This hits collection may have first been considered only a way to get Rod Stewart's then-newest hits ("Downtown Train" and "This Old Heart of Mine") to those unable or unwilling to buy the 4CD "Storyteller" box. But its value lies in better songs, not necessarily biggest hits, from Stewart's previous 15 years.
Starting with Faces' rollicking "Stay With Me," the songs here reflect Stewart's roots and influences over cash-ins like "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" and "Love Touch." They emphasize story songs ("Young Turks," "Killing of Georgie") and sensual, heartfelt rock ballads ("My Heart Can't Tell You No," "Tonight's The Night"). These show more conviction and passion than, say, "Passion" or certainly anything on "Blondes Have More Fun."
Stewart goes from whisper to shout on Tom Waits' "Downtown Train," giving a fine performance. But his duet with Ronald Isley on "This Old Heart of Mine" is touching. Both sang it before (Ronald w/the Isley Brothers) yet as they harmonize and trade lines -- Stewart with someone he no doubt admired and emulated as a young singer, Isley with a thoughtful, sometimes prodigal, soul disciple --you're comforted and saddened not just over the girl who gave "half a kiss," but the wistful joy in soul, especially 60s Motown that remind us, Rod Stewart here especially, of what we miss. Recommended.