Rhino's Great Days: The John Prine Anthology
is an excellent summary of John Prine
's prime period, from his sublime 1971 eponymous debut to 1991's Missing Years. This (appropriately) draws heavily from his early recordings (including the aforementioned debut), but it also does a terrific job of finding songs on uneven albums, while giving weight to such classic albums as Bruised Orange
. Although those previously mentioned albums are all worthwhile on their own terms (as are many of Prine
's other records), this provides a nearly flawless recap of his career -- so much so that it's not only for neophytes, but also reminds longtime fans why they loved him in the first place.