Al Stewart

Singer Songwriter

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For each artist it covers, EMI's Singer Songwriter series offers a bare few of the tracks most listeners would really want, balanced usually by latter-day cuts taken with little rhyme and less reason (due to the title, they're all compositions by the artist in question). The volume covering Al Stewart has more continuity than most, since his production sound, songwriting style, and delivery changed very little from the late '60s to the '90s. And yes, the versions of "On the Border," "Song on the Radio," "A Man for All Seasons," and "Clifton in the Rain" are the best available. Still, only half of the songs on Singer Songwriter date from his salad days (the latter half of the '70s), and the version of his most famous song, "Year of the Cat," is live (though well-performed). Good for a budget-label compilation, but still lacking much to make it a solid choice.

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