Al Stewart - Essential (Music CD)

Release Date: 19 March 2012
Artist: Al Stewart
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Available 2-3 extra days

One has to wonder what is going on at EMI Records in England -- in the space of less than a year, the label has issued three different Al Stewart compilations: The 16-song The Very Best of Al Stewart, the 14-song Introducing, and this 17-track CD. That's a lot of repeated uses of "On the Border" and "Year of the Cat," not to mention "Night Train to Munich." Evidently, "Ivich," from his 1967 LP Bedsitter Images, is proper for Introducing, but his debut single "The Elf" is on The Very Best of Al Stewart, and neither is "essential," nor is "Nostradamus," though the latter is sufficient to "introduce" him. It's all a mess, which might've been avoided by the company just releasing a double-CD set encompassing the differing contents of all three single discs. The funny thing is that, taken on its own terms, this isn't a bad collection -- it's not as quirky as Introducing or The Very Best of Al Stewart, and it ignores a lot, but the sound is very good and it's made up of pretty solid selections from his catalog. And overall, this wouldn't be the worst way to discover his work, nor is it the best; it's just out there, fair to middling and in no way overwhelming. ~ Bruce Eder

More Detail

1. On the Border
2. Song On the Radio
3. Year of the Cat (Single Version)
4. Time Passages
5. Midnight Rocks
6. Merlin's Time
7. Broadway Hotel
8. One Stage Before
9. Indian Summer
10. Lori Don't Go Right Now
11. Electric Los Angeles Sunset
12. Running Man
13. Paint By Numbers
14. Mondo Sinistro
15. Night Train to Munich
16. Almost Lucy
17. Life Between the Wars

Release Date: 19 March 2012
Artist: Al Stewart
Catalogue No: 64478128