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Genius & Soul: The 50th Anniversary Collection [Box set, Original recording remastered]

Ray CharlesAudio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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Audio CD, Box set, Original recording remastered, 1997 --  
Audio Cassette, Box set, 1997 --  

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Genius Loves Company (10th Anniversary Edition)


R&B innovator Ray Charles was one of the most important musicians of the 1950s. Despite being blind from childhood, he was hugely successful at fusing elements of blues, country, gospel and doo-wop together to form a kind of proto-soul.

Despite losing his sight at an early age, he never let his disability stop him from being a success and scored several R&B chart hits in the ... Read more in Amazon's Ray Charles Store

Visit Amazon's Ray Charles Store
for 413 albums, 8 photos, 4 videos, discussions, and more.

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Genius & Soul: The 50th Anniversary Collection + The Best of Billie Holiday: 20th Century Masters (Millennium Collection)
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 16, 1997)
  • Original Release Date: September 16, 1997
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set, Original recording remastered
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B00000343O
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,865 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Confession Blues - The Maxin Trio
2. Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand - Ray Charles Trio
3. Kissa Me Baby
4. It Should've Been Me
See all 24 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Let The Good Times Roll
2. Come Rain Or Come Shine
3. Tell The Truth
4. Drown In My Own Tears
See all 22 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Hid 'Nor Hair
2. I Can't Stop Loving You
3. Bye Bye, Love
4. Born To Lose
See all 22 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Eleanor Rigby
2. Yesterday
3. Understanding
4. Drifting Blues
See all 18 tracks on this disc
Disc: 5
1. Living For The City
2. Till There Was You
3. Am I Blue
4. How Long Has This Been Going On
See all 16 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

At last here's a collection that covers his ENTIRE career, from Atlantic through ABC, 103 sides and five decades of essential American music in all! You name the essential Ray Charles track and it's here: Hallelujah I Love Her So; Lonely Avenue; (Night Time Is) the Right Time; What'd I Say (Parts I & II); Sticks and Stones; Georgia on My Mind; One Mint Julep; Hit the Road Jack; I Can't Stop Loving You; You Are My Sunshine; Busted; Crying Time , and more. An 80-page book traces the life and times of a true genius.

If anyone deserves his own section in record stores, it's Ray Charles. Witness this Charles box set, a full five-disc career retrospective that follows smaller packages concentrating on his early R&B (The Birth of Soul) and Blues + Jazz work. In addition to those styles, we get Ray's stabs at Nat "King" Cole/Charles Brown urban blues ("Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand"), handfuls of country songs ("I Can't Stop Loving You"), definitive readings of the American songbook ("Georgia on My Mind," "Come Rain or Come Shine"), and personal claims on the '60s soul he made possible ("I Don't Need No Doctor"). Whether you're a newcomer or a veteran Charles fan, this impeccably selected box is for you. --Rickey Wright

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unparalled collection of music. March 23, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Just like Sinatra's Reprise Years box set, this is a massive massive set of work. I guess that the only way to get more great Ray Charles music would be to collect everything he ever did. Until then, this is the very next thing (and it sure is fine!).
Ray made musical history, and he did so over an incredible period of time. Few musicians do not credit his influence, be they country, rock and roll, rhythm and blues, or even rap. This collection spans much of that time -- more that forty years worth. It starts with some old classics, like "Nighttime is the Right Time" and the even funkier "Let the Good Times Roll", and then moves to the gentle hit "That Lucky Old Sun". The collection then takes us to several of his classics from the seminal work 'Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music', like "Take These Chains From My Heart", "I Can't Stop Loving You" and the tragic, magic "Born To Lose". Ray's more recent work is also well represented, like his version of "America The Beautiful", "Still Crazy After All These Years" and Stevie Wonder's classic "Livin for the City".
Perhaps my favorite cut of all the discs however, was his collaboration with Willie Nelson, "Seven Spanish Angels". I had never heard this song before, and together, they made one very special piece of music. Willie's plaintive wail was masterfully interwoven with Brother Ray's soulful depths and together they created something to positively revere.
If you have some Ray Charles, this is worth adding, because it will certainly have something new to try. If you have none of Ray's work, this is a wonderful way to get caught up in one single purchase. If you have never heard him, you are probably deaf, and that would be the only way this would not be a worthwhile purchase.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I started with this, and it remains the best! January 11, 2003
By Rykre
Format:Audio CD
Actually, I started with Ray Charles with Rhino's single disc called "Anthology". I've found it to be so good, that I decided to expand on his collection. So, I bought this box set, and then I even began to pick up more of Ray Charles albums on CD released by Rhino and/or Atlantic. At one time, I had about 14 Ray Charles CD's, and of course, many of his essential tracks were duplicated many times over. So, reality set in: I've got too many CD's of Ray Charles. Ray does have some dull moments. Even this box set tends to drift into some dull tunes on the fourth and fifth disc, but, it does pick up towards the end. He's got a few country duets that he released in the mid-eighties that are pretty good. And his version of Leon Russell's "A Song for You" is a pretty good comeback for Ray. Ray's got so many albums. I doubt they would ever, all, be released on CD. His best songs from his many albums are already available on this "Genius and Soul" box set. Rhino did a fabulous job at selecting key tracks. So, I started to just give away some of my Ray Charles CD's because the best thing I had, and probably, all I, or anyone else, ever needs, is just this one Box Set. His album, "Modern Sounds in Country and Western", is definately a keeper by itself. Even, "The Genius Hits the Road", has some pretty good non-hit selections. But, everything else that matters from Ray Charles is pretty much covered in this Box Set. I suggest you jump on it, who knows how long Rhino will be able to continue to release it.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This 5-CD box set is more comprehensive than I would have hoped and is more than worth the investment. And even after getting the box set, I wasn't able to sell any of his individual albums that I already had, and I still had to go out and buy his album with Betty Carter. That's my testament to a truly great artist who does consistently high quality work.
This set gives a pretty comprehensive overview of Ray Charles' career; it has all the great recordings and touches on most of the great experiments. The only shortcoming is the lack of live work but that probably wouldn't be appropriate here and could easily be another couple CDs.
Ray Charles is a genius and the personification of Soul and he leaves an indelible stamp on every music genre he touches and his influence can be seen in countless others.
Thank you.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Immortality July 14, 2004
Format:Audio CD
Count me among the group of music fans who may have taken Ray Charles a little for granted when he was alive. I think I saw him as a timeless musical giant who seemed like he would always be around.
Mr. Charles' death earlier this year convinced me to listen to the two CDs of his that I owned and to go through the handful of anthologies I have that include the great singer's music -- an exercise that left me looking for more.
Enter this 50th Anniversary Collection, just about the most comprehensive compilation of Mr. Charles' work possible. The song list includes (almost) everything the singer ever recorded, from his awe-inspiring version of "Confession Blues" to the melodic "Georgia on my Mind" to the playful "Shake Your Tail Feather" from the Blue's Brother's movie.
I can only think of one song puzzlingly missing from this collection, but it's a biggie: Mr. Charles' immense version of Maceo Merryweather's "Some Day Baby". In my book, that's an omission significant enough to cost the collection a five-star rating, though not one serious enough to instead recommend the much less ambitious Genius Sings the Blues, the only CD I know of that has that song on it.
Many collections of this size sadly water down a collection by mixing the performer's best material with inferior music recorded simply to occupy the B side of 45 rpm singles or that was removed from the singer's song list before being completely refined. All 102 songs on this five-CD set are clearly not of equal quality, but the scope and the start-to-finish quality of this collection make it clear that Mr. Charles is among a small handful of artists for whom a collection like this is not overkill.
This is an essential addition to any music lovers' library, and one that assures that at least musically, Mr. Charles really will always be around.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Mama
Glorious. That says it all although I'm required to blab on for a while. I could talk about my childhood in Oregon...
Published 12 months ago by Todd Gieg
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius and Soul
An excellent collection of one of my favorite musicians , songwriter, and vocalist a must for Ray Charles fans. Shows his genius ans versitility.
Published 19 months ago by D. F. Keese
5.0 out of 5 stars genius & soul
excellent quality, sound and all items were present, including the book. to be a used item i would surley recommend this product and this seller in the futere, also the item was... Read more
Published on September 21, 2012 by black
5.0 out of 5 stars Crystal clear remastering!
I've been a Ray Charles fan since I first heard him in 1962 at the age of sixteen. I've gone through several copies of 'Ray Charles Greatest Hits' (ABC Paramount 415 LP). Read more
Published on December 6, 2011 by John L Frigo
4.0 out of 5 stars Ray's Music
If you like Ray Charles, you need this music!!! You will enjoy hours of good music. You will not regret this purchase.
Published on October 18, 2010 by mybabies5
5.0 out of 5 stars Ray Charles fused gospel with r&b to create soul
Ray Charles was one of the greatest soul/r&b artists of all time, and the most famous blind musician of all time. Read more
Published on August 3, 2010 by Jason Weber
5.0 out of 5 stars Ray rocks from the UK
The collection was in excellent condition with the cellophane still on it. It came promptly
and I am enjoying having all of my favorite songs together. Read more
Published on April 10, 2010 by lahoma
5.0 out of 5 stars Gotta love Ray
This is a wonderful collection of Ray's music. My only complaint is that it could have been twice as many songs (and yes, I'd have paid more)! Read more
Published on November 7, 2009 by L. Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I bought this collection mostly because I was unable to find this one song available as a download. I already had a couple of Ray's cd's. But I wanted Understanding. Read more
Published on November 2, 2008 by Dean A. Blank
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius & Soul: The 50th Anniversary Collection - Ray Charles
If you are a Ray Charles fan you will love this CD set. It includes his earlier works, favorites that everyone knows and is just a great CD. Read more
Published on January 23, 2008 by P. Askey
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