Today in rock history; SRV unleashes the Texas Flood, Joni goes Mingus and more

Yardbirds come stateside and the Cars go Candy-O, too.

Today in rock history, on this date in 1983. Texas blues guitar slinger Stevie Ray Vaughan released his debut album with his two-piece backing band, Double Trouble. Texas Flood was recorded in singer/songwriter Jackson Browne’s personal recording studio after Browne had witnessed a live performance Vaughan delivered at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland in 1982. The album, recorded in only two days, was in instant success. Featuring singles “Love Struck Baby” and “Pride and Joy”, the album showed off Vaughan’s guitar versatility and his incredible vocal talents and only hinted at what this amazing musician would accomplish in his all too short career before his untimely death in 1990.

Today in rock history, on this date in 1965. British rock band The Yardbirds released its very first American album, For Your Love. Comprised of previously released singles and some exclusive tracks for this release, the band, which had already released an album in its native England entitled Five Live Yardbirds released this U.S. only album in preparation for an upcoming American tour. Named after one of their most well-known singles, the album features contributions from two guitarists who’d go on to pretty impressive careers of their own: Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck.

Today in rock history, on this date in 1979. Multi-talented singer/songwriter/guitarist Joni Mitchell released her collaborative effort with jazz heavyweight Charles Mingus simply titled Mingus. Working with members of jazz fusion band Weather Report, it is late bassist Jaco Pastorius who nearly steals the show on this ambitious release. With lyrics written specifically for musical compositions Mingus had created, the album would be the very last musical project he’d participate in before his passing earlier in the year of the album’s release in 1987. Proving her willingness to experiment with genres and styles, the album showed Joni Mitchell’s many talents and her refusal to be pigeonholed and limited as an artist. Further proof of her artistry is evident in the albums bold artwork depicting some of her own paintings. The album climbed as high as #17 on Billboard’s pop albums chart.

Today in rock history, on this date in 1979. Continuing with the momentum its debut album sparked the year prior, Boston new wave band The Cars released a follow-up album, Candy-O. Faring even better than its predecessor on album sales charts, the band’s sophomore album climbed as high as the no. 3 spot and achieved sales in excess of one million copies in its first three months of release. The record featured a pair of monster Cars hits: “Let’s Go” and “It’s All I Can Do”. Famed pinup artist Alberto Vargas was coaxed out of retirement to create the striking cover artwork for this fantastic album.