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on June 26, 2001
The long awaited Stevie Ray Vaughan box set comes out with plenty of unreleased gems which is what most of us fans look for since the majority already own the previous albums. However, there's one obvious omission - Lou Ann Barton. She was influential in Stevie's early part of his career and at least one song from her bootleg sounding "Thunderbroad/Sugar Coated Love" should have been included. S.R.V. was of course too talented of a guitar player to continue as a side musician and moved on. Most of the music recorded during that period was meant to stay in the vaults. However, when it comes to a box set, I like to see a close to complete history lesson on disc if possible.
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on August 12, 2003
This exceptional box set, with a large, well-illustrated and well-written booklet enclosed in a "book binding" which holds all four discs, is one of the best of its kind. "SRV" doesn't just feature the hits, but, like a good box set should, it genuinely adds to the legacy of Stevie Ray Vaughan, featuring literally dozens of previously unreleased live recordings, alternates and outtakes.
"SRV" includes three compact discs with almost four hours of music, and one DVD EP which contains six previously unissued songs from the 1989 Austin City Limits show, in Dolby stereo and surround mixes, and with interactive menus.
The music on the three CDs span 1977-1990, and includes instrumentals, cover versions, and originals, showcasing both Stevie Ray the bluesman and Stevie Ray the rock singer. Almost all of his best songs are here, including "I'm Cryin'", "Pride And Joy" (live and studio versions), "Empty Arms", "Cold Shot", "Dirty Pool", "Love Struck Baby", and a superb live rendition of "Texas Flood". And "Look At Little Sister" is here, too - both on CD III and on the DVD. In fact, the only really significant omission is Vaughan's rendition of Doyle Bramhall's "Life By The Drop".
The band's excellent 1980 recording of Otis Rush's hit "All Your Love (I Miss Lovin')", from the album "In The Beginning", is also here (magnificent, syncopated drumming by Chris Layton), as is Vaughan's reading of Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Child". And the rare or previously unavailable cuts include Albert King's "Crosscut Saw", "Hug You, Squeeze You", the outtakes "Boilermaker" and "Shake 'N Bake", and the funky, piano-driven "Don't Stop By The Creek, Son", where Stevie Ray acts as a sideman to Johnny Copeland.
This is a rare thing - a box sets which both manages to include (almost) all the artist's best material, and add something new and genuinely interesting even to those fans who already own all the artist's previously released albums.
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on March 28, 2002
I didn't know whether to give this 2 start or 5 stars. All the music is great. If you don't own a Stevie Ray Vaughan album, and you like anything he does, this is a 5 star, must have boxset. If you already own a few of his albums, then this is mostly a repeat of what you have.
This boxset consists of 3 CD's and a DVD. The DVD is taken from the PBS show Austin City Limits. It has only six songs and is 27 minutes long. It is an extremly good performance and Double Trouble is featured more than normal. The only special feature on the DVD is an advertisement for two other videos. Note: Austin City Limits is actually filmed indoors in a rusted building in downtown Austin.
The 3 CD's consist of about 30% previously released studio material and 70% unreleased live material. There are a few older tracks before he formed Double Trouble. They are interesting, but not his best work.
The "previously unreleased live material" is nothing new. Vaughan rarely changed how he played his songs. One live version of Voodoo Chile sounds pretty much like the rest. So there is really no reason to own 5 different versions of Voodoo Chile, because you won't be able to tell one from the other. Most of the material here has been covered on other live Vaughan albums.
There are a few nice songs that don't appear anywhere else. So, for the price of a boxset, you get about 5 new songs and a very short DVD of an excellent performance.
If you don't already own his other albums, you can buy this one and never have to buy anything else. This boxset just about covers Vaughan's complete body of work.
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on November 27, 2000
First, let me start by saying that I am a huge SRV fan, and giving this box set any less than 5 stars is hard to do just becauase of the brilliant musician SRV was. But I had to give it 4 stars because of the inclusion of existing tracks from SRV's existing studio albums. I know for a fact that there is much more live stuff available than was in the box set, so why they chose to throw in existing studio tracks is beyond me. For example it is well known that the entire last show at Alpine Valley was recorded and I would have loved to hear more from that show.
But that being said this box set minus the studio tracks just continues to show why SRV was and is one of the greatests guitarists/signers/song writters around. His boundless energy and creativity comes a live on every track. Of particular note is the Little Wing/Thrid Stone From The Sun, and Willy The Whimp.
The DVD is awesome. These should have been included in the original Austin City Limits release but why they weren't I don't know. This is the first time I have seen this footage and it is like watching him for the first time. His extended version of Mary Had A Little Lamb and VooDoo Chile are awesome.
I would tell any SRV Fan to go and get this box set and add it to your collection.
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on November 21, 2000
THE BAD NEWS; First of all, this is a 3-CD set with a DVD, so if you don't have a DVD player, your paying for a fourth disc that's totally useless to you. Also, the collection includes several previously released album tracks. Chances are, just about anyone interested enough in getting the box set already has the previously released material. And even if you don't, you're not going to buy a box set in order to get them, you're going to buy the original releases or GREATEST HITS. So in effect, these tracks seem to be arbitrary throw-ins added just to stretch the set onto an extra, unnecessary disc. As a result, it could have been a two-disc set. If you're still intersted in buying the set, you can find much better prices elsewhere. THE GOOD NEWS; The large majority of the collection is previously unreleased material. Much of this consists of live versions of Vaughan's biggest hits (which should satisfy critics of his LIVE ALIVE release). The music itself is, of course, 5-star. Just two highlights include an extended live version of "Lookin' Out the Window" that blows away the studio version, and an absolutely wicked collaboration with Jeff Beck on "Goin' Down". The DVD is a collection of outtakes from Vaughan's appearance on Austin City Limits.
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on December 4, 2000
Well it is finally here. The much anticipated Stevie Ray Vaughan box set. For most SRV fans, this will be a satisfying set. Of course some of us would like to have seen much more unreleased material included and less of the album version stuff. But we all know the powers that be had to appeal not just to us SRV freaks but to the casual listener as well. No problem. I think this box set offers a nice balance for all. Tracks run in chronological order beginning in 1977 with only one cut from the Cobras days (I wish there were more) and ends on disc three with a few tunes from the second to last show in Alpine Valley.
More than half of the material is officially previously unreleased and is high quality live and outtake material. Many of the great live tracks like the Timothy White show version of "Dirty Pool" and the MTV tracks are here too. These will be a great surprise for those that haven't heard them before. The live cuts are from some of the best shows like Montreux (even a little of the booing after Texas Flood is there), Houston, Austin, Philadelphia, New Mexico, Alpine Valley, etc.; though I am surprised none of the excellent Tokyo, Japan 1985 show is included. In addition, there are a few cuts of other artists on whose albums Stevie Ray appeared.
For the hard-core collector you probably already have almost everything. However, the good news is that the quality on these discs blows away anything you most likely have on a boot. The fourth disc is a thirty or so minute DVD with five never-aired and never-issued performances from the television program Austin City Limits, recorded on October 10, 1989. I am not sure why these five tunes were cut from the commercial DVD release but I guess it might be because he broke a string on a tune or two during the performance. Who knows they are good regardless. Also included is a 72-page booklet of pictures, session details, essays, discography, and quotes from other musicians and friends. My favorite quote is on the last page, "The world misses his music, but I miss my brother." -Jimmie Vaughan.
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on December 30, 2000
Following last years excellent reissues of his four original studio albums comes this devestating box set of Stevie Ray Vaughn in his natural environment, the stage. Of the 49 tracks that are included here, more than have of which have never been commercially released before, it makes you wonder what they left off. What's here is simply amazing, including performances with his mentor Albert King, to Jeff Beck, Lonnie Mack, and Johnny Copeland. There are also tracks from the rarely seen MTV Unplugged program he did in 1990. There are essays and quotes in the book from fellow musicians and admirers like Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, Carlos Santana, Robert Cray, and even Stevie's guitar tech Rene Martinez talks about how Stevie got his amazing guitar tone. The icing on the cake is the DVD that's included in the box. Five songs that were cut from the appearance that SRV and Double Trouble made on Austin City Limits in 1989, incredible stuff!!! For fans that have bootlegs of some of tracks included here, the sound quality of whats on the box as well as the other rarities included here make this set worth picking up. One of the best of 2000.
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on January 15, 2001
SRV always gave his fans more than their money's worth. This is not the case with this Boxed Set. SRV fans, who want anything they can get their hands on will love it because, like virtually anything SRV did, the tracks on this set demonstrate his genius.
But is this any sort of "definitive" compilation of SRV's work? No. It's a rag tag collection of crap they pieced together in time to cater to the mules who want to buy someone something for Xmas. The DVD is particularly crappy - with only SIX SONGS on the entire DVD. This is CRAP! The rest of the DVD's paltry content is advertising for other SRV DVDs and products. I was expecting some serious content in this set, but its redundant and the video is just enough to piss you off and make you question anything else put out by the major labels. I gave this set as a gift to a musician friend and of course he loved it, because it was free, but you're better off giving someone a VHS tape of a live show if you want to really see SRV in action. This box set is NOT worth the money!! The DVD has maybe 10% of its capacity filled. Spend your money elsewhere on non-major-label releases of SRVs stuff and you'll find a lot more meat.
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on November 22, 2000
What a pleasant surprise this box set is. Normally, a box set is a repackaging of the same old music that can be found on an artist's original cd's. Although there are some of the songs found on Stevie's previous cd's, there are a surprising number of new songs, as well as old songs recorded live from his concerts and TV and radio performances. The previously unreleased songs are so full of soul, that they are a true pleasure to listen to. "Thunderbird", the first song on the first cd of this three cd set, simply rips, and sets the tone for the entire set. The book that comes along with the set tells when and where each song was recorded, and is filled with quotes from Eric Clapton, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana and David Bowie, to name a few. There are dozens of new photographs, and a lengthy biography and Quotes from Stevie. A DVD of five previously unreleased songs performed by Stevie for the TV show "Austin City Limits" nicely rounds out this gem of a box set. Nothing has been overlooked. If you are a Stevie Ray Vaughan freak...Rush out tonight and buy this set. If you've heard of Stevie Ray Vaughan and his amazing guitarmanship, but never have bought one of his cd's...Rush out tonight and buy this set. If you've never heard of Stevie Ray Vaughan...Crawl out from under your rock and RUSH OUT TONIGHT AND BUY THIS SET!! Thank you Jimmie Vaughan and Epic Records from the bottom of my heart!
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on April 30, 2001
Unless you are a complete, compulsively obsessed SRV fanatic, there is absolutely nothing whatsoever to say negatively about this box set. So you've heard 25% of these songs before on the studio albums - so what? How could that possibly diminish the excellence of those songs or make them not worthy of a listen? How many extended collections contain only previously unreleased materials anyway? That's still about 30 unreleased songs to add to the most extensive collection. Even the inclusion of the DVD is not questionable and I consider it an added bonus; I don't have a DVD player yet, but like most of the rest of us, I will buy one in the not-so-distant future. I'm not sure in which field the sub-4 star reviewers are standing, but I don't think they are even playing baseball - maybe something like cricket or croquet. I love this set because of the music it contains. Those who complain about this set seem like they have gone beyond listening to the music into the realm of pure collection -this is one of the best meldings of blues and rock ever compiled, not an item on the Antiques Road Show, for cripe's sake.
This is a great retrospective of Vaughn's entire career, from the period when blues was in total decline in popularity in the 1970's, up until his very last concert in 1990 just before his death in the helicopter crash. It shows how he progressed as an artist, yet always had that fundamental excellence and unique sound. The book accompanying the set contains a lot of useful biographical information as well as several dozen comments from fellow musicians who knew Vaughn.
The songs on these cd's are all top notch. Many of them are live recordings that sparkle with energy and passion. There are also a number of tracks with other blues legends including Albert King, Johnny Copeland, Lonnie Mack, A.C. Reed and brother Jimmie Vaughn. One of the surprises of the set was the song Goin' Down performed live with Jeff Beck - it may not be his most complex or emotional song, and it's not even blues, but what a great, driving hard rock song. My other favorites include the live versions of Little Wing/Third Stone from the Sun on Disc Two and an extended length masterly version of Cold Shot on Disc Three.
In retrospect, I guess there is one thing about this collection that I find disappointing, so maybe I do have a negative comment about SRV. Since I keep this box set in my office, I am displeased that I cannot crank these songs at an appropriate level.
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