Genius Hits the Road
Extra Tracks, Remastered
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Ray first cracked the pop-album Top 10 with this 1960 LP, which saw him visiting states across the U.S. and classic songs from the past. Includes seven bonus cuts; the #1 hits Georgia on My Mind and Hit the Road Jack , plus Basin Street Blues; Rainy Night in Georgia; Blue Hawaii; Alabamy Bound , and more!
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I recently purchased the 2011 HALLMARK reissue of "Genius Hits The Road" in June 2011. Immediately after putting it on, I noticed a fair amount of distortion on the recording. Also, the disc had an overall muddy quality to it. If you'e familiar w/ this recording, the LP sound is bright, dynamic and punchy. This CD version is certainly not that!
It could have been that I got a "bad" one, but being somewhat familar with the CD replication process, it sounds more like a poor mastering job, or perhaps a defect in the mastering. Add to the poor sound the fact that cover art is a somewhat truncated version of the original LP picture, no liner notes or anything, this seems like a licensing job for a cheap overseas distributor.
I returned the disorted CD to the seller with no problem. I purchased instead the 2009 version of GHTR re-issued on Concord. I wish I'd found the Concord version first! Excellent liner notes, musician documenation, bonus tracks, etc. And the CD sounds teriffic!
Concord is the same company that recently reissued the long-out-of-print LPs, "Ray Charles Live In Concert" & "A Message From The People" on CD. They did an outstanding job on those discs, too. I'm guessing they've taken over the ABC/Paramount Ray Charles catalogue from Rhino (whose ABC Charles reissues were top notch as well). If so, one hopes we can expect more of the same on any subsequent RC reissues.
Enjoy this album for more than Ray's signature tune of Georgia on my Mind, Ray's solo on Moon over Miami, for example. The bonus cuts complete the experience. This album will help bridge those who only know Ray from his Atlantic years into the rest of his career - about a 40 year period!
Of course, Ray could make "Happy Birthday" new and exciting, and there are some good moments here. But it is NOT the place to START your Ray collection.