Greatest Hits, Vol. 2: The Real Deal
Stevie Ray Vaughn’s Greatest Hits Vol. 1 is the populist’s vision of the famed Texas guitarist, a showcase of hits and live staples that could keep barroom jukeboxes running for the rest of time. But Vol. 2 feels like the truer portrait of Vaughn, its patchwork of B-sides, live tracks, and fan favorites confirming the guitarist’s reputation as a blues-bred individualist. The covers reflect Vaughn’s diverse taste in music, and his ability to reinvent songs in his own image. A churning rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” gives the song all the tension and frustration it deserves, while Vaughn’s “Voodoo Child” matches Hendrix’s original in elemental violence. Best of all is the Dick Dale duet “Pipeline” which shows that Vaughn could have fun melding his sound to a totally unexpected style. Of course, the collection has its fair share of firestarters, but more revealing is “Lenny,” a contemplative instrumental Vaughn wrote for his wife. Between its long pauses and shimmering textures, one can feel Vaughn breathing, sighing, and crying through his guitar.