When considering the studio discography of Stevie Ray Vaughan, one is first struck by how tragically brief it is. After all, the legendary Texas bluesman lost his life in a freak helicopter crash at the age of just 35 – barely seven years after his debut solo album was released.

Even so, Stevie Ray accomplished something most people couldn’t dream of achieving in long lifetimes, as he almost single-handedly re-envisioned and reinvigorated the blues for the '80s. Widespread fame didn't arrive overnight, however, but rather was earned over a dozen years spent in countless anonymous clubs.

Born in Dallas, Texas, on October 3, 1954, Vaughan followed in his older brother Jimmie Vaughan’s footsteps, idolizing him every step of the way. By the early '80s, he'd surpassed his childhood hero. Backed by a dynamite combo Double Trouble featuring bassist Tommy Shannon (ex-Johnny Winter) and drummer Chris “Whipper” Layton, Stevie essentially forced mainstream music fans to recognize the blues again via a trio of studio LPs released in quick succession between 1983 and ’85.

The arduous recording and touring workload demanded of Double Trouble eventually took its toll, however, forcing Stevie into rehab to treat his alcohol and cocaine dependencies. Compounded with lengthy divorce proceedings with his wife, Vaughan was effectively sidelined for all of three years. He finally returning a changed man, though, still the same bad-ass musician, with 1989’s In Step.

Unfortunately, Stevie Ray Vaughan would have long to enjoy the rewards of his celebrated personal and professional comeback, as his life was cut short a year later on a foggy August night over Wisconsin. Fortunately, his celebrated records still serve as some small consolation to the heartbroken fans he left behind. See how they stack up as we examine Stevie Ray Vaughan's albums, from worst to best.

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