I'd like to tell you the story about myself as the übercool Texas teenager who discovered SRV when he was first starting out and bought all his early albums as they were released. I'd like to, but I can't. The truth is that, for a couple of years, I only knew of Vaughan as the guitarist on Let's Dance, a forward-thinking combination of guitarists SRV and Nile Rodgers (but such is the genius of Bowie). In any case, there's no doubt that the man could tear up the guitar. In many reviews of Vaughan's work, the word "incendiary" is ubiquitous and rightfully so - I think it is the best adjective for SRV's playing. In any case, this compilation captures all the sound and fury of Vaughan's playing. I'm in agreement with critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine over at AllMusic:
Stevie Ray Vaughan was a great guitarist, but he had trouble making consistent albums. Greatest Hits rectifies that problem by collecting all of his best-known tracks, from "Pride and Joy" to "Crossfire." Not only is it a terrific introduction, it's his most consistent album, demonstrating exactly why he was one of the most important guitarists of the '80s.Vaughan was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in -- waitaminute. What? Seriously?!?
Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #39
Tracks: Over the years, I've come to appreciate them all. My choices for top tracks today are The House Is Rockin', Crossfire, and Couldn't Stand The Weather (I always liked the video for this one with the band playing in a downpour). The extended instrumental cover of Jimi Henrdix's Little Wing is gorgeous - more smoldering than incendiary. The only song that I don't like much is Change It.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: Vaughan's 1985 album, Soul To Soul, may be the first blues album I ever bought. I'm certain it was that album that taught me I love the blues, but only in small doses. Despite several attempts, I've never been able to pull off a look that included a knock-off of SRV's flat-brimmed hat.