The release of Sheryl Crow's "The Very Best Of" in October 2003 showcased a true talent in rock music which had reigned for 10 years. From 1993 to 2003, the album was a collection of Crow's best material from four studio albums. The early material from "Tuesday Night Music Club" was evident, where songs such as "Leaving Las Vegas" and "Strong Enough" brought about a striking combination of rock pop and hints of folk and country. The advanced rock pop of her self-titled second album with hits such as "Everyday Is A Winding Road" and "If It Makes You Happy" formed the backbone of the collection, with "My Favorite Mistake" and "Soak Up The Sun" the more recent hits adding to the already sizeable chunk of Crow's body of work.
The album has gone on to sell almost three million copies in America and more than 600,000 in the UK. These sales will add to Crow's already impressive world sales of 15 million considerably and will see her continue long into the future. The Very Best Of also featured a few new tracks. The lead single was "The First Cut Is The Deepest," a cover version of the Cat Stevens original. Most people usually approach cover versions with a little scepticism, as did I myself with this one. It's an average song and I don't really regard it as one of Sheryl's best, but it makes for an interesting look at where her career will take her in the future.
The song opens with some soft guitars before Sheryl starts singing the first verse, "I would have given you all of my heart. But there's someone who's torn it apart. And he's taken just all that I had. But if you want I'll try to love again. Baby I'll try to love again but I know..." Sheryl then starts singing the first chorus, "The first cut is the deepest. Baby I know the first cut is the deepest. But when it come to being lucky he's cursed. When it come to loving me he's the worst." The second verse then starts and Sheryl sings, "I still want you by my side. Just to help me dry the tears that I've cried. And I'm sure going to give you a try. And if you want I'll try to love again. Baby I'll try to love again but I know." Sheryl then sings the chorus again, before a guitar-laden instrumental plays.
Once this instrumental dies down, Sheryl sings the second verse again, before the drums build the song up and the chorus is sung again over and over until the song dies out and ends. The video to the song was really great in my opinion. We see Sheryl playing her guitar in the middle of no where, over an expansive landscape and riding a horse. She looks free and healthy and the video really works well with the tone of the song. Overall I do like this song, but it's not nearly my favourite Sheryl Crow song. The woman is a rock legend, but this song does nothing for that status. Buy it only if you're a die hard fan.