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Album Review

Although on the short side at 13 tracks and just under 40 minutes, this remains a good collection of some of the Texas band's best work for the Chrysalis label. Most of these sides have already appeared on the well-chosen but unfortunately deleted The Essential Fabulous Thunderbirds. So if you already own that — or most of their first four albums — it's up to you whether to spring for this because it includes two previously unreleased live performances (in marginal fidelity) and a few alternate versions. The T-Birds' live take of Otis Rush's "I Can't Quit You Baby" absolutely smokes, with Jimmie Vaughan turning in a stunning solo, and the concert version of "Wait on Time" is also quite lively. Still, unless you're a die-hard fan, there's too much redundancy here. Plus, this really should be about twice as long. But if you are new to the Thunderbirds and just want a sampler of their early rocking blues (the collection stops at 1982 when they moved to Epic, where they enjoyed a few high-profile hits), this'll do nicely until a more substantial, hopefully multi-label recap of this great band comes along.


Formed: 1974 in Austin, TX

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

With their fusion of blues, rock & roll, and R&B, the Fabulous Thunderbirds helped popularize roadhouse Texas blues with a mass audience in the '80s and, in the process, they helped kick-start a blues revival during the mid-'80s. During their heyday in the early '80s, they were the most popular attraction on the blues bar circuit, which eventually led to a breakthrough to the pop audience in 1986 with their fifth album, Tuff Enuff. The mass success didn't last too long, and founding member Jimmie...
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