Even though this page only lists five tracks, "The Original Lost Electra Sessions" is not an EP, it's a 19-track CD.
All but one of these 19 tracks were recorded in December, 1964, as Paul Butterfield's projected first LP, but the results were (inexplicably) scrapped and replaced by the band's official self-titled debut, cut a few months later.
With both Sam Lay, Elvin Bishop and Mike Bloomfield already onboard, these sessions are very similar in feel to the Paul Butterfield Blues Band's first album. It's perhaps a little bit rawer in production and performance, but not really worse or different than what ended up on the actual debut LP.
Dedicated primarily to electric Chicago blues standards, it opens with a somewhat rushed take on "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl", followed by a great "Just To Be With You" with some sublime harp playing by Paul Butterfield.
Butterfield also does a pretty good Sonny Boy Williamson (II) on a faithful rendition of "Help Me", and there are many more highlights, including an excellent rendition of the classic blues shuffle "Poor Boy", a slow, smouldering "It Hurts Me Too", an alternate version of the fine original "Our Love Is Drifting", a great, swinging "Take Me Back Baby", Jimmy Rogers' "That's All Right", and yet another Tampa Red-tune, "Love Her With A Feeling".
The band also lay down a really good version of Jimmy Oden's "Goin' Down Slow", and the originals "Lovin' Cup" and the fiery instrumental "Nut Popper #1" are excellent.
Virtually everything here is worth a listen, actually. It's not highly original, but The Paul Butterfield Blues Band's versions of these classic Chicago blues tunes are among the best and most convincing blues music ever waxed by a (primarily) white blues band. And any serious blues guitar lover will want to hear Mike Bloomfield's supremely tasty, economical playing.
Paul Butterfield fans will find this album well worth acquiring, as most of the selections were never officially recorded by the band's original lineup.
Great, classic blues.