Neil Young has long been perched atop rock's list of true perfectionists, a fact that ensured he wouldn't release a standard "best-of" until he knew he could get everything just right. Well, thanks to sonic advances, he's finally agreed that the time has come for this wide-ranging sampler to make its way to fans. Mixed in DVD-stereo from the original masters, the disc boasts warm and utterly enveloping versions of material as varied as the gossamer acoustic plaint "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" and the sinewy stomper "Southern Man." The reworked sound is amply evident on those songs -- "Like a Hurricane" and "Cowgirl in the Sand," to name a pair -- that spotlight Young's singular soloing. In these surroundings, his playing is even more vivid, more stinging than on any CD version heard before. The set covers nearly a quarter century of Young's career, presenting him alone, with Crazy Horse, and with CS&N
, culminating with the winsome title track of 1992's Harvest Moon
. And while it's not a complete portrait of Neil as an artist -- that would require a hefty box set -- it's certainly the sort of snapshot any fan would be proud to display.