If ever an artist deserved a deluxe retrospective, Mexico's Luis Miguel is him. Miguel began his career at the age of 11 and released his first album, Un Sol
, in 1982, but his career as a teen pop singer began taking off in earnest after he signed to Warner Music, which released Soy Como Quiero Ser
in 1987 and followed it up with Busca una Mujer
in 1988. He has continually topped the Latin charts and has won two Grammys. In 1990 he began to shift his sound to more traditional romantic material and has followed that path ever since, down the winding road where he melded traditional son and popular styles from soul to disco to the lush romantic crooning of his fully mature style into a signature of his own. This collection contains two CDs with 26 cuts, culled from albums spanning nearly two decades. It's fascinating to hear his development from being a brash teen idol to a mature song stylist who commands respect everywhere he goes. Miguel is a serious player in a field that is intensely loyal. In other words, he never had to work as hard as he has, but he pushes his own envelope, is aware of his strengths, and is never satisfied to merely play to them. Some of the music here sounds dated, it's true, but the way the trajectory works is utterly engaging and worthwhile. Fans will want this keepsake, without a doubt. For those who got on the boat late, Grandes Exitos
is a way in, to learn the labyrinthine path of a truly remarkable artist and one of the great singers of our time.