There have been countless collections of Muddy Waters' classic Chess material released over the years, but Chess began to whittle down the domestic catalog toward the late '90s. The triple-disc Chess box remained in print, but they added two single-disc collections that each covered a specific period in Waters' career at Chess. Then, in 2001, MCA/Chess released The Anthology, a double-disc set that essentially contained much of those two single-disc collections, with several extra tracks, remastering and new liner notes. This still didn't correct the lack of a concise, single-disc overview with all the hits -- something that Muddy, Chuck Berry, and Howlin' Wolf all desperately need -- but if you're going to be buying two discs to get the full Muddy Waters story, you should get this instead of two separate discs, since it's simply easier. Besides this, even if it does contain a bunch of familiar material, it also contains some of the greatest music of the 20th century, and if you're not going to get the box but still want a comprehensive Muddy set, this is it.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2