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The Very Best of Ray Charles

Ray CharlesAudio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 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 413 albums, 8 photos, 4 videos, discussions, and more.

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The Very Best of Ray Charles + The Very Best of Ray Charles, Vol. 2
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 14, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B00004R5ZP
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,094 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. I've Got A Woman
2. A Fool For You
3. Drown In My Own Tears
4. Hallelujah I Love Her So
5. (Night Time Is) The Right Time
6. What'd I Say Parts I & II
7. Sticks And Stones
8. Georgia On My Mind
9. One Mind Julep
10. Hit The Road Jack
11. Unchain My Heart
12. I Can't Stop Loving You
13. You Are My Sunshine
14. Busted
15. Let's Go Get Stoned
16. Seven Spanish Angels

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Hard as it is to go wrong when shopping for a Brother Ray package, some career-spanning compilations bundle the decades better than others. Count this one, true to its title, among the very best. The track sequencing is straight-up chronological, opening with 1954's groundbreaking blues and gospel mingling "I've Got a Woman." From there it charges through the late-'50s Atlantic era, rounding up classic singles like "Hallelujah (I Love Her So)," "(Night Time Is) The Right Time," and "What'd I Say." By the time the disc lands us in the '60s, the Genius has saddled up to explore his country side, turning in such popular-music-altering hits as "Georgia on My Mind" and "I Can't Stop Loving You." A final cut jumps into the '80s for the Willie Nelson duet "Seven Spanish Angels," leaving the listener with a solid--and deeply satisfying--sense of Charles' bold artistic wanderings. All that's missing is his soul-dunked rendition of "America the Beautiful." -Tammy La Gorce

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Of Brother Ray November 18, 2004
Format:Audio CD
I have always admired Ray Charles. What a towering, soulful voice the man had, not to mention his brilliant keyboard playing. And, of course, all those great hit songs. But it wasn't until I saw the movie about Charles' life, simply called "Ray," that it dawned on me what a true innovator Charles was also. He really did lay down the blueprint for many soul acts to follow, doing things with the musical form that no one else had done before. This CD, "The Very Best Of Ray Charles," is a brilliant overview of Ray's most beloved work. These are fabulous songs, all of them, including classics like "I Got A Woman," "Hallelujah I Love Her So," "(Night Time Is) The Right Time" (a winning blues-popper featuring Margie Hendricks on co-lead vocals), "Hit The Road Jack," and the full-length version of the call-and-response smash "What I'd Say," with a brilliant performance from Charles on vocals and on his newly-acquired Wurlitzer keyboard. But it doesn't stop there---there's also the lovely ballads "Georgia On My Mind" and "I Can't Stop Loving You," an amazing soul re-working of the standard "You Are My Sunshine," the sultry "Unchain My Heart," the lyrically-daring "Let's Go Get Stoned," and a hot instrumental showcase for Charles, "One Mint Julep," with a scorching performance on organ. If you're new to Ray Charles' music, "The Very Best Of Ray Charles" is the perfect CD to start your collection with. God bless you, Brother Ray.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius and Soul, The Best of Ray Charles May 12, 2005
Format:Audio CD
Though I am sceptacle about using the term "genius" for any historic musician, because I feel it takes away from the real essence of the music. But as with most of you out there, I do not feel compelled to call the "innovator of soul," a genious.

The man combined jazz and rhythm and blues, which was called soul, a term associated with mostly jazz musicians up to the time Ray Charles came on the scene.

I always loved Ray Charles. Being a jazz fan, I like so many others respected and loved this great man; for his music and love. But it wasn't until the movie which I wanted to go out and buy every Ray Charles disk available. I'm not done with that enormous job, but I'm starting here.

Ray Charles, who was featured on the Ken Burns Jazz Documentary, combined music from the church, with blues and popular music, which was frowned upon in the mid 50's; the time when he started making his great masterpieces. But Ahmet Ertegun and Atantic Records released it all, and had so much faith in Ray Charles, and his music.

This compilation is a great place to start. This disk has it all. What Did I Say, Georgia On My Mind, Unchain My Heart, Hit The Road Jack, I Got A Women, I Can't Stop Loving You, and One Mind Julep are worth the price alone.

This is music that has stood the test of time. It was revolutionary at the time and it still is. This is where it all started for the soul artists. Aretha Franklin, The Surpremes, Otis Redding, Wilson Picket, Booker T Jones, it all comes from Ray Charles. Honor this great man. Listen to his work, and respect his essence. Ray Charles, you will be missed, but not forgotten!
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's The Very Best Indeed! June 15, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Hats off to Rhino for another winning single disc anthology that more than lives up to its title. There was a time I had about ten Ray Charles CDs and felt that, while all were worthy, it sure would have been great to have all the best key cuts from the length of his career on one convenient disc. it is! Thankfully, Rhino opted to include the full-length version of "What'd I Say". The cool part about this set is the way you go from "I've Got A Woman" to "Georgia On My Mind" to "Hit The Road Jack" to "Unchain My Heart" in one sitting! Solid notes, decent remastering, all the key hits. What more could anyone ask for? The first and best place to get into Brother Ray's genius...
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oh So Close! October 7, 2000
Format:Audio CD
If only this collection had included "Crying Time" & "America the Beautiful", I could have easily given it 5 stars. Otherwise, a great collection of The Genius's work.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great album October 31, 2001
Format:Audio CD
Ray Charles is one of those artists who are a little bit of everything. Equally at home with jazz, pop, r&b and soul, a terrific pianist, vocalist and composer he is the ultimate artist. This album touches on 16 of his best songs, from the years 1954 to 1984. But of course, this is just a small amount of his greatest, but as much as one album can do. The 16 page booklet is great, with a 6 page essay about Ray and these songs which is very informative. Plus, a few photos and song track notes. A must have for all fans of Ray Charles.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars terrific collection of the best of the best April 28, 2005
Format:Audio CD
Ray Charles has a lot of good music and there are a lot of good compilations, but I like this one because it really gives a good selection of the songs that I truly felt were the very best of his numerous songs. You may find a different tracklist on other cds, but this one has terrific sound quality and gathers all of the truly essential R&B/ soul/ gospel/ country songs that made him a legend of the music world. You may want to supplement this cd with Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, which is one of his best and has MANY great songs. But if you want want collection of Ray's songs, this is the way to go. Enjoy!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars I threw it away.
I have already thrown it away.. I bought it for "You are my sunshine" and he litterly murdered that beautifule tune.
Published 1 month ago by Dolores Mccann
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thank you
Published 2 months ago by Daniel H
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice CD, but the CD Jewel Box was cracked in shipping
I like the music, the CD is OK, but it is annoying that they ship it in a flexible envelope. Don't they know, or don't they care, that it will end up delivered with a fractured... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Gordon E. Olson
4.0 out of 5 stars djrinwesleychapel
Bought album for one specific song and overall the rest are great. Hey - it's Ray Charles. What would you expect:)
Published 13 months ago by djr
5.0 out of 5 stars great CD
bought it for I Can't stop loving you and was blown away by all the other great songs - such a smooth voice! arrived in great condition very quickly
Published 15 months ago by vicky
5.0 out of 5 stars genius
used to have this, but the cd was "lost"... and i've looked everwhere for it! it was more expensive here than when i initially bought it, but it is worth it!
Published 16 months ago by jungchup
5.0 out of 5 stars Ray Charles
Glad I have this dvd for my collection. It has my favorite song on it, "I Can't Stop Loving You."
Published 18 months ago by ngurb
5.0 out of 5 stars LIVES UP TO THE TITLE
All the great songs Ray ever did are on this album. I love his stuff. It's remastered digitally from the originals so the sound quality is good. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Jerlaw
5.0 out of 5 stars Ray Charles The Very Best
CD a great reminder of the 70's. I really enjoy it on my way home. My favorite is "You are my sunshine." I am glad I purchased it.
Published on June 19, 2012 by Calij
5.0 out of 5 stars Ray!...Ray!...Ray!...
This cd is yet another reason why Ray Charles is a legend. All the hits are here..."Hit The Road Jack", "I Can't Stop Loving You", 'What I Say", and even "Busted. Read more
Published on December 21, 2011 by Greg Huffman
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