From the Vault...


Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble
"Live Alive"

© Epic Records

Year of Release: 1986

track listing
  • Say What!
  • Ain't Gone 'N'
    Give Up On Love
  • Pride And Joy
  • Mary Had A Little Lamb
  • Superstition
  • I'm Leaving You
    (Commit A Crime)
  • Cold Shot
  • Willie The Wimp
  • Look At Little Sister
  • Texas Flood
  • Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)
  • Love Struck Baby
  • Change It

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    "Live Alive"

    Most of Stevie Ray Vaughan's LIVE albums were released after his untimely death, in 1990. However, his Live Alive was released in 1986, as this was the first live album he did release while alive. I'm not sure if this album did reach #1 on the Blues Album Chart. (My research of this started in 1995.) As mentioned of his live albums, most of them also reached the #1 position, after 1995.

    Live Alive produced two songs that I remember, that were not on any of his studio albums. Being a live album as it was, the two songs that easily stood out was his version of the Stevie Wonder classic "Superstition" and the song "Willie The Wimp" (in his cadillac coffin). This particular song, was a true story: Details here.

    As for the remaining tracks, they are classic live recordings of well-known songs Stevie Ray Vaughan had previously recorded from his studio albums. The album kicks off with a song originally from Soul To Soul, the bluesy instrumental jam, "Say What!" Speaking of the blues, the slow-paced blues of "Ain't Gone 'N' Give Up On Love" (originally from Soul To Soul) is a great blues number, showing the great blues work of Stevie, his band Double Trouble, and Stevie's unique great singing of a typical 3-chord slow blues track.

    "Pride And Joy" (originally from Texas Flood) is one of Stevie's most popular songs from his earlies studio albums. Still after so many years, it is still fresh as when it first was released; truly one song any SRV fan will never be tired of. Another song that I never get tired of, (and I discovered this song far many years after SRV's death), is another song originally from Texas Flood, "Mary Had A Little Lamb." This song truly shows how COOL Stevie Ray Vaughan really was. The music just fits, and how he sings this song makes it even better.

    "I'm Leaving You (Commit A Crime)" is a rocking tune, yet I really don't remember it, probably because this song was never originally released on any SRV studio album.

    "Cold Shot" is another classic SRV track, originally from Couldn't stand The Weather. "Look At Little Sister" was originally from Soul To Soul. This song sounds like a slowed down version of "Pride And Joy." As good of a song this was, it really wasn't one of my personal favorites, but it is still just a good song. "Texas Flood" (originally title track of same album) is another slow-driving 3-chord blues song. (I vaugely remember this tune when it was out; good song, nevertheless.)

    SRV's takes on Jimi Hendrix tunes have been remarkable. Sometimes you can't really determine who's version is better - the originals or SRV's. "Little Wing" and "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)" come to mind, as the latter song mentioned is included here on Live Alive. "Love Struck Baby" (originally from Texas Flood) is a song in which if Chuck Berry and SRV got together to write a song, I think "Love Struck Baby" would be a good result. The album closes with a non-recognizable tune, "Change It," where in certain spots of this song, I keep hearing the song by Heart, "Crazy For You." ("Change It" was originally from Soul To Soul.)

    I would say Live Alive is probably the best live album by SRV & Double Trouble. The main reason why, is that Stevie Ray Vaughan was alive when this album was released. His future live recordings (including a live tribute) were released after his death, making it sad, in how great SRV was, as a performer. I never did get to see him in concert, and I'm sure I could easily see DVD concerts and additional footage of his performances. Stevie Ray Vaughan died way too early, from a helicopter crash in 1990. He left behind a great legacy of work, which has been cherished by old and new SRV fans, and has been an inspiration to newcomers in the blues genre.

    Long live Stevie Ray Vaughan -- You are truly missed -- Every day, every year, and every decade.

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