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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stevie Ray brings home real feeling...,
After almost killing himself with his coke-tinged whiskey, and checking into rehab for more than a year, Stevie Ray Vaughan returned to Texas Flood-form with his last album, In Step. It is a wonderfully organised and structured album, finding Stevie Ray performing some of the best songs in his list, and finally writing real songs.
For those who say Stevie Ray's playing on In Step is the worst he ever did, I don't agree in any way. Sure, his playing is refined and more controlled, but since when did a guitar player have to play lightening-fast skids to be a brilliant player - Especially in the blues? Never! In Step's playing is Stevie probably at his least pyrotechnical, but at his most blue: he takes time with his solos and runs to impart real blue emotion through his playing, instead of astounding everyone with the fastest blues anyone's ever heard. True, Stevie's amazing when he does this, but we saw him do that on Texas Flood and Couldn't Stand The Weather. Since those albums, he'd matured and grown both as a human and an artist, and In Step is the result of someone wanting to just play his blues out on the guitar.
It's a wonderful album and a definite cannot miss for ANYONE even remotely interested in Stevie Ray and the blues.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scorching,
This is the last SRV studio album before his untimely death in 1990, and its one of the very best he ever made.
As you would expect there is some searing guitar playing on this album as well some of Stevie's best songs. How many variations on blues/rock can you do? Well based on this album it seems unlimited - 'Crossfire', 'Tightrope' are both classics in the SRV cannon. For pure blues 'Leave My Girl Alone' takes some beating and the opening track 'The House is Rockin'' is as rocking a boogie as you'll ever hear.
There are two elements to this album that are significantly different from SRV's early albums. Firstly the addition of Reese Wynans on Keyboards fills out the sound, so that SRV can play lead with more than just bass and drums behind him. Also if you know this album could you imagine 'The House is Rockin'' without the Piano? Secondly 'Riviera Paradise' which finishes this album is a very mellow laid-back instrumental, and by an odd coincidence this is the last-ever SRV track on a studio album, and its completely unlike any other track in his recording career.
Sadly Stevie Ray Vaughan's recording career was pretty short but he left us with this final great album. It should be in your collection!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SRV does pop,
Stevie Ray Vaughan's fourth album saw him emerging healthy, happy and cleaned up of the worst drug and booze fuelled excesses of his rock 'n' roll adolescence. Of course there are good and bad things, from a rock icon's perspective (and his fans'), about growing up. In Step is the record of a man getting comfortable with himself and his achievements, with all the positive and negative connotations that brings.
At this point the argument "Can white men play the blues?" has been won hands down, Stevie Ray Vaughan sounds like a man who knows it - his guitar tone is by turns rich and beautiful (Riviera Paradise) fulsome and commanding (Travis Walk; Wall of Denial) and cheeky (Cross-Fire) but never genuinely throaty or bitching, as it is for the duration of Texas Flood, Couldn't Stand The Weather and the celebrated early live sets (it is my considered view, for instance, that everyone on this planet should be afforded the opportunity to see Stevie Ray Vaughan Live at the El Mocambo).
Indeed, at times SRV's famous Stratocaster, Number One, sounds positively compressed - odd for a man for whom fingers, strings and tubes were some sort of holy trinity, and digital processing more akin to an angel cast from the firmament.
For its part, Double Trouble is on song, and beautifully recorded - and as a pop record this is certainly Stevie Ray's most accessible entry, but if you're a raw blues tone freak like me, you may find it somewhat uninvolving.
Make no mistake: this is a great record, and worthy of sitting in any collection, but for my money Stevie Ray Vaughan's first two albums mentioned above and the outstanding, posthumously released, The Sky Is Crying are better ways of remembering the man who famously said:
"Tune low, play hard, and floor it. That's technical talk."
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Damn Fine,
well, what can i say? Mr. Ray Vaughns guitar on this album is awesome. You can really feel how much giving up cocaine and alcohol improved his playing (not that it was poor anyway). The live tracks are amazing and when Stevie talks about his inspiration from Albert King he really gets over the point of how he loves what he does!
if your a hardcore blues guitarist or if you just like his music.....
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars new to stevie ? start here,
highly recommend this to anyone who likes guitar / blues / rock - stevie was among the very greatest guitarists - and this album is a good introduction.
His other studio albums are all worth acquiring (texas flood, soul to soul, couldnt stand the weather, and the sky is crying), also the live album (montreux). so if you do buy it, budget for more than one cd ...
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, although it's not actually his best,
"In Step" is often cited by critics as Stevie Ray Vaughan's best studio album. And his playing on this album is actually a bit more economical, maybe even a bit more mannered, than on his earlier releases...whether or not that's a good thing is a matter of taste, I suppose.
The production is a bit more slick than usual as well, the tone of Vaughan's guitar is cleaner, and a keyboard player and occational horns have been added to the mix, but that's not to say that Stevie Ray Vaughan had gotten soft on his final solo album before his tragic death in 1990 - he just turned a little bit more towards rock rather than blues.
"In Step" opens with a blistering rocker, "The House Is Rockin'", followed by the bluesy "Crossfire", which features a superb solo by Vaughan.
"Tightrope" ventures into hard rock territory, but Stevie Ray's cover of Willie Dixon's "Let Me Love You Baby" is genuine blues-rock, and it is followed by a good reading of Buddy Guy's slow, tortured blues "Leave My Girl Alone". Vaughan didn't quite have the pipes to match the intensity of Guy's original, but he does a fine job with what he has, and the guitar playing is superb as usual.
"Travis Walk" is a funky, up-tempo instrumental with some great drumming by Chris Layton (who, incidentally, used to play drums for Buddy Guy and Lightnin' Hopkins). "Wall Of Denial" is pretty well known, but it is perhaps one of the lesser tracks on this album, with some fine guitar playing but not much in the way of either hooks or a real "groove" to grab a hold of the listener.
"Scratch n' Sniff", however, is a fine up-tempo rock song with some excellent boogie piano fills by keyboardist Reese Wynans, and a great solo by Vaughan.
Stevie Ray Vaughan can't quite pull off Howlin' Wolf's "Love Me Darlin' (May I Have A Talk With You)", but if you aren't familiar with the original, this version will actually sound pretty great, I guess. And finally, the original "In Step" album winds down with the excellent nine-minute instrumental "Rivera Paradise", a slow, moody piece.
The five excellent bonus tracks begin with a short interview snippet. The remaining four songs are all live performances: "The House Is Rockin'" and "Let Me Love You Baby" from "In Step", "Texas Flood" from Vaughan's 1983 debut album of the same name, and "Life Without You" from "Soul To Soul".
Stevie Ray Vaughan was a terrific live performer, and it's pure joy to listen to the raw, fiery live versions of the two songs from this album, which to me work better than the originals.
Highly recommended, as are all Vaughan's studio albums (although I don't agree with those who call it his best).
And don't forget to check out Stevie Ray Vaughan's excellent live albums! :-)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic,
This review is from: In Step (MP3 Download)
Just topping off my SRV collection - great songs played to perfection by an artist who passed away way too soon.
5.0 out of 5 stars kool,
5.0 out of 5 stars Stevie at his rocking best,
I already had a fairly extensive selection of Stevie Ray's back catalogue, so when my friend got this from a charity shop I wasn't that fussed. Till I heard it. It starts at a blistering pace, and does not let up till track ten, (the last track on the normal edition), the very laid back Riviera Paradise. I ordered it on Amazon that same day, but went for the extended edition, which comes with an interview with SRV and four superb live tracks. If you like Stevie's music, and you don't already have this album, stop reading this and get it now.
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant,
Every cd i buy of SRV is brilliant he was a brilliant guitarist and is sadley missed.Will buy more of his cds later on.
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