Stevie Ray Vaughan's Texas Flood Celebrates 30th Anniversary
In 1983, MTV was probably the single most influential force on the pop charts. If a song had a popular music video, odds were, it was a hit. Exhibit A: Billboard's Top 5 singles of the year were the Police's "Every Breath You Take" (from Synchronicity), Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean," Irene Cara's "Flashdance What A Feeling," Men At Work's "Down Under" and Jackson's "Beat It." Whether or not you feel 1983 was a great era for music is down to your personal taste, but it certainly didn't look like the time was ripe for a blues revival. Most of the blues-rock icons of the sixties had retired, faded away or evolved in a more pop direction (we're looking at you, Eric Clapton).
And yet, it was in this climate that Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble emerged and turned a new generation on to the blues. Funnily enough, Vaughan benefited from an artist that MTV was giving lots of airtime to: David Bowie. Vaughan had been hired at the guitarist for Bowie's mega-successful comeback album, Let's Dance, which helped to pave the way for his solo career.
Double Trouble drummer Chris Layton recently told Radio.com that, back then, recording in the studio tended to be a more refined musical effort than playing live. "Our philosophy was, we were the same band no matter where we were or what we did," he said.
Their song selection for their debut, which included the SRV-penned classic "Pride And Joy," along with covers of Howlin' Wolf's "Tell Me," Larry Davis' "Texas Flood" and the Isley Brothers' "Testify," was equally simple: "We played the songs that we had in our repertoire that we liked the best, and we recorded them all a few times, and that was, essentially, the record." Ditto for their studio technique: "We just put some mics up and just played the songs." more on this story
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