Rod Stewart - Storyteller

WHEN most artists release a greatest hits package you can usually expect one or two discs of singles and specially chosen tracks.

So it is quite telling that Rod Stewart's Storyteller collection comes with four CDs and a total of 64 songs.

Spanning from 1964 to 1989, the 'complete anthology' shows off Stewart's versatility and his enduring status as one of the best-selling music artists of all time.

The collection in chronological order shows how he has evolved over the course of selling more than 100 million records.

So you have his early work in the 1960s, which is a bit more raw, including his experimental tracks with The Jeff Beck Group like I Ain't Superstitious and Shape of Things.

You could argue that Stewart had his best work in the early 70s though with rock and roll tracks like Cut Across Shorty and the excellent Stay With Me, which was covered by the Foo Fighters on their recent tour.

The catchy Maggie May has passed the test of time too.

Stewart is also known for his covers like Handbags and Gladrags and (I Know) I'm Losing You.

You will find plenty of songs written by other artists on Storyteller – perhaps too many – and is up to the listener to decide if these other 'stories' should have a place in this treasury.

Another interesting element to the collection is how the 80s influence creeps in with Stewart's music taking a turn into cheesy rock territory fast.

And the songs between 1980 and 1989 strangely feel much more outdated than anything he recorded in the 60s and 70s.

No doubt fans will enjoy how comprehensive this package is but a new generation of listeners probably could do with a collection that is a lot more concise.