The cream of Phillips' recordings for Modern in the late '40s and early '50s was collected on the previous Ace anthology Swinging the Blues. Inevitably, there's a little bit of a sweep-up-the-leftovers feeling about this subsequent compilation, which combines sides from 1947-1951 singles that didn't make it onto Swinging the Blues with eight previously unissued alternate takes and three tracks from the era that didn't appear until a 1988 Ace reissue. Musically, however, it's about on par with the pieces chosen for Swinging the Blues, again revealing Phillips as one of the ablest just-post-World War II artists performing in the good-humored Louis Jordan style. Sometimes that humor gets a bit of a womanizing and risqué edge, as on "Stinkin' Drunk," "Rear End Blues," and "Women Women Women," but it's subservient to the ebullient boogie and jump blues, with some ballads thrown in for a change of pace. Phillips doesn't show off on guitar often, but when he does solo, as he does briefly on a part of the instrumental "Royal Boogie," he sparkles as an early pioneer of R&B electric guitar. The sound is good, though there's quite a bit of surface noise on some cuts due to the unavailability of pristine source tapes.
AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger