Seven albums with North Texas ties celebrate 40 years in 2024

Performer Meat Loaf sings into a microphone and waves a red cloth

Singer Meat Loaf performs in support of Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at the football stadium at Defiance High School in Defiance, Ohio, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

The music business never met an anniversary it didn’t almost instantly turn into a marketing hook. Still, milestones are nevertheless important markers — especially when considering the growth and evolution of a city, a region, or a state’s creative output.

To kick off 2024, we’re turning our gaze over the next few weeks to albums celebrating significant birthdays this year. We’re starting off with a batch of largely North Texas-tied records, arranged chronologically by release date, which will mark 40 years of existence this year. (Our apologies to those readers for whom these LPs are hallmarks of youth — life comes at you fast.)

Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Couldn’t Stand the Weather (released May 15, 1984)

This second studio effort from the pride of Oak Cliff followed closely on the heels of his acclaimed 1983 debut, Texas Flood. Cut over a couple weeks at New York’s Power Station recording studio, Weather splits its brisk run time between Vaughan originals (“Honey Bee,” the title track) and blistering covers (Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child (Slight Return),” Guitar Slim’s “The Things (That) I Used to Do”).

Stephen Stills, Right by You (released July 30, 1984)

Dallas native Stephen Stills spent most of the 1980s drifting in and out of collaborations with his Crosby, Stills and Nash bandmates — late-period CSN hit “Southern Cross” dropped just 12 months prior to this solo effort, for example. Even so, Stills was never far from his musical friends: Right by You, his only solo LP during the decade, features a cover of Neil Young’s “Only Love Can Break Your Heart.”

Butthole Surfers, Live PCPPEP (released Sept. 20, 1984)

San Antonio-formed freak-rock outfit Butthole Surfers introduced Arlington native and drummer Teresa Taylor (aka Teresa Nervosa) to its ranks with this seven-track EP, which also features the Dallas-born Gibby Haynes, Paul Leary and North Texas native King Coffey, considered by fans as the “classic” line-up. The Surfers had its debut LP complete — more on that shortly — but this live EP arrived first.

Wham!, Make It Big (released Oct. 15, 1984)

We’re folding this one in on a technicality, given the late George Michael’s strong ties to Dallas (albeit years after this LP was released). This second studio effort lit the fuse on Michael and Andrew Ridgeley’s global domination, thanks to irresistible singles like “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” “Everything She Wants,” “Freedom” and “Careless Whisper.” Four decades on, the pair’s immaculate fusion of pop and soul gleams as brightly as ever.

Meat Loaf, Bad Attitude (released Nov. 2, 1984)

Six years on from the Dallas native’s breakout debut Bat Out of Hell, the singer born Marvin Aday returned with his fourth studio album, which also features a pair of songs written by his Hell collaborator Jim Steinman. This release has a bit of a quirky history: Attitude was first released in the UK in 1984, and then reconfigured and re-released in 1985 in the US with guest appearances from Roger Daltrey and Clare Torry, among others.

Don Henley, Building the Perfect Beast (released Nov. 19, 1984)

Linden native Henley’s second studio album, which features multiple songwriting credits from members of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, picked up where his first solo LP left off, producing a string of chart-dominating singles (“The Boys of Summer,” “All She Wants to Do is Dance,” “Sunset Grill”), selling more than 3 million copies in the US, and even earning Henley a Grammy for “Summer.”

Butthole Surfers, Psychic … Powerless … Another Man’s Sac (released Dec. 1, 1984)

As with the EP mentioned above, this recording, which marks Butthole Surfers’ debut LP, also features Arlington native Teresa Taylor. In a 2007 interview with the Austin Chronicle, guitarist Paul Leary described the North Texas-based sessions for this album which involved “ventur[ing] down an icy I-35 to either Farmer’s Branch or Richardson … where they were recording in a remote shack.”

Preston Jones is a North Texas freelance writer and regular contributor to KXT. Email him at [email protected] or find him on X (@prestonjones). Our work is made possible by our generous, music-loving members. If you like how we lift up local music, consider becoming a KXT sustaining member right here.