With the exception of the superb In a Priest Driven Ambulance, the Flaming Lips' early albums for the Restless label are at best hit-or-miss affairs; A Collection of Songs Representing an Enthusiasm for Recording...by Amateurs sifts through the debris to rescue the most enduring material from those LPs, revealing a band still struggling to discover its voice but on occasion capable of flickers of startling brilliance. The best tracks here -- "Unconsciously Screamin'," "Jesus Shootin' Heroin," and "One Million, Billionth of a Millisecond on a Sunday Morning" -- rival anything in the group's catalog, while even the weaker selections still suggest a truly original musical vision in embryo. Complete with a batch of unreleased covers making the set as valuable to longtime fans as more recent converts, A Collection of Songs proves once and for all that the Lips didn't simply become a great band overnight -- they always had it in them, with the best still yet to come.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Ankeny