5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A great live album,
This review is from: Live Alive (Audio CD)
The late Stevie Ray Vaughan rocked on stage. His rendition of Howlin' Wolf's "Commit A Crime" may lack the raw punch of Wolf's original, but that's a minor complaint...most of this album is simply excellent, filled with gems from Vaughan's first three albums.
Stevie Ray's muscular and versatile guitar playing is sublime, with more grit than most of his studio orginals. His vocals are good, too, and the song list is magnificent, featuring the rare, non-LP track "Willie the Wimp" about the bizarre 1984 funeral of a Chicago "wiseguy".
Other highlights include Vaughan's best song, the superbly groovy "Pride And Joy", as well as "Look At Little Sister", "Cold Shot", "Love Struck Baby" and the slow blues "Texas Flood" and "Ain't Gone 'N' Give Up On Love", but there are really no weak songs, and this album should appeal to fans of both blues and rock music.
The sound is good, although not always crystal clear, and the band is excellent. Several songs actually sound better in this live setting than on the original studio albums, partly because of the blistering blues-rock arrangements which include keyboards (piano and organ).
Apparently some people feel that Vaughan's playing wasn't up to his usual standards when this album was recorded, that he must have been having a bad night or something. I've heard a lot of live SRV, and I can't make any sense of that claim, especially since "Live Alive" wasn't recorded during just one show, but actually incorporates cuts from different concerts in both 1985 and 1986. He must have been having some bad years, then, and this myopic claim sounds particularly absurd when it is brought forward by people who then go on to praise Stevie's "Live At Montreux" album. Several of these performances are from, yes, you guessed it, the very same 1985 Montreux performance.
Contrary to what some people have apparently heard and chosen to believe, this is a very enjoyable, soulful live album, and it is highly recommendable to anyone with an interest in Stevie Ray Vaughan, or contemporary blues and blues-rock in general.