There are numerous best-ofs from J.J. Cale, but The Ultimate Collection is a thorough overview. For starters, there are 43 cuts and three discs. The first two CDs are a true representation of Cale's best work from the 1970s and '80s, and disc one would have made a killer hits collection all by itself. Disc two collects fine moments that have been overlooked by the multitudes of artists who have covered the songwriter (although no one does his tunes quite like he does). The third disc here is a nine-selection live set that brings the slow lazy approach that Cale has trademarked into focus with some slippery guitar work and some real brooding menace that belies the sleepy exterior of their author. This is the one. Get it.