The critics hated it ? Acoustic blues purists, I guess. Howlin' wolf hated it ? Well, it says he didn't like it or his electric guitar, either, on the cover, but one wonders, since he made another electric album with Eric Clapton and others in London not long after this recording, and he recorded other elecric albums after that session as well. Personally, I think it's the best electric blues recording I've ever found. 10 classic blues tracks with the heaviest base-laden sound that ever annoyed your neighbors, and not a clunker in the bunch. If it's pure acoustic blues you want, then there's plenty of that out there and this is not for you, but if you're a fan of the late 60's rock-influenced albums put out by the Wolf, Muddy, & others, then this might possibly be the best of the bunch.
Original 1969 Cadet LP versions, when you can find them, are going for about $80., and the out of print Japanese CD version is extremely pricey, but there is a reasonably priced 2009 Swiss CD version out there- TAKE 5, #35013 for about $23. + shp.
One last opinion regarding those blues purists who think electrified blues is sacrilege and that rock bands of the 60's exploited the old Delta masters....Muddy Waters himself said "Before the Rolling Stones, people didn't know anything about me and didn't want to know anything. I was making records that were called 'race records'. Then the Rolling Stones and other English bands came along, playing this music, and now the kids are buying my records and listening to them." What would the purists have had happen, that these guys had gone to their graves, poor and unappreciated by the public at large, but playing "pure acoustic blues" ? I went to some of the electric blues concerts in the 60's wherein the rock bands introduced their mentors, and it was my impression from their comments onstage and in the press, that these old bluesmen (and women) sincerely appreciated the belated recognition and were happy to finally make some decent money for themselves and their families. As far as acoustic vs. electric guitars, well, there was no such choice when they started, but of course it was a matter of personal preference when electric guitars were available to them later, and they didn't bother to ask snobby critics whether they should use them or not.