Reviews of the box set were positive, focusing on Fahey's collection of old material. Grayson Currin calls some of the material "as a curiosity at best" and will not stand up to repeated listenings. He also writes it is "a rich overview of America's musical bedrock-- only here, it's told through the hard-won, fast-paced development of a guitarist who, in turn, changed the way future players could consider their instrument. A must-have collection of lore, music, and history, it's a unified, brilliant, and often very challenging archive." David Dunlap, Jr. of the Washington City Paper wrote the box set "portrays Fahey, the American Primitive, a musician both vulgar and elegant, as the brilliant, beautiful mess that he was." Marc Medwin of Dusted Magazine wrote "If ever there was a box set to which the old chestnut “Warts and All” applied, it’s Your Past Comes Back to Haunt You. No one knows that better than Glenn Jones, the long-time John Fahey enthusiast and a compiler of this five-disc compendium of Fahey’s earliest recordings. He is the first to admit that some of this material is simply excruciating listening, but he is persuasive about its historical importance. The music ultimately proves him right."