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.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
feat: Linda Davis