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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'I'm just like a mirror, and you'll see yourself in me.'
A great compilation, especially if looking for your first CAT album - over 70 minutes on a CD that does live up to its title and represents money well spent, in my opinion.

Opening with the incredible 'Moonshadow', followed by the excellent 'Father and Son' then the haunting 'Morning has Broken' - you soon realise that this is not an average 'Best Of'...
Published on 8 Dec 2004 by A Customer of AMAZON-UK!

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite the album I wanted as it turned out.
Not bad but the original albums had some interesting stuff on em, this is a bit sort of , sterile. I love the sound of that Gibson Everly though. every time I played it, no matter how hard you hit those strings, 6 clear notes rang out as clear as you like.. It is ok for a cheap album, but I don't think it did him any favours.
Published 7 months ago by Roger Dutton


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'I'm just like a mirror, and you'll see yourself in me.', 8 Dec 2004
This review is from: The Very Best Of Cat Stevens (Audio CD)
A great compilation, especially if looking for your first CAT album - over 70 minutes on a CD that does live up to its title and represents money well spent, in my opinion.

Opening with the incredible 'Moonshadow', followed by the excellent 'Father and Son' then the haunting 'Morning has Broken' - you soon realise that this is not an average 'Best Of' album.

Along with:

'Wild World', 'The First Cut is the Deepest', 'Matthew and Son', 'Hard-Headed Woman', 'Can't Keep It In', '(Remember The Days Of The) Old School Yard', 'Where do the Children Play?', 'Peace Train' and 'Another Saturday Night', this CD pack is exactly what the title says it is, for a change - simply the very best!

Presented in a cardboard cover, included with the CD is a 14-page pamphlet simply entitled 'Cat', detailing his life, the various albums and ending in a list of the 24 tracks on this CD.
[..]
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100 of 107 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great introduction to Cat's pop music, 2 Mar 2005
By 
Peter Durward Harris "Pete the music fan" (Leicester England) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Very Best Of Cat Stevens (Audio CD)
Born Steven Georgiou, he adopted the name Cat Stevens for his musical career but subsequently became a Muslim, quitting his musical career and changing his name again, this time to Yusuf Islam. This compilation of his music as Cat Stevens is as good as any you are likely to find.
Cat had a minor UK hit in 1966 (I love my dog) but established himself as a songwriter by providing the Tremeloes with their first hit since Brian Poole left them (Here comes my baby) and by providing P P Arnold with her first hit (First cut is the deepest). Those hits were both in 1967, the year in which Cat had his first major hit as a singer, when Matthew and son peaked at number two in the UK. It was the biggest hit he ever had. He had another top ten UK hit (I'm gonna get me a gun) and two minor hits (A bad night, Kitty) in 1967 but none of those hits are included here. Actually, despite their hit status, they aren't really important.
Cat left his original label (Deram) and signed to Island, after which he recorded a series of albums that won him international acclaim. Although he placed six singles on the UK charts, all included here, his reputation ultimately rests with his albums. This explains why so many of his fans do not like compilations of his music, preferring the original albums.
Nevertheless, there is a market for compilations and there are plenty of people who don't want (or can't afford) to collect Cat's original albums. So here you get those hits (Lady D'Arbanville, Moon shadow, Morning has broken, Can't keep it in, Another Saturday night, Remember the days of the old school yard) as well as other classic tracks such as Peace train, Father and son, Wild world and Cat's own versions of Here comes my baby and First cut is the deepest.
If you want just one Cat Stevens collection, make it this one - but if you decide to collect his original albums instead, start with Tea for the tillerman or Teaser and the firecat.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Stuff!, 26 July 2014
By 
Sentinel (Essex) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Very Best Of Cat Stevens (Audio CD)
This is a very decent collection of Cat's songwriting abilities, spanning 60's-80's Almost all of his best known, or hit material is here, and the sound quality is very good, cut at quite a high level, so very immediate. There's also a booklet giving some helpful background to some of the price he had to pay for fame, and an update on where his life/career is now.
Sadly, although his album 'Foreigner' is give a short paragraph, none of the tracks on it appear in this collection. I think 'Later' from that album much better than some of the weaker tracks on here. In fact, I still enjoy the album as a whole, particularly 'Foreigner Suite', but that's probably just me...

Still a very good collection & recommended.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value remastered compilation of Cat Stevens, 23 Oct 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Very Best Of Cat Stevens (Audio CD)
This is an excellent value compilation, extending to 24 songs over 77 minutes, which pretty much lives up to its title. Four pop hits from 1967-68 are included for the sake of completeness, but their overblown arrangements are grating and only serve to emphasise the appealing simplicity and restraint of much of Cat Stevens' Island Records work from 1970-78. The weakest tracks in the collection are 'Don't be shy' and 'If you want to sing out', which although rarities not available on other albums certainly do not rank among Stevens' best work. Their place would have been better taken by the tracks 'Ready' and 'Two fine people' (which both appeared on his 1975 Greatest Hits album, the latter not being available anywhere else), or 'The hurt'. This CD has the same tracks as the earlier collection 'Remember Cat Stevens', with the exception of two substituted songs, both of which are improvements over the selection on 'Remember'. Altogether a collection well worth having, although for the committed Cat Stevens fan there is no substitute for all his original Island albums, which are now available in superb sounding remastered editions with all the original artwork.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cat Stevens at his best, 12 Oct 2014
By 
ACB(swansea) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Very Best Of Cat Stevens (Audio CD)
When I heard Cat Stevens in the late 1960's, his hits were 'I Love My Dog' and ' Matthew and Son'. Commercially successful but it took me a while to appreciate this man's enormous talents. From 'Wild World' to the emotional, 'First Cut is The Deepest' and then the poignant, 'Sitting', 'Hard Headed Woman', 'Ruby Love', 'Into White', it goes on and on. This is one man of talent. We know of his religious choice that is to be respected. What he has left is a legacy of expertise. He never seemed to receive the same appreciation as some of the the contempories of his time. It may be said that his recognition came too late. He has since recorded as Yusuf Islam but this 'Very Best' compilation is sheer brilliance. Chase down the original albums if these attract you. Cat Stevens has an immense talent. This is just a sample of his expertise. A man of musical skill.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Album!, 26 Aug 2009
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Very Best Of Cat Stevens (Audio CD)
This is the best album I have bought in a long time. Very refreshing and uplifting. I listen to it all the time in the car. It is fair to say that there isn't a bad track on it but my personal favourites are "Wild World" and "I Love My Dog". This CD is a must, everyone should have one!
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the Best, 7 Jan 2005
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This review is from: The Very Best Of Cat Stevens (Audio CD)
I enjoyed CS's music in the seventies, but was to young to really appreciate his talent as a writer. I would sum up this album as unbeatable. Having had listened to this over and over again since Christmas, I love it even more!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 9 July 2014
This review is from: The Very Best Of Cat Stevens (Audio CD)
Great memories, great tunes, never dates!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Big Surprise., 28 Dec 2003
By 
Mr. P. Tanner "paultanner2" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Very Best Of Cat Stevens (Audio CD)
I've never been a big fan of Mr Stevens but was surprised how many tunes I knew from the advertisement of this CD. On the strength of this I bought it, and Loved it! There isn't one bad song on the album. This is the easiest of easy listening. I found it relaxing and meaningful, some of his lyrics really do describe elements of everyday life.
I bought it and wasn't a fan, maybe you may be the same - Just try it and see.
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38 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Testament to a unique and sadly underrated songwriter., 3 Sep 2005
This review is from: The Very Best Of Cat Stevens (Audio CD)
The career of Cat Stevens is a strange one, beginning in the swinging 60's with a handful of big orchestral pop numbers (often written by Stevens for other artists), before moving into the 70's and taking on the form of the melancholic singer-songwriter. His later songs, those from the latter half of the 70's suffer a little from their experiments with electronic instrumentation, but beneath the synthesisers and disco-production lurk some strong melodies and lyrical sentiments that preach of hope and forgiveness, as opposed to the much more chic wailings of self-pity adopted by similar artists of Stevens's generation.
It often irks me a little that Stevens doesn't get the same respect as the likes of Nick Drake or Jeff Buckley, despite being a songwriter easily in the same league (if not actually greater) than either of those cult figures. Perhaps it's because Stevens found faith, rather than dying too young... thus destroying any chance of an Ian Curtis style cult that would buy up every single posthumous b-side compilation or archive release that the record company decides to throw out in the hope of trading off his legend. Still, this twenty-four-track collection should be enough to justify his inclusion amongst the ranks of the greatest British songwriters of the last fifty years... with perennial favourites like I Love My Dog, Father and Son and Morning Has Broken standing alongside more obscure numbers like Hard Headed Woman, Don't Be Shy and Peace Train.
I first discovered the music of Cat Stevens through the use of his songs in Hal Ashby's cult-classic Harold and Maude... so this collection is integral, as it offers up songs from the film, like Where Do The Children Play?, Don't Be Shy and the elating, If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out, all of which were used in the film, but never official released on any album, besides the extremely hard to find Harold and Maude soundtrack. The other songs are just as great, offering a unique perspective on the world (songs about nuclear devastation and lovelorn nostalgia rubbing shoulders with an ancient prayer set to music, and an ode to the family dog) and some gorgeous melodies. I like the earlier songs, with the sound of the swinging sixties obvious from the bombastic production and swooning vocals, enlivening songs like The First Cut Is The Deepest and Here Comes My Baby... however, as great as those songs are, I find his more intimate acoustic numbers that follow to be the real gold of the album.
It's almost a cliché to say it, but songs like Farther and Son, Moonshadow, Oh Very Yong and Lady D'Arbanville are timeless gems; beautifully told stories with warm instrumentation and a minimal of production so as not to get in the way of the sentiment behind the songs. Like most of the songwriters of the time, Stevens' music switches from the personal to the political, taking something as seemingly confessional as How Can I Tell You (one of the most gorgeous odes to unrequited love ever composed) to the songs that look to more topic concerns, like the aforementioned Where Do The Children Play? and the glorious mini-epic, Peace Train.
It's a shame that Stevens is viewed as something of an AOR artist... or forgotten altogether because of his controversial conversion to Islam. These songs are fantastic, filled with strong arrangements and intelligent lyrics that, although a little world-weary, do offer a sense of hope and warmth for those listening. The second half of the collection throws in songs from his peak-period, along with some lesser-known tracks from the time when his career was reaching something of a cross-roads (Remember The Days Of The Old School Yard and Another Saturday Night are the songs that suffer most from the style of the late 70's, though I'd imagine that an acoustic version of both songs would show just how relevant and timeless they are capable of sounding)... as nice as these songs are, there are better songs that could have been offered instead, like the heartbreaking ballad If I Laugh and the soul-searching Trouble (a song that was written by a youthful Stevens while he was being treated for TB).
The collection ends on a high with the brilliant If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out, which will always remind me of the image of Bud Cort skipping over the hills at the end of Harold and Maude. It's perhaps my favourite Cat Stevens song, one that encapsulates everything that was great about his music during that early 70's heyday (great melody, strong performance, minimal instrumentation and joyful lyrics). True, songs like Old School Yard and Another Saturday Night could have been substituted for songs like BitterBlue, The Wind, Trouble and If I Laugh, but regardless... this is still a great collection. The songs here offer us a taste of Cat at his most celebrated, and Cat at his most obscure... and as well as offering those songs from Harold and Maude (previously hard to find... or so I've heard), this really offers perhaps the best introduction to the work of a unique and sadly underrated singer-songwriter.
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