Skip James estimated that he recorded 26 sides for the Paramount label in 1931, but no one has ever turned up more than the 18 songs on this disc in any form. This was the first comprehensive collection of James' early music, showcasing his piano playing as well as his skills with a guitar, and was essential listening in the 1980s. However, the collection was only partly successful on a technical level. Paramount had been notorious for using the poorest and cheapest materials in its pressings and later junked its masters. Based on surviving production 78s, the quality of this release therefore left a lot to be desired even from a historical point of view. Yazoo later upgraded and retitled the collection when better sources and transferring techniques became available (see The Complete Early Recordings of Skip James).
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AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder