CRI's The Harry Partch Collection, Vol. 1, is devoted to a period in Partch's development that is marked by a transition from his early "speech music" pieces based on poetry to extended instrumental works that demonstrate his unique 43-note to the octave scale. This move was prompted to some degree through friendly criticism offered by composer Henry Cowell, who had commented on the lack of a strong rhythmic profile in Partch's speech music works, exemplified here by Intrusions (11). Partch responded with the Plectra and Percussion Dances, pieces that are in a sense all-rhythm and tend toward a swinging, percussive approach that makes the music's unusual harmonic properties easy to digest. Castor and Pollux were later re-recorded for CBS and are among Partch's signature pieces; Ring Around the Moon, Even Wild Horses, and Ulysses at the Edge (written for Chet Baker, but never played by him) are considerably more obscure and appear complete for the first time, having been edited somewhat for the original Gate 5 LP releases.
CRI's series "The Harry Partch Collection" was launched in 1997 and quickly went out of print. In 2004 New World Records issued a remastered version of this disc retaining the same title and front cover image as The Harry Partch Collection, Vol. 1.