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Ray Charles: The Complete Country & Western Recordings 1959-1986 [Box set]

Ray CharlesAudio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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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 414 albums, 8 photos, 4 videos, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

Ray Charles: The Complete Country & Western Recordings 1959-1986 + Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music 1 & 2
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 27, 1998)
  • Original Release Date: October 27, 1998
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set
  • 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 / Wea
  • ASIN: B00000C41G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #154,234 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Bye Bye Love
2. You Don't Know Me
3. Half As Much
4. I Love You So Much It Hurts
5. Just A Little Lovin'
See all 24 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. I'm Movin' On
2. Busted
3. No One To Cry To
4. Move It On Over
5. Love's Gonna Live Here (Swingova)
See all 27 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Ring Of Fire
2. What Am I Living For
3. The Three Bells
4. All I Ever Need Is You
5. Wichita Lineman
See all 20 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. 3/4 Time
2. Shakin' Your Head
3. I Had It All
4. Do I Ever Cross Your Mind
5. Woman Sensuous Woman
See all 22 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Feeling is what Ray Charles is all about--straight from the gut, exposed and vulnerable, real. And because it's the feeling of his music that matters most to him, whether it's found in the words he's singing or the notes he's playing, he has never seen any reason to limit himself to any particular style. He's played blues and gospel, jazz and soul, pop and rock and country, and for a half century now he's scored hits and created masterpieces with just about all of it--very often all of it at once! But no matter how startlingly dynamic his arrangements, the focus is always the feeling in Charles's voice. It's such an expressive, soulful instrument that, regardless of what's swirling around it--strings? gospel choir? pedal-steel guitar? all of the above?--it still demands the center of attention. Charles's version of country music takes the listener to unexpected places, musically and emotionally. Hearing all of his interactions with C&W pulled together like this simply amazes. --David Cantwell

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
The soul and spirit in this collection is far beyond description. The feelin' starts on track 1 of disc 1 and continues on to track 22 of disc 4, and stays with you long after that. Sure, Ray Charles is a household name. But I don't think many people realize how deep of a soul singer and songwriter he is.
If you have any inkling as to who Ray Charles is and what he's about--and it appeals to you--then you will *LOVE* this entire collection (FORGET about "country"/"R&B" classifications--it is SOUL music). Some box sets are overkill with the content, making it hard to truly enjoy everything from beginning to end. This is a major exception. The songs range from the 1950s to the 1980s, and, to my wonderful surprise, the 1980s tracks don't have that fake, overproduced sound that most records from the 1980s have. And the tracks from the 1950s and 60s, of course, have that wonderful "live" sound that only recordings from that time could have. It's all good!
I was hesitant to buy this entire collection, and it makes me so happy to know that I took the chance because I wouldn't know what I was missing if I had simply gotten the "Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music" album.
Ray Charles RULES!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Got By This Guy January 13, 2005
Format:Audio CD
It seems as if Ray kept an ear on country music throughout his life, long after the success of 1962's Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music. This fine package goes on for YEARS after that. And they are all very good beause of his delivery. He starts out with "Bye Bye Love" done up by both Webb Pierce and the Everly Brothers in the 50s AND "You Don't Know Me" co-written by Cindy Walker, a prolific songwriter, and its singer "Tennessee Plowboy" Eddy Arnold (although Eddy actually was sort of an early "Countrypolitan" singer with about 30 #1 hits.) The package continues on with songs by longtime writer/singer Floyd Tillman, Ted Deffan ("his "Born to Lose" and "Worried Mind" were on the 1962 album though he never made the big time himself), governor Jimmie Davis, Don Gibson, Hank Williams, Sr.,Buck Owens, Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, The Browns, Chet Atkins, Willie Nelson; the list goes on and on. The only one I question is "What Am I Living For?", the last song of King of the Stroll Chuck Willis, a black blues shouter, before his early death. Whatever. I bet if Ray was still with us, he'd still have an ear out for country music. If you think country music is hokey--maybe sometimes it is--it isn't so when the Genius does it. Trust me.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The album that changed music just got better June 23, 2005
Format:Audio CD
Modern Sound in C&W is one of those albums that changed the course of popular music; nothing was the same ever since. The version in this box set is remastered and sounds so much better that the single CD. Just for that I am glad I traded my old CD for this. The rest of the stuff is not as great as the original album (like most every other album released ever since!), but it is all very very good. If you got even the slightest interest in country music or Ray CHarles, this is for you. Each CD is FULL with music, they really tried to put as many tracks as possible into 4 CD's, so even if you get 4 CD's, you are actually getting twice as much music as you would ususally find in 4 CDs. Liner notes are not too great, a detail session by session is missing, but this is definitely worth the price.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Ray Of Pure Light December 5, 2002
Format:Audio CD
With the exception of cd no:4 (which sounds too eighties for me) this is simply marvellous. I wouldn't call it soul, jazz or country - it's none of that, and all of it at the same time. "Take Me Home Country Roads" is way better than John Denvers version, "Ring Of Fire" sounds better than when Johnny Cash plays it. And the list goes on and on. "You Are My Sunshine" is another classic that Ray Charles breathes new life into.
This cd-box is quite expensive, but it's worth it. Three discs or four...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Just Country December 29, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I bought this CD last Christmas for my wife and have just about listened to it everyday since. Even though it is listed as a country recording there are many other styles of music which shows Ray Charles' wide range of talent. I'd highly recomend this CD.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An unusual view of Ray Charles June 14, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Few artists have had such a long and varied career that a collection of this sort could fill even a single disc, let alone 4. But Charles has proven himself time again to be more than just a pianist, more than just a soul singer, more than just a songwriter. He is an artist who fuses a variety of sources into something that is uniquely his own.

What's particularly interesting about this collection, drawn from a 28-year period, is the transition he makes. The early recordings take C&W songs and filter them through the jazz and soul stylings on which Charles made his name. The later recordings turn the formula inside-out, rearranging soul tunes with a C&W flair. Perhaps most impressive of all is that both work wonderfully.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful range of feeling, tempo, style, and sound. February 20, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
After giving this set to my honey as a gift, we listened to all 4 CDs. We marveled at the incredible range of songs, from upbeat, almost jazzy ones, to tear-jerkers, to deep-down, heartfelt bluesy ones. Ray Charles has a magnificent style, and his treatment of the classics was unique. Excellent investment.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this boxed set.It had everything I wanted December 5, 1998
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I really like Ray charles and this is a great boxed set.It had everything I was looking for. I had good sound from what I could tell.And in my openion it was not just country it had other sounds mixed in which gives it a good mix.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Ray Charles
A master piece of art, Ray Charles is a imortal artist, this album reflects only a small part of his repertory
Published 5 months ago by Luiz Antonio Ambra
5.0 out of 5 stars Best box set ever!
Willie called Modern Sounds the most important country album ever recorded. I could listen to "You Don't Know Me" everyday. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ben G.
5.0 out of 5 stars Country and Western -- Ray Charles?
I enjoy these discs as much or more than any other CDs in my library. It seems like most people don't know that Ray Charles recorded country music.
Published 16 months ago by John Gordon
5.0 out of 5 stars Let's give some credit to the song writers
21 people gave reviews ahead of me...of them, 18 gave the CD 5 stars & 3 gave it 4 stars. That should be enough endorsement to gather that this is a worthy entry to your Ray... Read more
Published on June 14, 2011 by Muzak Muzak Muzak
5.0 out of 5 stars SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL!!!
Ray Charles shows his rare genius from start to finish. It is a refreshing box set of soulful music, as Ray takes classic country songs mixed in with some of his very own to a... Read more
Published on May 26, 2011 by WFUdeac10
5.0 out of 5 stars American institution. Priceless.
Beyond description. Awesome. Evidence that God not only exists but that his beauty is right here for us to see if we just open our minds up to appreciate him! Read more
Published on April 12, 2010 by aspiring saint
5.0 out of 5 stars Ray Charles music
this is some of Ray Charles best music and the discs were in perfect shape.
Published on September 28, 2009 by R. J. Peak
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Ray's BEST!
Absolutely fantastic! Soul wrenching sounds that brought me to tears just to hear such gutteral feelings expressed in his voice. Read more
Published on August 4, 2009 by knees
5.0 out of 5 stars Ray Charles complete country recordings
I love the music but I don't understand the play list of samples; songs do not match the titles so I am concerned that perhaps the package contains misprints with some CDs songs... Read more
Published on May 9, 2009 by Monnie Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice package, mostly good music
Very Attractive Package (which i like), but if you really want the truth, aside from all the laurels Mr. Read more
Published on April 7, 2008 by James Schuck
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