The Essential Modern Records Collection Image
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 4 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: This compilation collects some of the earliest recordings for the blues singer while she was with Modern Records.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. There's too much of the same on Flair's 25-year-old R&B Dynamite, which omits "Shortnin' Bread Rock" and adds only the very early "Be My Lovey Dovey" to her A list, though it includes all the obvious keepers. I prefer this in part because it's shorter. Makes the voice easier to treasure.
  2. May 20, 2011
    80
    This set is a great introduction to James' early raw recordings; however, it excludes a few tracks from the superior The Best of the Modern Years on Metro Blue.
  3. May 20, 2011
    80
    It's that fire that is prominent more on this collection than on any of the others, only because it chronicles the stubborn teenager as she was making that breathless transition into a strong woman.
  4. May 20, 2011
    70
    Though she's celebrated for her post-1960 Chess recordings and '67 Muscle Shoals scorcher Tell Mama, her '50s singles, collected here, trace the development of soul's first queen.