The Genius of Ray Charles – Ray Charles (1959)

Album no. 20/1001

Ray Charles did ‘I’ve Got A Woman’, the song that Kanye sampled for ‘Gold Digger’. That isn’t on this album though.

This was Ray’s sixth album, and while his voice is good, we didn’t get too excited over this one.

Have you listened to this album before?

NK: I haven’t. I don’t know a lot about Ray Charles. I saw the Jamie Foxx movie and really liked it, and he was in blues brothers, but that’s about it..

CL: No, I haven’t really heard anything from Ray Charles except for ‘Shake Your Tail Feather’ in The Blues Brothers. Which is great. Is there going to be impromptu dancing as as result of this album? I certainly hope so.

Standout track?

NK: I like ‘Am I Blue’. The vocal is really good. It’s weird, this album does a crazy about-face from track 7 onwards, which I guess makes sense because that is where you’d turn the record over. The first half are all jazzy, big-band numbers, and the second half are all love songs with violins all over them. ‘Let The Good Times Roll’ is my favourite on the first half. It’s a strange album without that clear divide between side 1 and side 2 though.

CL: This is so not what I was expecting. I’m really struggling to pick a standout track because they all sound the same – this really boring, slow moving, sludgy piano saxophone business. I do not care for his version of ‘It Had To Be You’. Sorry. I suppose it has to be ‘Two Years of Torture’.

When would be the best time to listen to this?

NK: Listen to the first half before you go out, and listen to the second half when you come home by yourself.

CL: I don’t know, but certainly not somewhere geniuses converge – sorry mate, you’re not a genius. Literally everyone in the fifties was making this sort of boring music.

NK: It is weird isn’t it, this is sort of a step back from Little Richard. Ray had ‘Mess Around’ come out in 1953 and that sounds way more rock’n’roll than this album.

Why has this album been included on the list?

NK: I am not sure. It seems like Ray Charles had better and more interesting music come out both before and after this.

CL: Well, probably for that saxophone solo on ‘Two Years of Torture’ – that’s pretty banging. But aside from this, I really don’t know. There doesn’t seem to be much that’s innovative here…or maybe I’m missing something.

NK: That saxophone is pretty good.

Will you be listening again?

NK: Nope, wasn’t too impressed with this.

CL: There was no impromptu dancing. This isn’t anything like The Blues Brothers. I’m really disappointed – it’s nothing like I was imagining. It was slow moving and boring and I didn’t get into it. So no.

Out of context youtube comment

20-the-genius-of-ray-charles

Rating

NK: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

CL: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

Listen to The Genius of Ray Charles on Spotify or buy it in iTunes.

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