The Collected Cat Stevens
is a three-disc box set that by no means eclipses the four-disc package released in 2001, bit does give it a good run for its money. Largely chronological, but oddly relegating some of Stevens' earliest hits to the end of the final disc, the box opens and closes with two of his most emotive numbers, the hit "Lady D'Arbanville," and the questioning "Father and Son," first heard in their familiar studio form, and then as live recordings. In between times, a total of 54 tracks bounces through Stevens career, from "Matthew & Son" through to "*Midday (Avoid City After Dark)," credited to the singer's latter-day Yusuf Islam identity, and it's difficult to pick fault with any of the inclusions -- even those which, like "Moonshadow," "Morning Has Broken" and, indeed, "Father and Son," are so tweely saccharin that it seems incredible anybody ever took them seriously. They did, though, and Stevens remains one of the few early-'70s singer/songwriters whose ouvre continues to attract new listeners with every passing generation. This smartly projected box will only add to their numbers.