Published in 2000, I bought this on Sunday 29th April 2007 from the man himself when he and Steve Apirana came to perform at my church.
Well, a further five years on, it seemed rude not to listen to it.
Speaking of the passage of time, Derek recounts his musical career here in roughly chronological order, fitting unreleased works in where they come, such as track #11 Show Me Your Heart, which he wrote for a baptist fundraising appeal.
As I was continuing to be slow on the uptake, it took me a few numbers to work out that this was not a Christian album as such. Sure, Derek's religious convictions shine through in places, but his strongest expression of it lies embedded in the opinions that he voices. Right from the opening 1986 track Wasteland through the wry observational comedy of #9 Strange Logic, and on towards the end, the CD retains a somewhat accusing tone, a fact of which Derek sounds somewhat apologetic in his sleeve notes.
"15 New Zealand Day
I wrote this on New Zealand Day (aka Waitangi Day) - a day commemorating the signing of the infamous treaty between indigenous Maori of New Zealand and European colonists. As is plainly evident, the day I wrote this things weren't going particularly well."
The final track - #18 Cast The First Shadow - was appropriately enough recorded especially for this retrospective. It's a millennium song - revolving around a graveyard that would be one of the first places to receive the dawn of 2000 - with probably the most overt lyrics on here.
"But when God appears majestic from the heavens,
On the first day of forever,
All illusions will be shattered,
All crosses vacated,
All mysteries unravelled,
And when I see his glory,
I wanna cast the first shadow,
Cast the first shadow,
Cast the first shadow."