Personnel: Cher (vocals); Peter Cetera, Sonny Bono (vocals).
A two-disc collection that eclipses THE VERY BEST OF CHER and goes farther into the diva's career than THE WAY OF LOVE, 2005's GOLD follows Cher's studio catalog from 1965 to 2002. Proceeding in (mostly) chronological order, the compilation begins with her folk-rock/pop hits with then-husband Sonny Bono (the sunshiney "I Got You Babe" and the pleading "Baby Don't Go") and weaves through '60s and '70s singles both with and without Sonny. "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves" (1971) features Cher in a more dramatic and emotive light, pointing in the direction of the deep-voiced performer's later years.
The second disc presents Cher's return to recording after her '80s work as an acclaimed actress, and includes the Diane Warren-penned hits "If I Could Turn Back Time" and "Love and Understanding," as well as the later techno-tinged dance hits "Believe" and "Song for the Lonely." While THE VERY BEST OF CHER is ideal for those wanting only one disc of Cher hits, the 34-track GOLD is perfect for those seeking a more in-depth overview.