Seal of the Blue Lotus was Robbie Basho's first album, coming out in 1965 or '66. Like many first albums of great artists, it is as brilliant as it is frustrating. The sound of this album is very Eastern influenced, and the songs are primarily in modal and minor key. The album has a very improvisational feel to it, which can lead to sublime moments as well as moments of fairly dull repetition. This is forgivable, since this album is of an artist exploring his instrument and different sounds. Most of the tracks are solo guitar, except for Black Lotus.
Four of the six songs featured on this album are also on Guitar Soli. That album also contains all the tracks from The Grail and the Lotus. It's natural then to wonder if it's worth paying the extra cash for this album for two extra songs not found Guitar Soli. The two songs, Bardo Blues and Black Lotus, are two of the better songs on the album in my opinion. Black Lotus is one of my favorite Basho tunes: an incredibly haunting, esoteric melody incorporating guitar, bells, and flute. As a fan of Basho I think the album is worth buying for the two rare songs. I would say that Guitar Soli or Bashovia is a better buy for your money if you're looking for an introduction to Basho's early music.