Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble – The Complete Epic Recordings Collection (12CD Box Set)

The Complete Epic Recordings Collection (12CD Box Set)

The late guitar hero Stevie Ray Vaughan is getting an epic release from Epic Records and Legacy Recordings. On October 28, Legacy will unveil Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble: The Complete Epic Recordings Collection, a 12-CD box set compiling, for the first time, the entirety of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble’s official studio and live album canon at Epic. The box set will include the first commercial release of A Legend in the Making, a promotional recording of the band’s landmark 1983 performance at Toronto’s El Mocambo club, and will also feature two discs of SRV’s odds and ends.

The late Vaughan, who tragically perished in a helicopter crash on August 27, 1990, built his reputation on the Texas club scene in the 1970s as one of the most exciting and innovative guitarists around.   Younger brother of another blues great, Jimmie Vaughan, Stevie Ray played in The Nightcrawlers with Leon Russell’s onetime Asylum Choir partner Marc Benno and famed Austin singer/songwriter Doyle Bramhall, and joined Denny Freeman in The Cobras. But it was the Triple Threat Revue that morphed into Double Trouble, the unit with which Vaughan would set off a blues revival in, of all decades, the 1980s.

Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble – Stevie Ray (guitar, vocals), Tommy Shannon (bass) and Chris “Whipper” Layton (drums) – caught the ear of David Bowie at the 1982 Montreux Jazz Festival, and the ever-astute artist enlisted the blazing guitarist for his Let’s Dance album. Naturally, word spread. Jackson Browne was impressed enough to offer the band use of his Los Angeles recording studio, leading to the recordings which found their way to a man who knew a little about the blues: venerable record man John Hammond, Sr. The elder Hammond played a major role in the careers of artists from Benny Goodman and Count Basie to Aretha Franklin and Bob Dylan, and he brought the Texas trio to Epic Records. The recordings were remixed and remastered, and Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble were off and running.

Executive produced by Hammond, the Texas Flood LP was produced by the band with engineer Richard Mullen. With both originals (hit single “Pride and Joy,” “Love Struck Baby”) and covers (The Isley Brothers’ “Testify,” Howlin’ Wolf’s “Tell Me”), Texas Flood caught on with record buyers. “Pride and Joy” reached No. 20 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, and the album made it all the way to No. 38 on the Billboard 200. Grammy nominations soon arrived, too, for the album’s title track and “Rude Mood.” Yet Texas Flood – beginning Vaughan’s series of gold, platinum and multiplatinum releases over the years – is actually the fourth album on this new box set, preceded by three live recordings.

Within the box, you’ll find:

  • Disc 1: In The Beginning (KLBJ-FM radio broadcast produced by Wayne Bell, recorded April 1, 1980; Austin, Texas)
  • Disc 2: Live At Montreux 1982 (July 17, 1982; Montreux International Jazz Festival)
  • Disc 3: Live At Montreux 1985 (July 15, 1985; Montreux International Jazz Festival)
  • Disc 4: Texas Flood (1983)
  • Disc 5: A Legend in the Making—Live at the El Mocambo (recorded Toronto, Canada, July 20, 1983)
  • Disc 6: Couldn’t Stand the Weather (1984)
  • Disc 7: Live at Carnegie Hall (October 4, 1984)
  • Disc 8: Soul to Soul (1985)
  • Disc 9: Live Alive (1986) (Recorded July 16, 1985, Montreux International Jazz Festival; July 17-18, 1986, Austin, Texas; July 19, 1986, Dallas, Texas)
  • Disc 10: In Step (1989)
  • Disc 11: Archives, Disc One
  • Disc 12: Archives, Disc Two

Collectors will note that Texas Flood and Couldn’t Stand the Weather have both been expanded for Legacy Edition releases; only the original album sequences are presented in this box set.  However, the bonus tracks from Disc One of the CSTW Legacy Edition can be found on Archives.  Family Styleby the Vaughan Brothers isn’t here, but the contents of the posthumous outtakes collection The Sky is Crying have also found a home on Archives.

Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble’s legacy remains strong and undiminished. On April 26, 2014, the group was among the artists to be inducted into the newly created Austin City Limits Hall of Fame, launched in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the PBS concert series. Having earned six Grammy Awards and ten Austin Music Awards, Vaughan was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2014. Rolling Stone has ranked Vaughan as the twelfth greatest guitarist of all time.