[20] Ray Charles – The Genius of Ray Charles (1959)

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29 Jul 2008, 11:08

Ray CharlesThe Genius of Ray Charles

The first thing this album proves is that Ray Charles didn’t suffer from a lack of self-confidence. Calling your album ‘The Genius of…’ could be quite risky ;)

This album is clearly made for the LP: it has an A and B side. On the A side the songs are more in the jazz corner, where Ray Charles is accompanied by players from the Duke Ellington and Count Basie bands.
On the B side the music settles down and shows the birth of soul music. It’s the kind of music you can hear in romantic comedies like ‘Notting Hill’, where you find yourself thinking ‘Damn, that is a beautiful song’ instead of ‘Damn, Hugh Grant looks great’.
The A side contains some brilliant songs, but if it comes to simple truly beautiful songs (Don't Let the Sun Catch You Cryin', Come Rain or Come Shine), the B side wins easily.

What is there more to say about Ray Charles?
Everyone who has heard his voice, knows it is an extremely beautiful one.
Everyone who has heard him play the piano, knows he can play it extremely well.

Does this album deserve its 263th place in the Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time?
Of course it does.
Was Ray Charles a genius?
Of course he was.
Do I love this?
Deed I Do!

(Pareltjes: It Had to Be You, When Your Lover Has Gone, Don't Let the Sun Catch You Cryin', Come Rain or Come Shine)

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