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  • Ray Charles Ultimate Hits Collection
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Ray Charles Ultimate Hits Collection Original recording remastered

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, March 16, 1999
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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 430 albums, 8 photos, 4 videos, discussions, and more.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 16, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Rhino / Wea
  • ASIN: B00000I72B
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,473 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Mess Around
2. I've Got A Woman
3. A Fool For You
4. Greenbacks
5. Drown In My Own Tears
6. Hallelujah I Love Her So
7. Lonely Avenue
8. Ain't That Love
9. (Night Time Is) The Right Time
10. What'd I Say Parts I & II
See all 17 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Hit The Road Jack
2. Unchain My Heart
3. But On The Other Hand Baby
4. Hide 'Nor Hair
5. At The Club
6. I Can't Stop Loving You
7. You Don't Know Me
8. You Are My Sunshine
9. Don't Set Me Free
10. Take These Chains From My Heart
See all 19 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

This double CD collects not only Brother Ray's best-known '50s and '60s singles, but some choice semi-obscurities (the 1953 jump blues "Mess Around," his 1959 cover of Louis Jordan's "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Cryin'") that earn their places next to "What'd I Say" and "I Can't Stop Loving You." The man's originality and infectious feeling bleed through on each of these 36 tracks, whether he's transforming "One Mint Julep" or "America the Beautiful" or collaborating (separately) with Willie Nelson and Chaka Khan. --Rickey Wright

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 68 customer reviews
Ray Charles's music is so genuine.
Ariella Vaccarino creator of "Voice Lessons To Go, V.1 &V.2"
He is one of The Greatest Teachers&Artists The Music World Has ever Heard.
I highly recommend this collection for all Ray Charles fans.
Victoria Evrard

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

113 of 116 people found the following review helpful By nicjaytee on July 22, 2003
Format: Audio CD
With a ridiculously large output of albums recorded over more than 40 years, garnering an "ultimate" Ray Charles compilation is a pretty impossible and highly subjective task, but this two CD set comes just about as close as anything you could reasonably expect. Concentrating, quite rightly, on those songs on which his formidable reputation has been based it includes many of his most popular "hits" and, equally importantly, some of the very best from his huge canon of less popular tracks.
Put together by people who clearly know his back-catalogue and who also know an excellent song when they hear one it cleverly avoids the trap that many other attempts at a "best of" Ray Charles album fall into of being too superficial, too limited in time span, or just too big. Both CD's hang together as high class acts, encompassing not only a carefully sequenced cross-section of his extremely broad recording career but some of the best music you'll ever hear. As a primer it's outstanding but, equally importantly, for fans who have all or most of these selections already it's a great "play", bringing together on two discs many of those tracks that you really do want to hear back-to-back.
A "genius"?... well you decide but certainly, as this collection shows, one of the most exceptional and enjoyable artists of all time.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Matthew G. Sherwin HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 23, 2004
Format: Audio CD
The two CD set is a very fine tribute to the late Ray Charles. Although it contains his "ultimate hits" only, don't let that stop you--the complete gamut of Ray's brilliance is presented here. From the sexual "Mess Around" and "What'd I Say" to Ray's passionate and patriotic version of "America The Beautiful," this two CD set demonstrates the core of his ability to perform virtually any type of music. (He could also play classical music on the piano, just about the only style not included here.) Blues, country-western, jazz, romantic ballad--anything that could be done, Ray did to perfection!

I had some familiarity with Ray's work; but I learned so much more about him from this collection! His musical abilities are obvious throughout the two CDs. He can sing, play piano, use back up singers very well, and even do an awesome job with the instrumental "One Mint Julep." Listeners also get the treat of hearing Ray collaborate with Willie Nelson for the song "Seven Spanish Angels." Ray also worked with Quincy Jones and Chaka Khan to do "I'll Be Good To You."

Rhino went further, however, in adding a 48 page booklet by David Ritz detailing the events of Ray's childhood years as well as all the pertinent developments during his over five-year career. The book is well written and there are terrific black and white photos in the booklet of Ray with Frank Sinatra, Percy Mayfield and many others. One minor disappointment: almost all of the personal events of Charles' life are written of his childhood; there are only three or four very brief passing references to his personal life after that.

In addition, there are some nice pictures of Ray on the CD covers and the recording dates of each song are also listed in the 48 page book.
Read more ›
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Pat Kelly on June 11, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Most appelations in pop music are unearned. If Elvis was the King, he certainly abidicated by the mid-60's. Michael Jackson, King of Pop? Puh-leeeze. Aretha, Queen of Soul? Sinatra, Chairman of the Board? Yeah, I'll buy those.
But one nickname was earned, fully bought & paid for by decades of originality, creativity, boundary-breaking and genre-crossing: Ray Charles - The Genius.
Most artists would be satisified by acheiving success in a single field of music. Charles, by comparison, virtually created modern soul as a fusion of gospel and blues, revolutionized country music with his "Modern Sounds" series, and was a leading light in jazz.
How many artists owe a debt of gratitude to Charles? To even start a list would be to trivialize his impact.
As usual, Rhino has done a superlative job of selecting virtually every top forty hit from a decades-spanning (& label-crossing) career. From 1953's "Mess Around" to the mid-80's duet with Chaka Khan, produced by the man he mentored, Quincy Jones.
It is cliche to say when a famous person dies that we will never see his like again. With Ray Charles, that is a certainty.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Robert G. Martinez on February 9, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I've been a fan of Ray's since I first heard What'd I Say back in 1959. Later in college, I had a roommate who had an album with all his early stuff at Atlantic and I found it fascinating. Through the years however, it was always impossible to find a greatest hits package that featured his early Atlantic sides along with the latter ABC-Paramount hits. This one does it! The only qualms I have of course is that Ray's output was so prolific that there are going to be a couple of favorites left off, I wish it included "It Shoulda Been Me and "Mary Ann" (which is on the Ray soundtrack) both from the 50's Atlantic recordings. But if you are relatively new to the Genius of Ray Charles, this should fill your beak. The sound is excellent and it does feature every charted R & B and pop hit from the 50's to the 80's. All the great ones are here "georgia On My Mind" "What'd I Say", "Hit The Road Jack", "Unchain My Heart" etc. etc. This one is a keeper for life. Also the book that comes with it is outstanding , full of photos and info on recording dates, personnel etc. Well worth the price. There's 36 cuts here and they run to gamut from hard-core blues, rock, pop, lush ballads, and everything that may Ray an icon. What a voice from God he had! Rhino does it again!
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