Personnel includes: Reba McEntire (vocals); Lang Scott, Joe McGlohon (acoustic guitar); Terry Crisp (steel guitar); Andy Reiss, Dan Huff, Steve Gibson (electric guitar); Mike Rojas (piano); Doug Sizemore (synthesizer, synthsized string); Scotty Hawkins (drums); Charlie Anderson (bass); Lang Scott, Linda Davis (background vocals).
Producers: Tony Brown, Jimmy Bowen, Reba McEntire.
"Does He Love You" won the 1994 Grammy Award for "Country Vocal Collaboration."
Reba McEntire, the long-time queen of country music, comes out swinging on her second greatest hits compilation. From the opening salvos of the diva battle to end all battles (the award-winning duet "Does He Love You"), McEntire leaves no vocal stone unturned. She and Linda Davis trade off the most passionate country vocals heard this year.
With the emotion level already rising to unimaginable heights, McEntire surprises by rocketing to the vocal heavens with the sweet but deadly "You Lie." She only lets the grip ease momentarily with the light-hearted "Fancy." Enjoy that breath, because it's suddenly taken away by the heart-wrenching "For My Broken Heart," the tribute to her bandmembers killed in a plane crash.
Able to extend one note into thousands, McEntire also has a way with a lyric. She often writes story-songs dealing with common-folk issues like poverty ("Fancy"). "Is There Life Out There," her be-all-that-you-can-be anthem, hit such a chord that the song has since been turned into a movie.
Heartbreak is a staple Reba theme ("They Asked About You"), as are inspirational motifs ("The Greatest Man I Ever Knew").
McEntire knows how to find the hits, and once they glide out of those golden vocal chords, she has assured their place on any greatest hits compilation.
Personnel: Reba McEntire (vocals); Lang Scott (guitar, acoustic guitar, background vocals); Joe McGlohon (guitar, acoustic guitar); Andy Reiss, Dann Huff, Steve Gibson (electric guitar); Terry Crisp (steel guitar); Mike Rojas (piano); Doug Sizemore (synthesizer); Scotty Hawkins (drums); Linda Davis (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Chuck Ainlay.
Recording information: Emerald Studio; Music Mill Studio B.
Photographer: Peter Nash .
Reba McEntire's Greatest Hits covered the singer's early tenure on MCA Records, 1984-1987 (following her seven-year stint at Mercury Records), and was thus the sound of a country artist coming into her own. It also found McEntire pledging allegiance to the neo-traditionalist school of country music. Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 is a sampler of what came after in the years 1987 to 1993, as McEntire eased back on the traditionalism and returned to contemporary country crossover. The collection contains ten of the 22 singles McEntire released during the period, all but one of which reached the country Top Ten. Two of them are newly recorded songs: "Does He Love You," a duet with Linda Davis that went on to hit number one and win a Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals, and "They Asked About You," which reached the Top Ten. The other eight songs are not the eight most successful of the remaining 20 singles. In fact, five number-one hits McEntire scored during the period are missing. (For the record, they are "The Last One to Know," "I Know How He Feels," "New Fool at an Old Game," "Cathy's Clown," and "The Heart Won't Lie.") If the choices seem arbitrary in terms of chart statistics, it may be that McEntire herself made the selections on the basis of what the songs meant to her and what she thought they meant to her fans. "Fancy," for example, a revival of a Bobbie Gentry song that only reached number eight, has a feisty message about succeeding against the odds, even if you have to break the rules to do it, while "The Greatest Man I Never Knew," a woman's reflection on her supportive, if emotionally remote father, may have struck a strong chord with the singer as it did with many of her listeners, even if it didn't quite get to number one. There also seems to have been an attempt to treat the disc as a regular album in the sense of pacing and contrast in tempo. That makes it listenable, and it certainly does contain some of McEntire's better songs of the period. But it omits more than it includes. ~ William Ruhlmann
Entertainment Weekly (10/8/93, p.55) - "...[McEntire] has such urgency in her soaring soprano that she can make the fluffiest of materials resonate..." - Rating: B