Records That Made History

Stevie Ray Vaughan And Double Trouble – Live Alive

todayApril 13, 2024 16

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Live Alive is the first live album by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, released on November 15, 1986 by Epic Records, and is made up of four live performances by the group. Performances were recorded on July 15, 1985 at the Montreux Jazz Festival, July 17 and 18, 1986 at the Austin Opera House, and July 19, 1986 at the Dallas Starfest. Much of the album was recorded in the studio.

“Live Alive” peaked at #52 on Billboard and #33 on Canada’s RPM Charts.

The 1985 Montreux concert was much better than the 1982 concert, where some in the crowd had booed Vaughan’s hard blues sound. The song selection for Live Alive also shows many of SRV’s biggest influences including Jimi Hendrix on “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”, Howlin’ Wolf on “Commit A Crime” and Buddy Guy on “Mary Had A Little Lamb”. The song “Don’t Stop By The Creek, Son” by Johnny Copeland was played at the 1985 Montreux concert, but was omitted from the released CD.

Most live blues recordings have a feeling of intimacy, as if the concerts are taking place in a venue and in front of an audience that not only knows all the lyrics, but also knows the performers personally.

Live Alive, by contrast, has the feel of a large-scale rock concert, an epic production of great promise. But really, nothing fits Stevie Ray Vaughan’s style better, from the overall sound to his solos, all of which are really big. The roar of the audience, especially for favorites like “Pride And Joy,” “Cold Shot” and “Texas Flood,” is huge but distant, an arena sound. Overall, Live Alive feels like a series of stellar moments caught on tape, with an intensity rarely captured in a studio recording.

The album received mixed reviews. He praised Vaughan’s live playing, his ability to improvise and his ability to cover songs and make them sound like his own, but he was criticized for his uneven playing sound, largely due to his drug abuse, and his lack of formal sound that characterized him.

Steve Huey of Allmusic wrote of the album, “Live Alive is a stunning double-length showcase for Stevie Ray Vaughan’s guitar, his guitar tone as passionate and dirty as he himself plays spontaneity and passion.”

From this legendary live album I select Buddy Guy’s track, “Mary Had A Little Lamb”.


  1. Say What! 4:43
  2. Ain’t Gone ‘N’ Give Up On Love 6:26
  3. Pride And Joy 4:59
  4. Mary Had A Little Lamb 4:20
  5. Superstition 4:33
  6. I’m Leaving You (Commit A Crime) 5:40
  7. Cold Shot 5:36
  8. Willie The Wimp 4:51
  9. Look At Little Sister 4:06
  10. Texas Flood 6:36
  11. Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) 9:42
  12. Love Struck Baby 3:41
  13. Change It 4:53
  14. Life Without You 9:30

Written by: Dimitris Sigalos

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