For Al Stewart
fans who can't afford the five-CD set Just Yesterday
, this 30-song double-disc collection is a fair -- but only a fair -- alternative. It is lacking a few items, however, that would make it more satisfying. For starters, the studio renditions of "Roads to Moscow" and "Nostradamus" are nowhere to be found, and then there's the absence of Stewart
's debut single, "The Elf." Additionally, for anyone familiar with the breadth of Stewart
's career and sound, this set runs through them in too brisk fashion, leaving out much that's worth hearing. In the final analysis, if one is weighing which collection to get, it is probably best to sacrifice and save in order to purchase Just Yesterday
-- anyone forced to ponder such a question really wants the bigger set, after all -- and leave this for more casual listeners who won't even have to debate buying it or not.