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|1. Mess around|
|2. It should've been me|
|3. I've got a woman|
|4. This little girl of mine|
|5. Fool for|
|6. Drown in my own tears|
|7. Leave my woman alone you|
|8. Hallelujah I love her so|
|9. Lonely avenue|
|10. Night time is the right time|
See all 24 tracks on this disc
|1. I can't stop loving you|
|2. Born to lose|
|3. You don't know me|
|4. You are my sunshine|
|5. Your cheatin' heart|
|6. Take these chains from my heart|
|8. That lucky old sun|
|9. Crying time|
|10. Cincinnati kid|
See all 22 tracks on this disc
I did not own any Ray Charles CD's before his untimely death, but always loved his music. I bought this, and gave myself the proverbial kick up the backside for not buying some of his work earlier. This is a great collection of all his best work, from his first hits up to some of his last material recorded. It doesn't cover his very early material, but then how can you produce a complete collection when someone has recorded so many great songs?
The early hits are very interesting in that they are so unlike the material that we have come to know him for, but as you listen to song after song on this CD, you can hear a man developing his style from the early trio of piano, bass and drums to the more complex arrangements that we all know so well. The earlier material then gets a country feel to it, but in his lifetime he rarely got any recognition from the snobbish Country and Western fans in the US. His rendition of songs like 'I Can't Stop Loving You' just blow away the original.
As he started getting wide recognition, the songs just grew in stature, and it seemed like there was no style of music that he couldn't utilise. Brilliant versions of other people's songs such as 'Rainy Night in Georgia' just make you marvel at his arranging skills.
I for one will be buying more Ray Charles, but this CD is the perfect place to start.
The most famous of his early songs is probably the often-covered Hallelujah I love her so. What'd I say and I've got a woman are among the other great songs from Ray's fifties music that are included here. All those three were written by Ray, although he also recorded songs written vy others even then. Fans of Ray's fifties music will need to buy a compilation devoted to those recordings - on this set, there are just 15 tracks from this era (about right for this compilation).
It is the sixties with which Ray will be forever associated and which is most strongly represented here. Despite Ray's ability to write his own songs, the two songs for which he is best remembered are both covers. Georgia on my mind is a Hoagy Carmichael song from 1931, while I can't stop loving you is a country song written by Don Gibson. In both cases, Ray did them his own way, broadening their appeal considerably.
I can't stop loving you was one of many country songs that Ray adapted to the R+B style. Some of his fans deserted him, but these recordings gained him more fans than he lost. What Ray showed was the main difference between different styles of music was the presentation - not the songs themselves. His re-interpretations of country songs are represented here by tracks 1 to 7 and track 9 of CD 2. Actually, he'd dabbled withe idea in the fifties, as his cover of I'm movin' on (CD 1, track 13) shows.Read more ›