Ray Charles is both one of the most iconic artists of all time as well as one of the hardest to define by genre. At the beginning of his career, he was dubbed the Genius of Soul for boldly combining traditional R&B with gospel music and giving birth to soul music. Yet this momentous musical accomplishment was just the beginning of a five-decade career in which he uniquely succeeded in virtually every genre. Ray's unique mastery of music allowed him to continue to explore all forms of music, freely floating between jazz, blues, pop, rock, soul and country while continuing to combine them in new, unprecedented ways.
This two (2) disc vinyl collection illustrates the many musical "sides" of Ray by focusing each album side on some of the broader genre categories he visited most.
The first side focuses on soul music. Of course, Ray put a little bit of soul in everything he did. But these songs and performances were a part of the bedrock of soul, defining the genre that Ray Charles, more than any other artists, was responsible for creating.
The second side centers on jazz & blues, which are as fundamental to Ray's music as they are to American popular music. In this set, as in everything Ray sang, one can clearly feel the emotions that can only be brought on by life's heartbreaks and hard times.
The third side highlights another of Ray's remarkable achievements, the dramatic expansion of country music. In this set, while every song is a country song, you'll hear elements of jazz, blues, soul, gospel, and pop. Not only did Ray defy racial and musical boundaries, but he also elevated it to the world stage, creating the first-ever worldwide pop hit with a country song, "I Can't Stop Loving You."
The last side, "Pop Classics," is a bit harder to define. First, nearly everything that Ray Charles sang was a classic. And popular music changes with the times. If you consider "pop" as recordings that are universal in their appeal and that don't sit neatly within another genre, then these songs fit the bill.
Ray Charles is the only true genius in our business.
- 180g Vinyl
- Double LP
- Each Side Focuses on a Specific Genre Category
- Gatefold Jacket
Side One - Soul:
- Hit The Road Jack - Ray Charles and His Orchestra
- I Don't Need No Doctor - Ray Charles and His Orchestra
- Unchain My Heart - Ray Charles and His Orchestra
- No One
- Hide Nor Hair - Ray Charles and His Orchestra
- I've Got A Woman (Live)
Side Two - Jazz & Blues:
- Let's Go Get Stoned
- I'm Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town
- Smack Dab In The Middle
- Them That Got - Ray Charles and His Orchestra
- One Mint Julip
- I've Got News For You
Side Three - Country:
- Here We Go Again
- You Are My Sunshine
- Crying Time
- Take These Chains From My Heart
- Ring Of Fire
- I Can't Stop Loving You
Side Four - Pop Classics:
- Georgia On My Mind
- Eleanor Rigby
- Busted - Ray Charles and His Orchestra
- Till There Was You
- Hallelujah I Love Her So (Live)
- A Song For You