B.W. Stevenson

The Very Best of B.W. Stevenson

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Collectables' The Very Best of B.W. Stevenson doesn't cull highlights from all of Stevenson's career. Instead, it focuses on two albums -- it contains the entirety of 1973's My Maria (which, of course, brought him his big hit in the title track, plus a version of "Shambala" that eclipses Three Dog Night's version), then adds as bonus tracks to the end highlights from its 1974 followup Calabasas and assorted singles. Instead of being frustrating, this approach is actually rather ingenious since it shines the spotlight on Stevenson's easy-rolling, post-hippie country-rock peak. Some of this has dated, but charmingly so, since it's always warm, melodic, and engaging, while the best of it -- the aforementioned tunes, plus cuts like "Be My Woman Tonight" and "A Good Love Is Like a Good Song" -- has aged very well, still sounding both friendly and sturdy. This is a small gem, actually -- a really nice, relaxing poppy country-rock album from the '70s, one that follows through on the sound of the single and delivers something satisfying (which can't be said of most artists perceived as one-hit wonders).

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