Considering that he was cut down in the prime of his career and had only just begun to receive worldwide recognition for his talents, it should be little surprise that Stevie Ray Vaughan has more albums released posthumously than original studio work. The Stratocaster wielding guitar legend’s unique style is well preserved and re-examined on the Legacy Edition of Couldn’t Stand the Weather, the second of his five original studio albums released in 1984. The release coincides with the twentieth anniversary of his death in a helicopter crash after leaving a show in East Troy, Wisconsin.
But there is more to the album than meets the eye. Sure, it contains the faithfully restored eight songs originally on the double-platinum, Grammy-winning album, but it also has some unexpected nuggets that were recorded during those same sessions and previously unreleased. It’s interesting to compare the original version of “Stang’s Swang” with the previously unreleased alternate take. Also fun and playful are cover songs like Hound Dog Taylor’s “Give Me Back My Wig” and Willie Dixon’s “Close To You” which pair nicely with tunes like Earl King’s “Come On.”
Disc two makes this much more than just a vanilla “greatest hits” album, as it unveils a previously unreleased live show from The Spectrum in Montreal in August of 1984. The material draws heavily from both Texas Flood and Couldn’t Stand The Weather, the latter of which offers a nice opportunity to contrast Vaughan’s studio work with live performances around the same time period. Extended versions of “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)” and “Lenny” (which was the nickname of Vaughan’s favorite guitar) are the highlights of that late show in Canada, but the rest of the set is solid as well.
Overall, Couldn’t Stand The Weather – Legacy Edition is a well thought out release that marries some of the best known and highest quality studio work from Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble to some unexpected gems and previously unreleased tunes from the studio archives. There’s a lot to like here, both for casual blues and rock fans and dedicated followers of the late Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Couldn’t Stand the Weather – Legacy Edition is out now on Sony Legacy.