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

4.8 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, October 27, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

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

Track Listings

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'
  6. Born To Lose
  7. Worried Mind
  8. It Makes No Difference Now
  9. You Win Again
  10. Careless Love
  11. I Can't Stop Loving You
  12. Hey, Good Lookin'
  13. You Are My Sunshine
  14. No Letter Today
  15. Someday (You'll Want Me To Want You)
  16. Don't Tell Me Your Troubles
  17. Midnight
  18. Oh, Lonesome Me
  19. Take These Chains From My Heart
  20. Your Cheating Heart
  21. I'll Never Stand In Your Way
  22. Making Believe
  23. Teardrops In My Heart
  24. Hang Your Head In Shame

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)
  6. I'm A Fool To Care
  7. Crying Time
  8. Together Again
  9. I've Got A Tiger By The Tail (Swingova)
  10. I Don't Care
  11. Blue Moon Of Kentucky (Swingova)
  12. Don't Let Her Know
  13. Please Say You're Fooling
  14. She's Lonesome Again
  15. A Born Loser
  16. A Girl I Used To Know
  17. Here We Go Again
  18. When I Stop Dreamin'
  19. If You Were Mine
  20. Your Love Is So Doggone Good
  21. Don't Change On Me
  22. Till I Can't Take It Anymore
  23. You've Still Got A Place In My Heart
  24. I Keep It Hid
  25. Sweet Memories
  26. Good Morning Dear
  27. Bonus Track 1

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
  6. Down In The Valley
  7. Take Me Home, Country Roads
  8. Never Ending Song Of Love
  9. Come Live With Me
  10. Sunshine
  11. We Had It All
  12. (Turn Out The Light And) Love Me Tonight
  13. I Wish You Were Here Tonight
  14. Ain't Your Memory Got No Pride At All
  15. Born To Love Me
  16. I Don't Want No Stranger Sleepin' In My Bed
  17. Let Your Love Flow
  18. You Feel Good All Over
  19. You've Got The Longest Leaving Act In Town
  20. String Bean

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
  6. Then I'll Be Over You
  7. If I Were You
  8. Workin' Man's Woman
  9. Two Old Cats Like Us
  10. This Old Heart (Is Gonna Rise Again)
  11. We Didn't See A Thing
  12. Who Cares
  13. Friendship
  14. It Ain't Gonna Worry My Mind
  15. Little Hotel Room
  16. Crazy Old Soldier
  17. Seven Spanish Angels
  18. The Pages Of My Mind
  19. Slip Away
  20. Anybody With The Blues
  21. A Little Bit Of Heaven
  22. Dixie Moon


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
  • ASIN: B00000C41G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,486 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. Heinrich on August 2, 2001
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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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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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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By A Customer on December 29, 1999
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.
Mike
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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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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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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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Willie called Modern Sounds the most important country album ever recorded. I could listen to "You Don't Know Me" everyday. Well, six days a week anyway, on the seventh day I'll listen to one of the other great songs on this set. I knew of his country records long ago and I almost fell over when I saw this at Best Buy. I didn't hesitate or care about the price. The only thing that comes close to this is The Very Best of Fats Domino 1963-65. This CD, on a budget label, does not contain his hits but actually has songs from three nearly impossible to find country albums that he recorded in the '60s. Fats recorded countless country songs starting way back in the '40s. Try to track down a copy, you won't regret it.
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