I'm a huge Prince fan, and I bought this collection purely for the third CD - a collection of some of his legendary B-sides (some will probably be frowning now, muttering "what's a B-side?")
The collection isn't arranged in chronological order, so the songs jump wildly from style to style. It begins with "When Doves Cry", the song which introduced me to his music way back in 1984, and continues with 1985's "Pop Life", then goes back to 1978's "Soft And Wet". There isn't much in the way of continuity here, and you won't find "sections" as such, where there are a number of rock songs, then funk, then ballads... so it is a little all over the place, but when the songs are this good it doesn't really matter.
Stopping at 1992's "Symbol" album the collection thankfully doesn't include any of the weaker stuff he's released since then. There are a couple of extra tracks included for completists: disk 1's "Nothing Compares 2U" is a live version of the song Prince wrote for a group called The Family (seek out their version if you can - it is incredible) and later covered by Sinead O'Connor. It is pleasant but far from essential. "Pink Cashmere" is a slick, summery pop ballad, similar to some of the tracks from "Diamonds and Pearls", and again it is pleasant if not vital. Disk 2 features the tremendous "Peach", and the far from tremendous "Pope".
However, the main event for me and many fans is the third CD. Many of Prince's B-sides were actually as good as or better than his A-sides, and some of these songs are now fan favourites, often being played live over the years, examples including the phenomenal "17 Days" and "Erotic City". There are some startling omissions here, such as my personal favourite "Alexa De Paris", but on the whole this third disk is worth the price of admission alone.
An incredible artist, and probably the best collection of his material released to date. Great notes from Alan Leeds in the booklet too.