11 Songs, 46 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Unlike some newly signed artists who pour everything into a debut only to scramble to create a follow-up, the young Johnny Winter was overflowing with creativity. When sessions for his second album started in 1969, Winter had so much good material that Columbia made the unusual decision to release a “three-sided” record (in which the second side of a two-record set was left blank). Winter's prolificacy was due to the fact that he could do it all: he could deliver completely individualized renditions of R&B standards like Percy Mayfield’s “Memory Pain” and Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode”; he could rip into spectacular electric jams like “Fast Life Rider,” which gave Jimi Hendrix a run for his money; and he could take on contemporary favorites like Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited” with the same gusto he applied to vintage material. The best thing about Second Winter is the way it bridges '60s blues-rock and the colossally heavy riffs of '70s hard rock. You can hear that transition unfolding in “I Love Everybody,” which could pass for a slow roadhouse boogie or a Led Zeppelin power anthem.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Unlike some newly signed artists who pour everything into a debut only to scramble to create a follow-up, the young Johnny Winter was overflowing with creativity. When sessions for his second album started in 1969, Winter had so much good material that Columbia made the unusual decision to release a “three-sided” record (in which the second side of a two-record set was left blank). Winter's prolificacy was due to the fact that he could do it all: he could deliver completely individualized renditions of R&B standards like Percy Mayfield’s “Memory Pain” and Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode”; he could rip into spectacular electric jams like “Fast Life Rider,” which gave Jimi Hendrix a run for his money; and he could take on contemporary favorites like Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited” with the same gusto he applied to vintage material. The best thing about Second Winter is the way it bridges '60s blues-rock and the colossally heavy riffs of '70s hard rock. You can hear that transition unfolding in “I Love Everybody,” which could pass for a slow roadhouse boogie or a Led Zeppelin power anthem.

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