Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble: Couldn’t Stand the Weather

ON THIS DATE (28 YEARS AGO)
May 15, 1984 – Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble: Couldn’t Stand the Weather is released.
# ALL THINGS MUSIC PLUS+ 5/5
# allmusic 4/5
Couldn’t Stand the Weather is the second studio album by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble. It was released on May 15, 1984 by Epic Records as the follow-up to the band’s critically and commercially successful 1983 album Texas Flood. The album went to #31 on the Billboard 200 chart and the music video for “Couldn’t Stand the Weather” received regular rotation on MTV.
Vaughan and Double Trouble had performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in July 1982 and caught the attention of musician Jackson Browne, who offered the band free use of his personal recording studio in Los Angeles. During Thanksgiving weekend, they accepted Browne’s offer and recorded a demo. It was heard by record producer John H. Hammond, who had discovered artists such as Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen among many others. He presented the demo to Greg Geller, head of A&R at Epic Records, and arranged a recording contract. In June 1983, the demos were released as Texas Flood by Epic Records.
During January 1984, Vaughan and Double Trouble spent nineteen days at the Power Station on the borough of Manhattan in New York City. Hammond was named executive producer and supervised the sessions. The first track recorded was a Robert Geddins cover of “Tin Pan Alley,” which was done in one take. Hammond said into the talkback microphone, “That’s the best you’ll ever get that song. That sounded wonderful.” Vaughan’s brother, Jimmie Vaughan, played rhythm guitar on “Couldn’t Stand the Weather” and “The Things That I Used to Do”. For “Stang’s Swang,” drummer Fran Christina and saxophonist Stan Harrison recorded parts for the track.
REVIEW
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine, allmusic
Stevie Ray Vaughan’s second album, Couldn’t Stand the Weather, pretty much did everything a second album should do: it confirmed that the acclaimed debut was no fluke, while matching, if not bettering, the sales of its predecessor, thereby cementing Vaughan’s status as a giant of modern blues. So why does it feel like a letdown? Perhaps because it simply offers more of the same, all the while relying heavily on covers. Of the eight songs, half are covers, while two of his four originals are instrumentals — not necessarily a bad thing, but it gives the impression that Vaughan threw the album together in a rush, even if he didn’t. Nevertheless, Couldn’t Stand the Weather feels a bit like a holding pattern, since there’s no elaboration on Double Trouble’s core sound and no great strides forward, whether it’s in Vaughan’s songwriting or musicianship. Still, as holding patterns go, it’s a pretty enjoyable one, since Vaughan and Double Trouble play spiritedly throughout the record. With its swaggering, stuttering riff, the title track ranks as one of Vaughan’s classics, and thanks to a nuanced vocal, he makes W.C. Clark’s “Cold Shot” his own. The instrumentals — the breakneck Lonnie Mack-styled “Scuttle Buttin'” and “Stang’s Swang,” another effective demonstration of Vaughan’s jazz inclinations — work well, even if the original shuffle “Honey Bee” fails to make much of an impression and the cover of “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)” is too reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix’s original. So, there aren’t many weaknesses on the record, aside from the suspicion that Vaughan didn’t really push himself as hard as he could have, and the feeling that if he had, he would have come up with something a bit stronger.
TRACKS:
All songs were written by Stevie Ray Vaughan, except where noted.
“Scuttle Buttin'” – 1:52
“Couldn’t Stand the Weather” – 4:40
“The Things That I Used to Do” (Eddie Jones) – 4:55
“Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” (Jimi Hendrix) – 8:01
“Cold Shot” (W. C. Clark, Michael Kindred) – 4:01
“Tin Pan Alley (aka Roughest Place in Town)” (R. Geddins) – 9:11
“Honey Bee” – 2:42
“Stang’s Swang” – 2:46
Legacy Edition
Disc One
“Scuttle Buttin'” – 1:52
“Couldn’t Stand the Weather” – 4:41
“The Things That I Used to Do” (Jones) – 4:55
“Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)” (Hendrix) – 7:59
“Cold Shot” (Clark, Kindred) – 4:01
“Tin Pan Alley” (Geddins) – 9:11
“Honey Bee” – 2:43
“Stang’s Swang” – 2:50
“Empty Arms” – 3:28
“Come On (Pt. III)” (E. King) – 4:33
“Look at Little Sister” (Ballard) – 2:46
“The Sky Is Crying” (Elmore James) – 4:11
“Hide Away” (F. King, Thompson) – 4:03
“Give Me Back My Wig” (Taylor) – 4:07
“Boot Hill” (Sly Williams) – 2:23
“Wham!” (Lonnie Mack) – 2:26
“Close to You” (Willie Dixon) – 3:10
“Little Wing” (Hendrix) – 6:48
“Stang’s Swang” (alternate take) – 2:44
Disc Two
“Testify” (The Isley Brothers) – 4:36
“Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)” (Hendrix) – 11:53
“The Things That I Used to Do” (Jones) – 5:30
“Honey Bee” – 2:32
“Couldn’t Stand the Weather” – 4:53
“Cold Shot” – 4:05
“Tin Pan Alley (aka Roughest Place in Town)” (Geddins) – 10:29
“Love Struck Baby” – 3:00
“Texas Flood” (Larry Davis, Joseph Wade Scott) – 9:38
“Stang’s Swang” – 3:07
“Lenny” – 11:07
“Pride and Joy” – 4:59
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