Like the destructive tornado on the album’s cover, Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Couldn’t Stand the Weather blows with gale-force intensity, moves everything in its path, and contains beautiful moments of calm at its center. Caught up in the momentum gained from his brilliant debut, the guitar slinger and his Double Trouble band play with a startling degree of authority, confidence, and swagger that hadn’t been witnessed in the blues realm in decades.
Strictly limited to 7,500 numbered copies and pressed on MoFi SuperVinyl at RTI, Mobile Fidelity’s ultra-hi-fi UltraDisc One-Step collector’s edition makes Couldn’t Stand the Weather come alive with unprecedented realism, power, and authenticity. Vaughan’s street-wise stare, lived-in cowboy boots, lightning-fueled fingers, and Paladin hat come into pristine focus. More importantly, the searing tones from his ’59 Stratocaster guitar, drawl of his raspy voice, and strategic bend of the strings are captured with extreme delicacy. You won’t miss a note. The soundstage is deep and wide, the microdynamics pop.
Developed by NEOTECH and RTI, MoFi SuperVinyl is the most exacting-to-specification vinyl compound ever created. Analog lovers have never seen (or heard) anything like it. Extraordinarily expensive and extremely painstaking to produce, the special proprietary compound addresses two specific areas of improvement: noise floor reduction and enhanced groove definition. The vinyl composition features a new carbonless dye (hold the disc up to the light and see) and produces the world’s quietest surfaces. This high-definition formula also allows for the creation of cleaner grooves that are indistinguishable from the original lacquer. MoFi SuperVinyl provides the closest approximation of what the label’s engineers hear in the mastering lab.
The lavish packaging and gorgeous presentation of this Couldn’t Stand the Weather pressing also befit its extremely select status. Housed in a deluxe box, Mobile Fidelity’s UD1S version contains special foil-stamped jackets and faithful-to-the-original graphics that illuminate the splendor of the recording. No expense has been spared. Aurally and visually, this reissue exists a curatorial artifact meant to be preserved, touched, and examined. It is made for discerning listeners that prize sound quality and creativity, and who desire to fully immerse themselves in the art – and everything involved with the album, from the images to the textures.
By the time Vaughan and Double Trouble entered the studio in January 1984, the band’s reputation as the world’s hottest blues-rock act had been cemented. Vaughan even declined a juicy offer to tour as part of David Bowie’s band in order to live out his own dreams. And this proud Texan doesn’t mess around. Pulling no punches and embracing his role as blues’ modern ambassador, Vaughan’s scorching 1984 record epitomizes his hallmark styles and moods: brazen, ferocious, mesmerizing, cathartic, defiant, and soulful, all at once.
Here, in the form of the jaw-dropping version of “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return),” is Vaughan’s touching acknowledgement of Jimi Hendrix’s looming influence. And in the hopping instrumental “Scuttle Buttin’,” there’s a lingering taste of the guitarist’s playful personality and pyrotechnic skill. “Cold Shot” bleeds with a lover’s scorn, but like a determined fighter, Vaughan picks himself up off the canvas and rears, ready to make another go. Brother Jimmie Vaughan assists on the title track, redolent with the slinky rhythms gleaned from rural Texas bluesman and down-home attitudes.
As he did on Texas Flood, Vaughan closes out the record in high style, bringing the concoction of smoldering blues, sultry shuffles, and jukejoint boogies to a simmer with the instrumental “Stang’s Swang” – dedicated to jazz great Grant Green and punctuated with Stan Harrison’s fiery tenor saxophone lines. Gutsy, gritty, and ceaselessly original, Couldn’t Stand the Weather served further notice that Vaughan was here to stay and demanded to be heard. The double platinum sales figures and Grammy nominations were additional confirmation of that fact. Today, it is recognized the world over as a classic. Welcome to Texas, Stevie Ray style.
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1. Scuttle Buttin’
2. Couldn’t Stand The Weather
3. The Things (That) I Used to Do
4. Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)
1. Roughest Place in Town
1. Cold Shot
2. Honey Bee
3. Stang’s Swang