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Friendship

4.3 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 2, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: February 2, 2009
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: SBME SPECIAL MKTS.
  • Run Time: 37 minutes
  • ASIN: B001U3HUL8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,851 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Ray Charles Store

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A couple of years after Charles joined Columbia, he waxed this album of duets with many of the label's country artists. Unlike the his revolutionary 1962 "Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music," the presence of mainstream country superstars pulled the singer more towards then then-contemporary Nashville style. Rather than re-contextualizing country songs as soul music, Charles simply revels in the pleasure of singing with friends - those he knew personally, and those whose acquaintance he made through this music. Much like his Grammy(tm) winning studio swan song "Genius Loves Company," this collection is more about making music than making revolutions, and it's set among similarly comfortable arrangements and singing partners. Billy Sherrill provides clean '80s production, as he'd done for so many albums of the era, resulting in an album that's more of its era than of a proclivity for invention and ground-breaking.

Charles was a tremendously talented duet partner, lending his soulful core to everything he sang while at the same time generously following the leads of his partners. Hank Jr. sparks Charles' bluesy side, the Oak Ridge Boys back him with gospel harmonies, and Ricky Skaggs adds a taste of high-and-lonesome. Janie Fricke plays Tammy Wynette to Charles' George Jones, and Jones himself takes a playful spin with Charles on "We Didn't See a Thing." The album's hit single, "Seven Spanish Angels," performed with Willie Nelson, a backing choir, and a large string section effectively contrasts the husky soulfulness of Charles' voice with Nelson's reediness.

Hook-ups with Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash and a few others are fine - reflecting the obvious pleasure everyone derived from this project - but do not add anything particularly substantial to any of the artists' canons.
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Ray Charles' music: five stars.

Sony's "copy-protection" scheme that prevents use of the disc on my Mac, prevents other legal uses of this disc, and I'm told installs a rootkit on Windoze based machines (I'm amazed this is even legal!): minus 10,000 stars.

Total: minus 9995 stars.

Message to Sony: please give up this madness if you ever want us to buy a CD from you again.
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Just when you assume you heard all there is to hear from Ray Charles, Sony releases yet another great duet filled project titled FRIENDSHIP.

This CD maintains the same exuberant spirit as his previous Grammy winning project GENIUS LOVES COMPANY. However, this time Ray is comfortably supported by some of the all time best vocals in Country Music. Combine the spontaneous blues styling of Ray with a dash of country and you create yet another wining formula for success.

The musical orchestration is simple yet entertaining making all the duets timeless performances. The track blending Ray's vocals with Janie Frickie will reveal itself as a high point for fans. This is a CD that should be added to all music collections.

If you admire vocals, then listen on this project how Mr.Charles knew how to impulsively deliver a lyric.

He remains amongst the exceptional bread of vocalists who know how to transcend any musical genre while continuing to be true to their own unique style.

For the vocal performances, this CD is a must own!
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Format: Audio CD
Back in the 1980's, Ray Charles recorded an album that featured him doing duets with some of the popular acts of the time. The exception would be Tony Bennett. But there are a lot of artists who are on this CD with Ray Charles.

The disc starts off with a duet with Hank Williams Jr. called "Two Old Cats Like Us." Another fun song is the hit single "We Didn't See A Thing" with George Jones. It's about two guys who are stepping out on their wives. And even though they see one another, they swear that they don't know anything about the whereabouts of each other. There's also the duet that Ray does with Billy Joel on the song "Baby Grand." It also includes Rays hit single "Seven Spanish Angels."

And since the passing of Ray Charles, this collection of songs seems even more meaningful and fun to listen to. This album is primarily country, so you may want to keep that in mind if you decide to purchase it.

And if you do choose to get this CD, make sure that you get the one that is NOT copy protected if you plan on playing it in a computer/laptop or your car. Some players don't like copy protected CD's and will refuse to play them.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I love this album! It is just plain old fun ... the singers must have had a great time making these songs. All of the songs are way to short, but still after all these years I cannot get "Seven Spanish Angels" out of my head. I sort of lost respect for Mr. Charles after watching the movie "Ray", but I can definately enjoy his craft.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Ray Charles could sing anything, and was especially interested in the country music genre. With the exception of the bonus tracks by Bennett and Joel added years later on CD, each song was a duet recorded with a popular country performer of the era - 1984. The album charted at #1, and four of the cuts were top 20 hits., but each and every cut got a great deal of airplay on country stations. Who else but Ray could land performers like Hank williams, Jr., Willie Nelson, George Jones, Johnny Cash, and (kneeling here) Merle Haggard? My favorite cut is "I Didn't See a Thing" with George Jones...ironic title...incredible performance. Totally inspired, fabulous, and unique. This album is a must for any fan of Ray's OR country music!
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