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The Best of Ray Stevens


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Audio CD, September 16, 1997
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$12.49
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Audio, Cassette, September 16, 1997
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$12.49 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details In stock but may require an extra 1-2 days to process. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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The Best of Ray Stevens + Greatest Hits + Ray Stevens' Box Set
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 16, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B00000343Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,372 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Jeremiah Peabody's Poly Unsaturated Quick Dissolving Fast Acting Pleasant Tasting Green And Purple Pills
2. Ahab, The Arab
3. Santa Claus Is Watching You
4. Harry The Hairy Ape
5. Unwind
6. Mr. Businessman
7. Gitarzan
8. Along Came Jones
9. Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down
10. Everything Is Beautiful
11. America, Communicate With Me
12. Sunset Strip
13. Bridget The Midget (The Queen Of The Blues)
14. Turn Your Radio On
15. The Streak
16. Moonlight Special
17. Misty
18. I Need Your Help Barry Manilow
19. Shriner's Convention
20. In The Mood

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

I really enjoyed this album and you just might too!
Julia Fulkes
You will also find his Grammy award winning #1 hit from 1970 "Everything Is Beautiful" and my all-time favorite Ray Stevens tune "Misty".
Paul Tognetti
Rhino producers did a great job by providing a good sample of Ray Steven’s wit and musical talent.
J. Yates

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Paul Tognetti TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 14, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
He is the #1 novelty recording artist of the past 40 years. He placed nearly 40 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop charts and for over two decades was a fixture on Billboard's Top Country Singles chart. And the man could croon with the best of them! Ray Stevens certainly made his mark on the American music scene. Much like the late Charlie Rich, another incredibly gifted and versatile performer, Ray Stevens might have achieved even greater commercial success had he concentrated on just one or two genres. But there were simply too many sides to Ray Stevens to allow that to happen. And he was a very gifted songwriter to boot.
This 1997 disc from Rhino is the most comprehensive Ray Stevens collection I have found. It includes many of the best known novelty recordings you would remember like "Ahab The Arab", "Gitarzan", "The Streak" and the hilarious "Bridget the Midget". One of my favorite Ray Stevens tunes is here as well, 1968's "Unwind". And if you are not convinced that there is a serious side to Ray Stevens listen to his moving performance of Kris Kristofferson's "Sunday Mornin" Comin' Down". That one just might bring a tear to your eye. You will also find his Grammy award winning #1 hit from 1970 "Everything Is Beautiful" and my all-time favorite Ray Stevens tune "Misty". And just for good measure there is the little known 1979 recording "I Need Your Help Barry Manilow". If you have never heard that one be prepared to smile....you are in for a real treat! Rhino has done it's usual fine job with the included 16 page booklet. Because Rhino has managed to include material from 5 different record labels, it is unlikely you will ever find a more comprehensive collection of Ray Stevens work. I suggest you pick this one up while it is still available and enjoy the work of a truly talented artist. Highly recommended.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jerry McDaniel on January 29, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I deleted my original review from 2003 because it was kind of short and didn't really say too much...so I've written a new one...

This particular CD was issued in 1997 on the Rhino label. The thing that is always fascinating to me about the collection was the inclusion of the booklet...written by Doctor Demento, a novelty song DJ. The other thing that fascinated me were songs I hadn't heard before by him that were included on this CD. "Unwind", "America, Communicate With Me", and "Sunset Strip" were three songs that I've always noticed were included on a wide variety of previous Ray Stevens compilations but up until that time I had never heard them...I loved the songs when I heard them. "Sunset Strip", from 1970, did real well on the Adult-Contemporary chart at the time...it's a song about California of course and Ray uses a Beach Boys/Brian Wilson flavor in parts of the song. The song hit the Adult-Contemporary Top-20...as did the wonderful "America, Communicate With Me", which should be just as popular as "Everything Is Beautiful" but isn't.

Speaking of "Everything Is Beautiful", that 1970 song is track number ten on this collection. It was a multiple week #1 hit, a Top-40 country hit, and it became a Gold record and Grammy winner.

The thing that tickles most people about this collection are the inclusion of four of his original Mercury recordings from 1961, 1962, and 1963...specifically "Jeremiah Peabody", "Ahab the Arab", "Santa Claus Is Watching You", and "Harry the Hairy Ape"; typically compilation CD's would use re-recordings instead of original material.

Some controversy over "Mr. Businessman" has arisen on some other reviews here.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By AvidOldiesCollector TOP 100 REVIEWER on December 27, 2011
Format: Audio CD
The reviews to this point range from 1 to 5, with the low assessments based on such inane observations as difficulties with shipments from Amazon (these dot the entire spectrum of Amazon reviews and do nothing but distort the overall assessment of the product at hand), and the fact a song is not the original rendition (to the ear of the reviewer). In that regard, the one such song in particular seems to be Mr. Businessman, something for which reviewer Jerry McDaniel goes to great length to explain in the comments section of a couple of reviews, I recommend reading those carefully. Thanks Jerry. In terms of a thorough review of the entire contents I would refer you to Paul Tognetti's submission.

I have several of Ray's volumes, but what drew me to this Rhino release was the inclusion of his version of the melancholy Kriss Kristofferson tune, Sunday Morning Coming Down, about an itinerant musician experiencing pangs of loneliness as he walks the empty streets of some unknown town early on a Sunday morning (in the days when a Sunday was not like every other day of the week). Of all of Ray's 32 Country, 27 Pop, 14 Adult Contemporary (AC) and 3 R&B hit singles registered from 1961 to 1992, this one (which only made it to # 55 Country/# 81 Pop Hot 100 in late 1969) has been the toughest to find in a quality CD format.

Nine month's later a Johnny Cash cover version would begin its skyrocket climb to # 1 Country, # 13 Adult Contemporary and # 46 Hot 100, but while I also love his rendition, my favourite was always that of Ray's, so when I saw this volume I grabbed a copy fast.
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