This is a compilation of tracks from the Magic Band's tenure on the Virgin and Liberty labels. This is unfortunate on two counts: there is no material from the vital Reprise period (including the legendary Trout Mask Replica), and there are selections from Bluejeans & Moonbeams and Unconditionally Guaranteed, generally acknowledged as the weakest albums in the good Captain's catalog. Any best-of for a singular artist like Captain Beefheart is going to have some debatable inclusions and omissions, but five tracks combined from Bluejeans & Moonbeams and Unconditionally Guaranteed is too many, by almost anyone's estimation. By contrast, the Dust Blows Forward anthology has a grand total of one tune each from those albums. Aside from that, selections are nothing to quibble about, but those two mediocre efforts account for nearly one-third of this compilation. Beefheart fans, of course, will probably already own this material, and a true novice would probably be better-served with Dust Blows Forward, which covers Beefheart's entire career, encompassing all represented record labels.
AllMusic Review by Sean Westergaard