or Freddie King, or even Clapton and early Zep (or if you just like SRV and modern blues) this would be a great buy for you, especially considering the price.
Stevie shreds the frets
Rain Delay | 07/27/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The previously unreleased 1984 Montreal concert is reason enough to purchase this Legacy Edition. The sound is superb, with taut, articulate bass.
Some duplication on the studio disc doesn't concern me. The three unreleased tracks are worthy additions. I hope there are more unreleased SRV concerts of this quality in the vaults to be paired with future Epic Legacy editions of his studio output."