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4.6 out of 5 stars
84
The Definitive Ray Charles
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£5.06+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on 31 December 2004
It seems that if anyone passes away these days, they are proclaimed a genius for the weeks following their death. With Ray Charles though, his sad loss was not what prompted the genius tag, but the real and tangible genius that he possessed.
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.
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VINE VOICETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 11 March 2010
In advance and in addition to his pop music appeal Ray Charles fused the genres of R&B, soul, gospel, jazz, blues and country. As well as his immediately recognizable rasping soulful voice he was a brilliant arranger and his recordings are full of heartfelt atmosphere. During the second half of the 20th century Ray Charles made some 80 albums and many more singles, and this double CD `The Definitive Ray Charles' presents an inspired collection of 46 numbers. All my stirring favourites are here including 'Hit The Road Jack', `I Can't Stop Loving You', `Born To Lose', `Your Cheatin' Heart' and `Take These Chains From My Heart' plus many more - starting CD1 with an early jump blues success as `Mess Around' and ending over 2½ hours later on CD2 with John Lennon's haunting `Imagine'. The Amazon product page lists all numbers but I direct attention to the various genres and treatments by the genius Ray Charles.

There is plenty of R&B and a representative example is `I've Got A Woman'; a spiritually orientated track is `This Little Girl Of Mine'; a blues flavour is `A Fool For You'; and an overlap with pop is `Hallelujah I Love Her So' - all 4 being Ray Charles' own compositions. There is also a hint of rock and roll with his famously significant `What'd I Say' which was originally spread across both sides of a hit single, and Ray Charles as talented instrumentalist on electric organ for a jazzy `One Mint Julep'. But Ray Charles also stamped his unique approach on standards as `Georgia On My Mind, `You Are My Sunshine' and `That Lucky Old Sun'. He performed his own versions of hits by others as Johnny Cash's bewailing `Busted', or Buck Owen's folksy style `Crying Time' or Quincy Jones' expressive `In The Heat Of The Night'. Before `Imagine' there are more transformations of Beatles compositions with `Yesterday' and `Eleanor Rigby' and rearrangements from further famous musicians such as The Blues Brothers for a bouncy twister `Shake Your Tailfeather' or Willie Nelson's country gospel style `Seven Spanish Angels'. And there is much more - these CDs are definitely definitive Ray Charles.
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on 31 May 2017
Great seller and a smooth experience, product exactly as described and also dispatch was smooth. I will surely buy from seller and also recommend too as well
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on 8 March 2013
I am not a great fan of Ray's but I cannot fault his cover versions of the country hits included here, the are brilliant and it must have come a bit of a shock to all those country stars to hear Ray's personal versions, they simply blow me away. The album is a cert for his fans and really if you are a true Ray Charles fan how can you not buy it.........5stars all the way!!
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on 22 June 2017
Brilliant all the songs I love on it.
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on 10 April 2016
It's a great CD if you like vintage jazz singing and piano. An excellent recording, just not quite my type of jazz music.
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on 8 October 2017
It all arrived in very good condition. I was surprised that he recorded so much music.

I have not been able to listen to all of it yet.

Thanks again
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on 31 July 2017
Great CD!
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on 22 March 2017
cd has been received, thank u
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on 1 April 2017
Not so enjoyable
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