Rhino/Atlantic's 2005 compilation Greatest Hits collects the hits and signature songs of Crosby, Stills & Nash -- not Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, which is a subtle difference, and one that would seem to make a greater difference than it actually does. Apart from their debut, CSN always was a bigger deal -- more popular, more critically respected -- when Neil Young was on board, but he only cut one studio album with them in the '70s, so there aren't that many songs from CSNY that really would have made the cut on a Greatest Hits. Then again, CSN themselves didn't cut that many studio albums during their late-'60s/'70s peak. Just three: 1969's eponymous debut, 1970's Déjà Vu with Young, and 1977's CSN. If you were charitable, you could count 1982's Daylight Again as the coda to that peak, since it did produce two excellent (and big) hits in "Wasted on the Way" and "Southern Cross," and it feels more of a piece with the group's classic work than the quartet of albums from 1988 to 1999. That is certainly the perspective taken on this 19-track compilation, which concentrates entirely on material from Crosby, Stills & Nash, Déjà Vu, CSN, and Daylight Again. Even if this means that charting singles from 1988's American Dream and 1990's Live It Up are missing, it does make for a better listen than if they were forced into this set. That said, there are still a couple of major songs missing -- Young's "Helpless" and "Ohio," of course, but also "Woodstock," "Fair Game," and "Almost Cut My Hair" -- but the great majority of the big hits and signature songs are here. When broken down to sheer numbers, this contains seven of the ten songs from Crosby, Stills & Nash, five of the 12 from CSN, four from Daylight Again, and three from Déjà Vu, making this a generous, well-balanced collection that will satisfy the tastes of those who want a good overview of CSN's biggest and best. It may not have everything -- you'll need Déjà Vu or So Far or perhaps just Neil Young's Greatest Hits for that -- but it has enough to be satisfying.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine