I try to vary the content of posts on keithhirsch.com. Looking at the home page, it has been several months since I offered up a collectible West German pressing. So I was all ready to write up a West German disc here today when I became distracted. You see, the legendary blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan died tragically on this day 26 years ago. On August 27, 1990, Vaughan left us far too early at just 35 years old. He died in a helicopter crash in Wisconsin. I love Stevie Ray Vaughan’s music and had to feature him here today. As will be seen, this post will show Japanese instead of West German pressings by virtue of Vaughan’s label affiliation.

Vaughan was a brilliant guitarist, songwriter, and frontman. Blues made a comeback in the 1980s largely due to Vaughan’s talent. Listening to Vaughan’s albums, he was not a straight bluesman. There was a rock element to his songwriting. He drew inspirations from blues legends Muddy Waters and Albert King, but also from rockers such as Jimi Hendrix. The result was a blues-rock-laden amalgam that was different than what anyone else was doing in the ’80s. Of course, Vaughan was a great guitarist. With his virtuoso guitar, gruff vocals, and hooks, it’s no surprise that Vaughan was immensely popular when he hit the scene with his first album backed by Double Trouble, 1983’s Texas Flood.

Vaughan was signed to Epic Records, part of CBS. Given that, in looking at early CD pressings of his albums, we do not consider West German pressings. We instead, are looking at Japanese pressings, specifically discs pressed by CBS/Sony. Two rare, collectable discs to track down are Japan-for-U.S. pressings of the first two albums from Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, the aforementioned Texas Flood and 1984’s blockbuster sophomore effort, Couldn’t Stand the Weather. CDs of Texas Flood and Couldn’t Stand the Weather were released in the U.S. by Epic under catalog numbers EK 38734 and EK 39304, respectively. Based on pressing details (DIDP numbers), the Japan-for-U.S. pressings of these albums look to have hit the shelves in 1984.

Typical of early U.S. CBS titles, the inserts for Texas Flood and Couldn’t Stand the Weather reference the discs being made in Japan. Specifically, the back inserts and back covers of the booklets state “Disc manufactured in Japan by CBS/Sony, Tokyo, Japan.” When manufacturing of CBS titles shifted from Japan to the U.S. Digital Audio Disc Corporation (DADC) plant in Terre Haute, Indiana, back inserts for some titles were modified by the addition of “Now Made In The U.S.A.” next to the barcode. This statement was never added to back inserts for the U.S. release of Texas Flood, so all back inserts for this album, regardless of where the disc was pressed, look the same. However, the U.S.A. statement was added to the back insert for Couldn’t Stand the Weather. A back insert lacking the U.S.A. statement is a good indicator of a Japanese CBS/Sony pressings inside, but this is not a guarantee. The earliest U.S. DADC pressings of Couldn’t Stand the Weather can be found with the original back insert (no U.S.A. statement).

The Japanese CBS/Sony pressings of Texas Flood and Couldn’t Stand the Weather are fairly typical. Both discs have “CSR COMPACT DISC” repeating in the plastic ring. The matrix codes for the particular copies of Texas Flood and Couldn’t Stand the Weather posted here are “DIDP-20069 11A1” and “DIDP-20112 11”, respectively. The earliest Japan-for-U.S. CBS/Sony pressings bear DIDP 50XXX numbers and were released in 1983. Since the two Stevie Ray Vaughan titles considered here have DIDP-20XXX numbers, it is believed that the Japanese pressings were issued in 1984.

Vaughan’s early passing has in no way detracted from his popularity. As such, his albums have been reissued many times over the years in various formats and forms. From a collectable point of view, however, the Japan-for-U.S. pressings of Texas Flood and Couldn’t Stand the Weather are among the rarest Stevie Ray Vaughan discs. Shown below are inserts for the first U.S. issues of these albums along with the Japanese CBS/Sony pressings.

 

vaughan texas flood cover_500

The cover for the original U.S. CD issue of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble Texas Flood (Epic, catalog number EK 38734). This is the standard cover artwork for this album.

 

vaughan texas flood back insert_500

The back insert for the original U.S. CD issue of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble Texas Flood (Epic, catalog number EK 38734). Note the statement “Disc manufactured in Japan by CBS/Sony, Tokyo, Japan” along the bottom.

 

vaughan texas flood cd_500

The Japanese CBS/Sony pressing of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble Texas Flood (Epic, catalog number EK 38734). Although difficult to see in this picture, the disc states “MANUFACTURED IN JAPAN” along the perimeter. It has “CSR COMPACT DISC” repeating in the plastic ring, and the matrix code is “DIDP-20069 11A1”. Note that “DIDP 20069” is printed beneath the catalog number at 3 o’clock.

 

vaughan couldn't stand the weather cover_500

The cover for the original U.S. CD issue of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble Couldn’t Stand the Weather (Epic, catalog number EK 39304). This is the standard cover artwork for this album.

 

vaughan couldn't stand the weather back insert_500

The back insert for the original U.S. CD issue of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble Couldn’t Stand the Weather (Epic, catalog number EK 39304). Note the statement “Disc manufactured in Japan by CBS/Sony, Tokyo, Japan” along the bottom. Most later U.S. pressings have the statement “Now Made In The U.S.A.” added in the white space next to the barcode.

 

vaughan couldn't stand the weather cd_500

The Japanese CBS/Sony pressing of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble Couldn’t Stand the Weather (Epic, catalog number EK 39304). Although difficult to see in this picture, the disc states “MANUFACTURED IN JAPAN” along the perimeter. It has “CSR COMPACT DISC” repeating in the plastic ring, and the matrix code is “DIDP-20112 11”. Note that “DIDP 20112” is printed beneath the catalog number at 3 o’clock.

Comments are closed.

-->