The Greatest (Cat Power album)

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"Empty Shell" redirects here. For the fraudulent use of shell corporations, see shell corporation.
The Greatest
Cat Power The Greatest.png
Studio album by Cat Power
Released January 20, 2006
Recorded May 2005
Studio Ardent Studios, Memphis, Tennessee
Genre Indie rock, R&B, soul
Length 44:34
Label Matador
Producer Stuart Sikes
Cat Power chronology
You Are Free
The Greatest

The Greatest is the seventh studio album by indie rock artist Chan Marshall, a.k.a. Cat Power. It debuted at #34 on the Billboard 200, her highest charting album at the time. The Memphis Rhythm Band includes Roy Brewer, Teenie Hodges, Steve Potts, Dave Smith, Rick Steff, Doug Easley, Jim Spake, Scott Thompson and Susan Marshall. String arrangements were contributed by Harlan T. Bobo and Jonathan Kirkscey.

The Greatest won the 2006 Shortlist Music Prize, making Marshall the first woman to win the honor. It was also named the number 6 best album of 2006 by Rolling Stone Magazine.[1]

The title track was featured in the Bones episode The Titan on the Tracks.[2] It was also used in the UK for Garnier hair products advertisements. The song was featured in the film and in the trailers for Wong Kar-Wai's debut English production, My Blueberry Nights. In 2009 the song was featured in the movies Mammoth by Lukas Moodysson and Ricky by Francois Ozon.

In 2008, the song "Hate" was featured in the second episode of the second season of the teen UK drama Skins.

In 2013, the title track was featured in Season 4, Episode 13 of Covert Affairs.

All tracks on the album were written by Marshall, making it her first album not to include any cover songs.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 80/100[3]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[4]
The A.V. Club A−[5]
Entertainment Weekly B+[6]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[7]
Los Angeles Times 3.5/4 stars[8]
NME 8/10[9]
Pitchfork Media 7.9/10[10]
Q 4/5 stars[11]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[12]
Spin A[13]

The Greatest has received a very positive response since its release. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 80, based on 35 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[3]

Rhapsody ranked the album #6 on its "Alt/Indie’s Best Albums of the Decade" list.[14] "The mercurial Chan Marshall returned to her Southern roots and recorded this blissful album in Memphis. The Greatest glows with a new ease, and the music itself -- which features many of the greatest soul musicians in history -- is sunny and open. There's a sense of joy coming through here that you'll want to share with friends."

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Chan Marshall.

No. Title Length
1. "The Greatest"   3:22
2. "Living Proof"   3:11
3. "Lived in Bars"   3:44
4. "Could We"   2:21
5. "Empty Shell"   3:04
6. "Willie"   5:57
7. "Where Is My Love"   2:53
8. "The Moon"   3:45
9. "Islands"   1:44
10. "After It All"   3:31
11. "Hate"   3:38
12. "Love & Communication"   4:34


Chart positions[edit]


The album debuted at number 34 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, selling about 23,000 copies in its first week.[15]

Chart Peak position
Australia Album Chart 25
Belgium Album Chart 25
France Album Chart 20
Ireland Album Chart 44
Italy Album Chart 37
Norway Album Chart 35
Swiss Album Chart 57
Sweden Album Chart 50
UK Album Chart 45
U.S. Billboard 200 34
U.S. Top Independent Albums 1


  1. ^ The Top 50 Albums of 2006 : Rolling Stone
  2. ^ Bones Season 2 Music
  3. ^ a b "Reviews for The Greatest by Cat Power". Metacritic. Retrieved May 13, 2015. 
  4. ^ Phares, Heather. "The Greatest – Cat Power". AllMusic. Retrieved June 4, 2016. 
  5. ^ Modell, Josh (January 25, 2006). "Cat Power: The Greatest". The A.V. Club. Retrieved June 4, 2016. 
  6. ^ Browne, David (January 23, 2006). "The Greatest". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 4, 2016. 
  7. ^ Clarke, Betty (January 20, 2006). "Cat Power, The Greatest". The Guardian. Retrieved June 4, 2016. 
  8. ^ Nichols, Natalie (January 22, 2006). "Stylish and soulful just the same". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 4, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Cat Power: The Greatest". NME: 33. January 21, 2006. 
  10. ^ Phillips, Amy (January 22, 2006). "Cat Power: The Greatest". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved June 4, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Cat Power: The Greatest". Q (235): 102. February 2006. 
  12. ^ Hoard, Christian (January 23, 2006). "The Greatest". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 4, 2016. 
  13. ^ Hermes, Will (February 2006). "Memphis Belle". Spin. 22 (2): 84. Retrieved June 4, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Alt/Indie’s Best Albums of the Decade" Retrieved 12 January 2010.
  15. ^ Katie Hasty, "'Juno' Unseats Keys From Atop Album Chart",, January 30, 2008.