Hip-O's Ultimate Collection is one of the first truly comprehensive overviews of Freddie King's career, starting with his seminal recordings for Federal and running all the way to his final recordings for RSO in the mid-'70s. This is a mixed blessing. On one hand, it's nice to have a disc that tells the whole story, but the shifting production values and performance aesthetics make for slightly uneven listening. Throughout it all, though, King's playing shines and it's clear that even if his material and approach wavered toward the '70s, there was plenty to enjoy within his musicianship. Nevertheless, this is a place to go when you want to dig a little deeper, when you want a map of his entire career; if you want to delve in, head toward Rhino's collection of his Federal/King sides.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine