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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

The Genius Of Ray Charles

Ray Charles

1959

Wikipedia

The Genius Of Ray Charles

Rating

3.64

Votes

3862

Reviews

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5

Timeless

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5

Really great album! I love this old shit, it’s got a particular style that you just can’t shy away from whether that’s in the recording process or just the people back in those days. But man this is great. 5/5

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4

This was my grandpas fav album and it makes me think of him and smile. He was my favourite person. This music is so beautiful and relaxing!

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5

I really liked this album mainly because I'm a sucker for oldie-pop with the piano and orchestra in the background. His voice is soothing in the slow song and great in the louder songs. Overall it was a great album that exemplified that time. Favorite track: Just for a Thrill

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4

One half of abrasive, distorted horns and raucous blues, one half of piano ballads. Really feels like tweo seperate mini albums. Great singing, hit and miss on the songs.

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4

-old school 50’s swing album -alexander’s ragtime band - big brass, very upbeat olds hook swing, almost reminds me of fallout new vegas music -just for a thrill - slow paced, piano jazz tune

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4

Ray Charles is just a delight. It's a bit big-band over the top for me as an album but the songs are great and man can Ray sing. Pretty fun album top to bottom.

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3

old saxy tunes. slow and boring

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3

Knocked me for a doozy the first time so I went back for round two, when it didn't pack the same punch. It's in the same mode as the fabulous Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, but unlike that one it doesn't have as cute a concept to tuck the edges in other than the big band side A/ivory tickling side B split. Mostly, that highlights how much more Charles adds to these standards with soulful tinkling. Even though he's an incredible arranger, the big band treatment a) is more typical for these songs, and b) drowns out his primary grift, which is his generosity of spirit. The evidence is Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying and Come Rain or Come Shine (side B). They're the nailed-on A pluses; gorgeous examples of his genius for climbing up and down the scales so tenderly and subtly that you don't realise he's put a lump in your throat and a butterfly in your tummy until you try to swallow.

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1

Fuck Ray Charles

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5

BIG BAND JAZZ

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5

Beautiful charming

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5

great listen. Always loved Ray.

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5

First one I really enjoyed, and actually listened through. Have always loved Ray Charles. So soothing, crooning, wanting, in love. Great!

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5

Dope

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5

Liked. relaxing.

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5

just gorgeous

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5

Yes I really liked this

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5

Genius indeed

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5

Album name says it all. Don’t think this is his finest work but still deserving of top marks

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5

Quality, Ray Charles is an OG baller

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5

A classic, reminded me of my parents

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5

GREAT Jazz

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5

Took me back to grade 8. The big band feel was a nice change.

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5

An artist stepping outside the box and doing that creative thing....Swing and Pop...sure. Why not!

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5

a masterpiece

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5

Stellar from front to back. Didn't expect so many string and chorus harmonies throughout. Plenty of classics I've heard before

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5

Yep

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5

What an amazing sound! A well titled album.

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5

Loved every minute! Timeless classic!

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5

Pure gold

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5

Oh yeah. Big Band feel? All about this.

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5

Sweet, sweet jazz

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5

Boy is this album named correctly! Genius!!! Whether he’s partying, romancing, breaking up or heartbroken, I want to listen to Ray telling the story. My kind of music.

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5

Great tunes. Great voice

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5

Great album, especially if you want an overall slower paced R&B style. Pretty easy 5 stars.

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5

jazz music! big, brassy intense. digigng it. great listen. easy 4 or 5!

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5

I mean, it’s Ray Charles and a big band…how great is that!?

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5

Ray's music always works

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5

Loved it. Good background dinner jazz/swing music.

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5

9/10

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5

A ten out of ten

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5

Incomparably classy.

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5

5/5. Ray Charles’s singing is pretty dynamic actually. Lowkey better than Sinatra 🤭🤫

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5

Ray Charles is brilliant.

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5

Everyone knows ray charles but I feel like there isn’t any single song or album anyone points to when referencing him. However, this album was great from start to finish. Loved the trumpets and rays voice. Fav: just for a thrill

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5

Good classic Ray Charles. Album does not disappoint.

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5

Le genie de ray charles, evidemment. 5* merci pour cet album.

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5

Incredible!

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5

Man, if you title an album the genius of your own self(!) you best bring the goods. And Ray sure did. ‘Course he had had six LPs before this to practice, close to a decade in the making for a lot of artists, some even longer. But Ray’s debut LP was released in 1957, a mere two years before this, his seventh! That’s Beatles’ territory. Except that Ray was there first. So, technically, the Beatles were in Ray’s territory. One of the things most noticeable about Ray Charles is his ability to make any song- no, any genre- his own. Give him a standard, and it’ll swing before Ray’s done with it. Give him a torch song, he’ll cook with it. Give him a country & western song, for God’s sake, and he’ll serve it as chicken fried soul food. And Ray opens right up with his signature swing on ‘Let The Good Times Roll,’ his anecdote to the blues, and with a number of options open, honey, including… you know. Rocking and rolling was originally a 17th century expression used by seamen to describe the motion of a ship on the sea. Eventually, though, it grew into a way of referring to a rhythmic movement of any kind. And if some of you young bloods have not yet learned this, there’s a time for rockin’ and then a time for rollin’. You’ll end up rockin’ if you begin by rollin.’ Doesn’t work the other way. Ray knows that. Now you do, too. Swinger . But these more upbeat, good time numbers are only supporting actors in this cast. The lead is the blues. We’ve swung a bit on side one, dipped our toes a bit in the blues already (but even ‘Two Years Of Torture,’ despite the title, was loaded with plenty of big band sparkle), and ended with a celebration of love, the answer to the question, ‘Do I need you, honey?’ ’Deed I Do.’ But by the time side two opens, lord have mercy. Ray must have known that by side two we’d be 2-3 drinks in, prepared emotionally for where the blues will take us. But again, not just any blues, but Ray’s special blend. When were the blues ever so smooth, so… delicious? God, if my blues could feel like ‘Am I Blue?’ sounds! On ‘Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Cryin’,’ have you ever heard someone dissed and dismissed, but served so scrumptiously, like a rich chocolate eclaire with a cup of silky French roast coffee. Luther Ingram had a big hit in 1972 with ‘If Lovin’ You Is Wrong, I Don’t Want To Be Right.’ Well, if being blue, the Ray Charles way, is wrong, than I don’t wanna be right either. And finally, the piece de resistance. Whereas the opening number offered the anecdote to the blues in the quest for a good time, he ends with another solution, and one that will ultimately conquer the blues altogether: Love. The genius of unconditional love, come rain or come shine.

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5

smooth and pleasant

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5

Loving both Ray and Louis Jordan, as I do, I have to admit I couldn't wait to hear this album again. some classics on here but Ray's original voice and these different arrangements are classics in themselves. Love "Let the Good Times Roll" and "It Had To Be You" (Which I first heard on "A Little Touch Of Schmillson In The Night" A great Album that should also be on this List!) But I don't think there is a bad track on this album in my honest opinion. Rightfully on the list I say!

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5

This was an excellent album! It is the only record I received so far that I actually listened to twice in one day because I enjoyed it so much. Ray Charles is always fantastic, and his performance here is top notch. I have heard what feels like a lot of his work over the years, but I did not recognize any of the tracks on this particular album. For what I know about him, this was a perfect representation of what he is capable of. The first half features more upbeat, big band music (my favorites being Alexander's Ragtime Band, Let the Good Times Roll, and Deed I Do) while the second half features some great orchestral ballads (the highlights being Just for a Thrill and the last three song stretch which is definitely the brightest spot of this record). I found this division between styles super interesting as this was obviously originally intended to be listened to as "Side A and Side B". Some might find this a bit repetitive as there is not much instrumental diversity throughout the two different types of songs, but that didn't really hurt it at all for me as the music and performance from Charles were both very strong. This album is absolutely timeless and nearly perfect. I will definitely come back to this one in the future (maybe I can even find an original pressing for my collection). 4.5/5.

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5

Just a good album. I think this might be the first full Ray Charles album I've heard and I am slightly ashamed by that fact.

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5

um meio-termo q extrapola 💯

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5

Yep, genius is right

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5

..and to think he accomplished it all without a sense of smell.

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5

Awesome -- great music all around. I'm not sure I realized what a big band musician he was. I always kinda figured more of his stuff was kinda stripped down, but it really sounds like classic 50's-60's big band music. Great for weddings, dinner, and cooking.

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5

Highlights: Let the Good Times Roll Two Years of Torture Deed I Do Just For A Thrill Don't Let The Sun Catch You Cryin' Artwork: 4 / 10 Rating: 9 / 10

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5

10/10 my man Ray out here makin the best hits of the century

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5

GRAND RAY FUCKING CHARLES

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4

1959. Key Songs: It Had to Be You, Am I Blue, Alexander's Ragtime Band

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4

A lot better than expected. I went into this with some preconceived notions, unfortunately, but I still enjoyed most of the album. The ballads are definitely better than the uptempo.

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4

I recognize the genius of Ray Charles- but personally I've never been a huge fan of loud horns, big band style music. Four stars for being a building block of popular music just not really my thing

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4

Great album. Preferred the back half of more piano-based ballads to the first brass band stuff

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4

the "I'm gonna pretend I didn't see that" guy ray charles is good. great selection this week again so far

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4

good

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4

Not as prolific of an album I’d thought it would be but Ray can still knock em down

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4

Classic Ray!

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4

I have had friends who are really into Tom Waits but my only exposure to him was Step Right Up. Sexy, jazzy,

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4

Swing

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4

Good sample opportunities...should resisten

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4

Another “let the good times roll”. Listened twice.

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4

Production: 11/20 Songwriting: 15/20 Innovation: 10/20 Bangers: 20/20 Emotional response: 16/20 =72 Lovely stuff

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4

8

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4

The music is great, but my goodness this album is abysmally recorded.

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4

Just a phenomenal talent and Ray shines on this release. True legend, true genius.

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4

Genius. Most of them.

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4

Not something I would typically listen to, but I really enjoyed this. 3.5 stars.

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4

Classic. Good stuff.

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4

extremely good

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4

Great jazzy/R&B/big band music from a legend

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4

Good old Ray. I’d heard some of these before. Others are new. I like how the album was arranged, A side having different instrumentation from the B side. Great listening for a Sunday morning

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4

tres bon musicien inspiré mais encore pas le bon album ma préferé hit the road jack

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4

Gut

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4

4/5

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4

I respect him

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4

A high 3 from me, rounded up to a 4. Love Ray Charles, but would've preferred a more soul album than the one we got. A sign of the times, but wish the album was longer too.

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4

This was a good one. All classic songs and very mellow as we read our books before bed. ****

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4

Jazzy

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4

Really enjoyed this, definitely deserves the acclaim

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4

Goeie uptempo bigband muziek

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4

Mooi.

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4

Storbandsjazz. Rätt bra.

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4

A compelling mix of late period big band and piano ballads tied together by Ray Charles' soulful delivery. Not everything lands perfectly, but it leaves a warm impression. Ultimately, I think some of his strongest work is elsewhere. Rating: 3.5/5 Favourite tracks: Let the Good Times Roll, Come Rain or Come Shine

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4

Holy horns, Ray! The production on this record really elevates these songs. I felt like reaching for my non-existent Old Fashioned the second "Let the Good Times Roll" started playing. Even if Ray Charles has objectively better songs from different albums, the first half of this record put a smile on my face. The latter half is mostly slowed down piano ballads, but honestly, he earned it. Time to dive deeper into Ray's lengthy discography. 3.5/5 Fav Tracks: Just For A Thrill, Let the Good Times Roll, Come Rain or Come Shine

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4

Wonderful to hear Ray with a full orchestra! A legend

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4

Won a game of tft to this :)

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4

For an album this old, the recording quality is very surprising. The horns at times can sound a little squished, but the mix is actually quite nice with nothing mixed too low. I've never been well versed in music before about the 70's, but this album makes me want to change that. The Genius of Ray Charles was much more enjoyable than I expected; however, I much prefer the first half to the second. Highlights: 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, and 12.

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4

Amazing album!

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4

What a joy! Just right up my alley. When you think of the ten most known Ray Charles songs, I'm guessing not a one of them are included on this album. And yet this comes as close to a perfect Ray Charles album as you're going to find, especially from this era. I expected to hear Ol' Ray's version of "Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying" to be the one I only knew by Gerry and the Pacemakers, so this version was new to me. I'm sure Ray would have nailed that version, too. Look, it goes without saying Ray's a legend and both albums on this list deserve placement in the upper echelon. But after hearing Ray's version of "Come Rain Or Come Shine", I have a hot take. I prefer Don Henley's version. If you knew my appreciation of Henley's work that wouldn't be surprising at all. I could listen to Don Henley and Ray Charles sing the phone book.

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4

I love Ray Charles and was obsessed with him for awhile. I love his phrasing on nearly everything. His music is like a comfort food to me. The Atlantic years are definitely my favorite period but the recording on this album is kinda harsh, especially when listened to on headphones. Wish I had this on vinyl. Definitely prefer side B with the more low key arrangements that allow you to hear his piano playing more clearly. Kinda wish the whole album was in that more restrained style but "Let The Good Times Roll" from Side A really swings.

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4

Nice to hear, what a voice! Lots of good songs. Some of the content of his songs haven't aged very well but these are pretty good for the most part.

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4

Great one, very solid recording, that production is just amazing!

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4

First album here. This was a good album. Wasn't anything super special, just a solid blues album. The audio quality was surprisingly good for an album from 1959. 3.7/5

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4

Genius!

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4

Fun to listen to but the last couple songs got slow. Also there are some production issues that are a product of time. 7/10

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4

8/10. Enjoyable, quick songs. Rather samey, but doesn't drag on.

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4

Okay, a little boring. 7

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4

Pretty fun!! Cool arrangements and Ray Charles’s voice and performances are so iconic. Still, a lot of these tunes fell kind of flat for me, but that might’ve been bc I was listening in the car on crappy earbuds. 7/10

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4

Gute Platte.

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4

4.5 - I feel like I'm enjoying Sunday brunch at a medium upscale restaurant on a sunny day, waiting in relaxed anticipation of that first cocktail. This record starts with peppy big band tracks and then gradually mellows into tender ballads. Ray Charles' voice sounds like gravelly honey.

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4

A real RAY of sunshine. It’s just delightful, effortless, blissful, and makes me wonder why I’ve not given Ray Charles more than a cursory look before.

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4

Silky smooth voice. Soaring instrumentals. I have a very specific love of Ray Charles that is entirely cultivated from the film soundtrack. This doesn't have most of my faves on it, but it's a good place for me to start delving deeper. Some wonderful moments in here. You won't let me go and Am I Blue really got me weeping invisible but very real tears.

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4

fínt

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4

I like the rock/blues vocals over the Lawrence Welk arrangements. Ha. I really mean that as a compliment. How can a person hear this and not love it. I'm giving it a 4/5 because being a teen in 1959 would have been awful without music like this. Hold on kids, 1964 is just a few short years away and you'll be in college, better understood, and very stoned soon...

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4

great album

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4

Loved the big band stuff from the first half, and the ballads were really nice as well. Favorites: Let the Good Times Roll, It Had to Be You, Am I Blue

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4

Never heard anything but his huge hits and the songs from the movie. Enjoyed this album a lot.

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4

I enjoyed this, though it does get a bit samey after a while. Absolute legend though, and makes me imagine being at a big party in the 60s. Feels weird not to give him 5/5 but there we go

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4

Really smooth album to listen to, amazing vocals, happily have it on as background music whenever. Solid 4/5

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4

Quintessential example of Big Band music although the recording quality is really poor. Very sudden but welcome transition to ballads in the second half.

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4

Feels very New York Christmas. Very cool and boozy

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4

Surprised by this. Really nice and mellow tunes

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4

This was good. Easy listening. Sounded like most music from the 50s

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4

I've been getting into "older person" music more recently (because I am becoming an old person) and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Maybe a little much in the horns and strings department, but this seems to be the norm in the day, and I'm actually getting use to it and enjoy it. Anyways, a classic record from old Ray!

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4

Just a fun album to listen to.

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4

Enjoyable album, I especially liked the first few songs. Unfortunately his version of Come Rain or Come Shine does not come close to Billie Holiday's version, so I almost docked some points for that, but in the end I still really enjoyed almost all of the album.

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4

Very enjoyable album with some great classics.

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4

With most of my knowledge of Ray Charles having been gleaned from watching him in The Blues Brothers, I wasn’t expecting an album of swinging big band American jazz numbers backed with a selection of seductive, smoky ballads. I wasn’t disappointed though.

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4

Classic

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4

Ray Charles delivers an excellent vocal performance. However, in the wake of what was happening in jazz at the time, his big band backed vocals sound a little dated. His piano playing is bluesy and is often subtle. Overall, a wonderfully coherent album if not a bit samey.

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4

Nice little bit of easy listening style jazz. Fave track - toss up between "Alexander's Ragtime Band" and "Come Rain or Come Shine"

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4

Classic und schon echt gut

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4

Georgia

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4

Good stuff.

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4

Piano man

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4

Legend!

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4

far better than I was expecting.

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4

Great album

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4

Buen álbum de Jazz

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4

Nice soulful voice. The album was an enjoyable listen. Not my usual genre of music bit did enjoy the album. Will most likely listen to some more of his work

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4

elegant

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4

Timeless

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4

Charles is top-tier in this album, and some of the beautiful performances I've heard from him are on this album! Especially "Come Rain or Come Shine" and "Am I Blue"!

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4

To chill and relax! Melhor música: Come Rain or Come Shine

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4

One of the better singers of the history. Great to hear him. Hope to listen more of his works soon

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4

Oldschool, swingy big band, blown out horns, badass.

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4

MUSIC FROM WAY BACK. GOOD ALBUM

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4

Grandma and grandpa’s house.

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4

Love songs,

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4

Ray Charles is definitely a genius, but this is not really the album I'd use to demonstrate that. This is great music for listening to while wallowing in a nice hot bath. Not something that rewards close listening.

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4

The seventh album from Ray Charles. Ray sings standard songs from The Great Amercian Songbook (early 20th American jazz standards, popular songs and show tunes). Apparently, this is his breakout from Rhythm & Blues to a bigger, broader musical stage. The songs on Side 1 are backed by a Big Band and are more of that style. Side 2 songs are backed by a string arrangement with more emphasis on Ray's piano. The singing of Ray is outstanding throughout. I liked the Side 2 songs better with the string arrangement background since the focus was more on Ray's voice and the songs seemed more soulful. Not that the big band style completely buried Ray's voice though. For sure, the highlights of this album are the last three songs, "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Cryin'," "Am I Blue?," and "Come Rain or Come Shine," where he takes his soulful voice to a whole other level. I thought this album might sound too dated for me to completely like but with repeated listens, I really enjoyed it and appreciated the music and the genius of Ray.

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4

Opinions are based off first listen, notes are in order of tracks. Track 1, Let the Good Times Roll, had a very good backtrack and vocal performance. It’s definitely from the late 50’s, given that the trumpet is so present in the mix. The lyrics have a good message, and I overall enjoyed the song quiet a bit. Track 2, It Had to Be You, was a very pretty baller type of track. You can hear the Sinatra influence, but it has its on flair of uniqueness. This track had an even stronger vocal performance and the back track was much more to my liking. Track 3, Alexander’s Ragtime Band, was a very lively track. Not much to say lyrically, but the music makes up for it 2 times over. It’s very basic 50’s music, definitely above average, but it’s something I’m not used to. The new change is very welcomed and appreciated. Track 4, Two Years of Torture, once again followed the same formula. However, the formula works for this style if music. I’ve yet to get bored of the blaring trumpets and bellowing of low notes. I enjoyed the pause near the end of the track and the last verse, it was a nice way to wrap up the track. The lyric performance also took a step up in this track, but still not amazing. Track 5, When Your Lover Has Gone, was a beautiful track. Although I can’t relate to the lyrics of my lover being gone, it’s a basic message that anyone can relate to. The trumpets continue on in the background, and the vocals continue to stay strong. The vocal performance on this track however, was much more soft, which was a nice change. Track 6, Deed I Do, had a nice transition from the last track. The instrumental and vocal performance didn’t stand out much. Overall a good track, and it continues to show the artists talent. Track 7, Just For a Thrill, was another quieter song. Good vocals, instruments and lyrics. Overall brings the same energy as the last tracks, but adds the first incorporation of something new. The use of piano and a choir in the background was a nice touch. It made the track stand out in a sea of trumpet. Track 8, You Won’t Let Me Go, continued with the piano and back choir. Another balled type piece with a strong vocal performance. Very enjoyable listen, but nothing stand out about this track. Track 9, Tell Me You’ll Wait for Me, had nothing too special about it. Not much more variation from the last 2 piano incorporated tracks. Overall another good track, showing the artists consistency on this lp. Track 10, Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Cryin’, once again followed the pattern observed in the last couple of tracks. How we this track had much more use of a string instrument, likely harp or violin. This made the track a little more interesting, but still not much of a standout. Track 11, Am I Blue, once again was the same thing. It’s starting to get a little bit repetitive, and I’m enjoying the pattern less and less. I would not be able to tell the last 5 or so tracks apart from one another. That could be because my ears aren’t trained to the sound, but it’s the way I feel about them. Track 12, Come Rain or Come Shine, was Boring. It sounded the same as the last tracks. Good way to close the track, but ruined by the respective nature of the tail end of the lp. The second half of the lp started off strong, but didn’t change much of anything as it went on. This caused the album to get very boring. However, the change from the first half to second half made the lp quite dynamic and interesting. Overall, the album was a fun listening experience, it just left much to be desired. I’d give this album a 7.5/10.

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4

Really nice mix of classical Ray Charles, top music with some really smooth lyrics. Love it!

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4

Greatly preferred the latter half...

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4

real musical genius

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4

Ray Charles is always amazing. Doesn't matter what he does. I didn't give it five stars because of the lack of hits. But I could certainly listen to him all day.

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4

Awesome stuff. It loses one star because the blaring horns really started grating on me.

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4

It takes a pair to call your album "The Genius Of"... yourself. But for Ray Charles it is well deserved. His voice is wonderful, and the songs are timeless.

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4

Absolutely fantastic (8/10) FT: Come Rain or Come Shine, Tell Me You'll Wait for Me

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4

It was fun to listen to and very mood setting. I think “deed i do“ was my favorite song in this album

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4

4/5 genius indeed.

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4

Mestari. Eipä paljon muuta sanottavaa kuin todellinen klassikko, 4/5.

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4

Vanha soul ja rythm and blues kyllä iskee meikäläiseen. Enää ku olis loputun määrä röökii 4/5

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4

I was surprised how jazzy this album is. I actually liked the second half better than the first, even though it was more laden with strings and 50s style pop production which I don't usually like. The songwriting in the second half (side) seems stronger to me. A quality album. 4 🌟

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4

Jazzy

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4

Grayt

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4

Great stuff.

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3

This is ok... I can see the appeal.

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3

First half is cool upbeat big band stuff, a good few foot-tappers. Second half is all ballads, lost my attention. Didn't totally lose steam but it started to drag towards the end, which isn't great at 37min. And tbh, "standards" are just covers at the end of the day, no matter how well played. This is a covers album, and reading all the other, overwhelmingly gushing reviews for it... wtf guys, get your hands off it. That being said, would listen to the first half again. 3/5.

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3

12/14 Real classy, lovely instrumentation. Standout Tracks: It Had to Be You, Just for a Thrill, Tell Me You'll Wait for Me, Don't Let the Sun Catch You Cryin', Am I Blue,

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3

more like a 3.5... very easy listening but nothing stood out

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3

Klassisk Ray Charles, kærligheds soul, charmerende, 50’er

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3

3.5 stars

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3

false

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3

My kind of background music. 3

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3

Legendary

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3

Nice easy listening

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3

Storbands-jazz, inte riktigt min smak föredrar kvintetter/kvartetter, men Ray Charles är Ray Charles

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3

Yeahhhh this was decent

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3

Nikad nisam slusao Ray Charls-a ozbiljno, niti jedan album ceo, vec samo po neki hit kao Hit the Road Jack. 7/10

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3

Flew by and I loved the slower ones. Here I was saying the other day that we need a new blind guy. I hate people just saying 'Stevie Wonder could have done a better job' or something like that. I found out that Ray Charles was the blind guy before Stevie Wonder so we're due for a new one.

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3

Pretty good, very jazzy. Probably won't listen again though.

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3

Good nice music, nice to listen to.

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3

Wasn't THAT genius

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3

Thanks Ray, very cool. 👌

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3

Not bad, just not memorable.

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3

Not really my style

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3

1959, Swingin' pop, traditional pop, rhythm and blues

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3

Todo un artista al piano. Buena voz y buenas canciones

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3

5.5

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3

Decent album

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3

Whats not to like. Standard.

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3

Boring, but listenable.

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3

great voice but some of the songs are a little big band-y for my liking.

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3

Nice to get a proper old album. Absolutely no doubting the man's influence and legacy, such a recognisable voice. I bet this album gets absolutely rinsed in films and hotel bars. I wasn't so much into the "big band" first half of this album. The chilled second half was more my vibe. 7/10

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3

Enjoyable. No stand out songs for me. But I like the style.

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3

I like it - but it is a bit too big-band for my tastes

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3

Great talent but the album feels a little too similar at times, which brought this down a score from 4 to 3. Still very enjoyable and calming Saved: Let the Good Times Roll

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3

An easy listen, enjoyed from start to finish and would definitely put it on again for another listen

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3

While Ray Charles was undoubtedly a very gifted musician, calling one of your own albums "the genius of myself" really seems like too much. That said, despite the undeniable musicianship, the songs were just not interesting enough to me. Add to that the production which sounds even older than the album itself.

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3

Gledao sam film o tebi care kao mali na DVD-u imao original tako da sam neke i prepoznao, no zaboravio sam sve te utvrdim gradivo ponovno zbog ovog super albuma.

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3

Ne znam, osjećam da je ovo u nekom ranku sa Frank Sinatrom. Takva glazba, kao za gospodu. Uživanje uz viski pokraj kamina dok vani krpa snijeg ili pada kiša dok puše hladan vjetar - govoreći za drugi dio albuma.

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3

not my cup of tea but he has a great voice

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3

I like the big band side but it kind of loses me on the back half with all of the ballads.

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3

not the most upbeat and my style but incredibly influential and he has a great voice and music overall.

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3

Pretty dated. I really liked the mellower b-side.

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3

A bit to much swing for my taste. But some great tracks

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3

Good, but a little to slow fir the mood I was in. Some classics though.

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3

Big band Ray Charles, not his best work tho

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3

Ok

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3

It’s classic Ray Charles. You either like it or you don’t.

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3

I don't know a lot of Ray Charles, and I didn't know a single track from this album. It's all good and fine, but I think there are other albums/tracks I enjoy more. 3.5 to 3.

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3

Not my favourite genre but Ray Charles is an excellent singer and has some catchy songs - 6/10

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3

So, Ray Charles still gets played a lot today because of the way he fused Jazz, Gospel & R&B. The LP What’d I Say, which came out in the same year as this, I would expect to see on the 1001 list (it isn’t). Instead you get covers of jazz-pop standards. They’re well delivered and I guess he won over members of the Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett crowd but the modern musicians/stars who cite him as an influence aren’t doing so because of stuff like this. It appears the only other RC album put forth by 1001 (1st ed.) is Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music (?)

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3

Wiki notes say his debut album was released in 1957 and this 1959 record was his seventh. He's pumping out a lot of music. I am not a fan of the orchestration since I'd prefer if his piano playing was front and centre rather than buried. Two Years of Torture is typical of this. I can't really hear any piano until the solo which is more than halfway through the song. Yeah the trumpet solo is good but if I'm spinning Ray C I'm spinning it for the piano. Just for a Thrill also has excellent keyboards outside of the solo but the orchestra tries to hide them. I wrote the above after my first listen. The second time through was more enjoyable since I knew what to expect and really appreciated the piano and his vocals when they came. Come Rain or Shine is a wonderful way to end the album as he shows excellent control of his velvety voice. Coin toss for 3 or 4

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3

Always thought I'd listened to Rau Charles but I haven't....turns out it's exactly how I imagined it

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3

Jazz, big band, r&b, blues... una mica de tot i tot bó... no és la meva música preferida, però cal reconèixer un gran disc quan t'hi trobes amb ell...

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3

It had that old jazz and blues feel to it... almost put me to sleep....

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3

20. The Genius of Ray Charles - Ray Charles 12 tracks. It's foot-tappingly, nod-along in the background decent. I can imagine that loads of these tracks were used in films back in the day. It doesn't make me pay attention though & definitely won't make me listen again. 3/5.

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3

It’s alright. No complaints.

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3

I would hope that there is more to the genius of Ray Charles than singing a couple of big band standards. The ballads at the end are nice but overall I find this very meh. 5/10

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3

JazzSoulGospel með pínu blús. Klassík.

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3

This feels like a pretty forgettable big band record. Am I Blue is a great song

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3

The B side is unfortunately sameier than the A. Ray Charles's voice is consistent and compelling, but there was little more on the bones in the first half. The transition to slower tunes is very nice, but the rest of them blur together a bit. This is a nice sampler record, especially if you like the genre. No jazz edge, sadly.

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3

Un poco rollete

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3

Baladas de Ray Charles. Se me han hecho un poco de bola...

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3

I didn't realize how long ago this came out. The mix on my laptop wasn't great but that's noones fault. I didn't quite get into it but I enjoyed what I heard. Especially the "simpler" tunes I was surprised by.

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3

Who am I to rate the musical genius of Ray Charles? Seriously though, this album was my very definition of a 3/5 - started well, with let the good times roll being an absolute classic, and I was enjoying the listen through the cover of Alexander's ragtime band - after that point though, it slides into a series of interchangeable ballads where Ray moans about people dumping his sorry ass, only picking up for the final track come rain or shine, where he keeps to the subject matter but at least does it in a slightly more upbeat fashion. Would I choose to listen to this again? Probably not, but I wouldn't immediately leave the venue if someone played this to me.

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3

Classic, big band feel. Great holiday album.

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3

More of a 3.5. Few great song but the second half was a slow for my taste

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3

Classic blues-inspired R&B. Not a lot of variation to be found, but Charles does one thing and he does it well.

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3

I was aware of Ray Charles, but I couldn't have named a single song of his. The first half of this album was big band music and the second half was orchestral ballads. As a modern listener, I found Charles to be an amazing vocal talent but the orchestra and lyrical themes didn't age as well (10/12 songs are about romantic relationships and most of those are about failed relationships). The cover photo is a bit misleading as this is not a piano-focused album.

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3

While Ray Charles was a genius, his amazing voice was overwhelmed by the big band horn section.

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3

Classic Ray. Easy listening.

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3

good but not what i'm angling for today

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3

3 1/2

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3

This is a good handful of songs. It helped Charles to popularize his name. Excellent orchestra and sound. I cannot hear a lot of his “get the road Jack” R&B in this thou… Enjoyable, for sure

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3

Best aardig eigenlijk!

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3

There was a lot of talent on display for what turned out to be a very average album. Didn't care too much for the songs and there wasn't enough of an interesting twist on the standards for me to enjoy.

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3

Fairly pleasant to listen to, but all the songs sound the same.

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3

6/10

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3

Eh cool :) keine Ahnung, mehr fällt mir gad noch hat ein. Gestern war Silvester...

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3

ist musikalisch sicher ein sehr hochwertiges album und irgendwie auch lustig zum nebenbei hören. werde es aber vermutlich nicht bewusst nochmal hören, ist einfach nicht meine musikrichtung

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3

Nice and easy vocal jazz for your mornings. Ray Charles always sits well.

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3

More mellow than expected. A great listen on a Bank Holiday Monday morning.

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3

Sentimental Beim spazieren gehört, 02.01.2022

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3

Love the big band jazz upbeat songs. The slower crooners are pedestrian, but quite lovely (eg. Don't let the sun catch you cryin'). A high 3 because the slots are too slow.

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3

Fun, and a nice listen, but otherwise standard crooner fare - nothing really stands out from the whole.

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3

album ranged from a piano chuck berry to a songs similar to frank sinatra, decent 60s album

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3

Not the Ray Charles I was expecting. Much more of a big band, orchestral sound than his bluesy, R&B big hits I'm familiar with. I prefer the latter but this was still good.

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3

Some great big band blues standards - my top pick is 'It Had To Be You'.

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3

2/7/2022 Today's Album: "The Genius of Ray Charles" by Ray Charles - Going back to the first artist I reviewed, this album is another stellar work by the great Ray Charles. This might be a compilation album of some of his best work, which would make sense given the bangers on this album, but I think it still flows well as a traditional album. I don't think I need to say too much more about this one. Its Ray fucking Charles. If you like country western albums, he is the best and his talent is not to be understated. The best track on here is the super hit "Let the Good Times Roll" and the momentum pretty much keeps up from there. It Had to Be You makes me sad because my now passed grandmother sang it a lot before I ever heard this version, so I think this album hits extra hard for me. No other track quite grabs my attention like the first 2, but they don't have to. This is the kind of album you have playing in the background during dinner or something and it is some of the best there is for country western music. Give it a listen if you like this sort of thing, or just listen to the first 2 tracks to hear some great lyricism and artistry. Score: 7 Another great classic Highlights: Let the Good Times Roll, It Had to Be You, Don't Let the Sun Catch You Cryin'

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3

Wasn't expecting to bump into Ray again after the goodness that was Modern Sounds but I can't complain. This is a fine collection of songs assembled here, not exactly genius level as portrayed in the title of the album but it's still Ray Charles in his element and that's always a good thing. Favorites: It Had to Be You, Alexander's Ragtime Band, Deed I Do, Just for a Thrill, Am I Blue.

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3

It's Ray Charles doing the crooner thing with an orchestra, not Ray Charles Shakin a tail feather in the Blues Brothers. It's good but requires the right setting.

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3

Not the best from Ray Charles, but still a great album. Incredible voice !

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3

nice. smooth.

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3

Okay to me. Not my favorite sounds

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3

Interesting to hear the big band sound, but nothing jumped out at me. Perhaps a bit of its time?

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3

Coule.

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3

I liked how this album was divided in half between a "big band" jazz sound, and a more "stripped down" piano ballad sound. Between these two parts, this album clocks in as pretty short, and yet Ray commands each track, giving them his all and lending his full-bodied soulful voice to these old standards! He sounds golden and he makes it seem so effortless. In addition, despite the fact that this album's recording is such poor quality, his playing of the piano comes through so nicely and effortlessly, especially on the second half. Jazz is not a favorite of mine, but Ray makes this so easy to listen to.

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3

what a lovely listen! i so enjoyed listening to this album. i enjoy a good album containing covers of classics! it wasn't perfect sounding, but that's the beauty of it. the second half of the album hit me hard. “am i blue” is going to stay with me for a while. charles’ voice really shines in the last few songs!

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3

Listened to it a day late on a Sunday and glad I did. Perfect lazy Sunday listening. Completely forgettable though...

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3

This one was nice. The songs themselves are pretty basic, but there’s some nice instrumentation here, such as on “Alexander’s ragtime band”. I’m gonna slap a 3 stars on this one. The most impressive and interesting thing I’ve heard on this in a little bit.

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3

Låtarna på slutet var bättre än de i början

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3

Really good. But, it is just a bunch of already well-known standards that he's singing. Nothing original here. It's good, but I can't give it more than 3/5.

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3

Pretty decent album. Ray Charles is a legend and his music is all around good. I felt this album was easy to listen to and it was entertaining. It didn’t blow me away or make me replay any specific song but it was good. 6.7/10

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3

Really harsh trumpets that seem to overpower what is trying to be accomplished on this album. It's jarring every single time. Without them I'd probably rate this one star higher. Love the mood and feel of Ray Charles on this album and we really don't need blaring trumpets to compete with him.

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3

Anytime I hear an older album like this, it reminds me of Christmas music. This is probably good. I just don't need to listen to it.

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3

The ballads were good. The big band stuff was not the best.

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3

The album has a nice split of brassy to string with Ray Charles holding it together. He’s talented and the music is full. Not sure I’d self appoint the genius title if I was Ray Charles buy that is maybe because Ray doesn’t feel as relevant to today.

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3

The album started out with a bang and I wish the whole thing were like Let The Good Times Roll. There is a noticeable dichotomy between up tempo tracks and slower ones. The up tempo tracks are more fun although they tend to have a bit too much of a big band feel. The slower tracks are nice. Ray Charles’s voice shines through, but I want more up tempo stuff.

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3

One of my all time favorite albums is Ella and Basie which was released about four years after this album. The 'Deed I Do' track on E&B is far superior to the Ray Charles original on this album. The tempo is slow but enjoy the southern draw and soft rasp of Charles' voice. However, my advice is to listen to the Ella and Basie album first before you embark on this one.

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3

The two sides of this album are very distinct but I dig both. His piano playing really shines on the back half. The mix is somewhat subpar but otherwise this is really enjoyable.

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3

I didn’t have anything against this but it seemed like an odd selection to represent Ray Charles. I’m not sure that showcasing Charles as a vocalist was all that necessary of a goal. This is all solid but at the end of the day it’s just an album of standards, competently but not remarkably performed.

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3

Good album. Some great big band swing songs, but likely won’t be a frequent listening partner

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3

Super miellyttävää mut en missään vaiheessa oikein kokenut mitään sen suurempaa elämystä. Tosin tein samalla asioita. Pitää kuunnella joskus uusiks.

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3

Jane (3/5) Shannah (2/5) Conor (3/5) Bill (3.5/5) (2.875/5)

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3

I can't say I ever choose to listen to this style of music but it's nice enough. I don't really have a point of reference as to whether this I'd exceptional or not.

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2

Good music, but not my specific cup of tea!

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2

Not the hugest fan of this, but it was enjoyable and deserved to be on the list.

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2

Undoubtedly good, but not my style and rather forgettable for me.

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2

He may deserve the genius moniker but I’m not in love with the Ray Charles Big Band sound

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2

Always got time for a bit of Ray Charles, but this album was a bit too much big band than his usual soul for me. Only so much of that sound I can take before I feel like I’m at some black tie ball full of bankers...in New York. Nice enough, and a good soundtrack to breakfast, but that’s about it.

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2

Good, but not classic.

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2

Saved Prior: None Off Rip: Tell Me You'll Wait for Me Cutting Edge: None Overall Notes: Similar sentiment that I've had for a lot of the much older albums; good music, important music, but not my thing.

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2

Not my general cup of tea but this actually helped a massive hangover and found it nice running in the background - unlikely to explore again though

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2

Only half way through before fatigue set in. Ray Charles is talented for sure but it's all so samey. Feels longer than 38 minutes.

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2

Seems wrong to not give Ray Charles a larger rating, especially as the album starts with Let The Good Times Roll which is great but after that it's just not my style. A bit too mellow and the string arrangements are for me distracting. Would probably enjoy a simpler remix of this more with emphasis on the jazz trio components. Wouldn't mind if this came on at a restaurant or party but probably would look elsewhere for different Ray.

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2

I know that Ray Charles is idolized, but just too slow and not what I'm looking for when listening to music.

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2

Beautifully performed standards. I can appreciate them, even if they sound a bit old and tired to my ears. The kind of thing I would put on if my parents were coming round and I wanted background music.

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2

Sorry Ray, just can't get this crooner music. There are some really good songs.....but just not me.

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2

I can't say I'm a fan of big band and crooning ballads, which basically describes both sides of this record. I prefer Charles' later material where he gets more rock n' roll

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2

Not a fan at all. I am sure he is a genius, but just not my cup of tea.

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2

“The Genius of Ray Charles” by Ray Charles (1959) This album is structured not according to theme or development, but by its style of delivery; side one being ‘big band’ instrumentation (brass & saxes), while side two being more fully orchestral with strings, low woodwinds and choral backgrounds. Side one is black tie & dinner jacket; side two is white tie & tails. All of this is deployed in support of Ray Charles’ piano/vocal covers of popular tunes. It’s great music. Very listenable. But it’s not the genius of Ray Charles. The album title is marketable but misleading, in that it uses his well deserved nickname “The Genius” to denote only a small portion of his highly eclectic oeuvre. And it’s his eclecticism (blues, rock, jazz, country, swing, pop) that merits the moniker. This was clear even in 1959, by which time he was well known as a songwriter and composer. But none of the songs on this album were written, composed, or arranged by Ray Charles. The main course of side one is overpowered by the splash & bash garnish. Ray Charles’ signature ‘wandering’ approach in his vocal stylings on well-known melodies is of great interest, giving a fresh take on classics like Cahn/Jones’ “It Had to Be You” and Irving Berlin’s “Alexander’s Ragtime Band”. But the big band/swing arrangements (by others, including Quincy Jones) are simply too overwhelming. It’s like soundtrack bits to B-movies in the detective film noir mode. I don’t want to hear one more diminished chord blast by six trumpets and four trombones. It’s too much. For God’s sake, just let the man sing! The orchestral arrangements on side two (all by Ralph Burns) are not as dominant, but the switch from the bombastic to the pallid is not much of an improvement. One this side we get a better taste of the incomparable vocals of Ray Charles. His wide-ranging baritone is famously rough but expressive, slightly raspy but abundantly sensitive. The penultimate track “Am I Blue?” has the most excellent arrangement on the album, but, sadly, the weakest vocal performance. A much better example of this genre is the retro “A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night” by Harry Nilsson (1973). Ray Charles is among the giants in the history of recorded music. Would that this album had done justice to his extraordinary talent. 2/5

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2

Straightforward big band charts. I like this better than Sinatra-style crooning, but it’s still better for background / theme music than a dedicated listen.

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2

I love Ray Charles - and kudos for this being the seventh album he put out in three years - but this album is behind it’s time. It sounds like it was recorded in the mid-40s to early 50s. I mean, he’s good - don’t get me wrong. But I don’t think this is near his best work - nor could it have been considered unique in any way at its release in 1959 or at any point since. I’ll consider this a “blip” in an otherwise awesome catalog of albums.

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2

Pleasant enough but nothing grabbed me on first listen

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2

Way ahead of its time.

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2

Boring.

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2

Beetje ego-klopperij, om je album 'the genius of Ray Charles' te noemen. En zo tof is het nou ook weer niet.

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2

Altijd gezellig onze Ray, maar na een paar nummers heb ik het wel gehoord.

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2

Bit disappointed with this, was looking forward to some Ray! Mind you, I only know him from the tour de force that is The Blues Brothers so maybe my sights were aimed too high. Shame really.

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2

good but not my thing

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2

This album was probably a big hit when it came out, but I really have a hard time getting attached to it. Neither the voice, nor the compositions, nor the brass arrangements or the texts make me experience anything. I'm sorry, I can't pretend and give a good rating.

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2

Good old stuff, but is it really what's best from this genre, from this artist? All I'm saying is that's a lot of brass from someone who's known for his piano playing

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2

Meh Charles

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2

You don't get this in Nandos. What a fucking arrogant album title. I don't think this one was great.

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2

MID

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2

Contains some good stuff, but I don't think an album of swing standards/crooner ballads is the best use of Ray Charles. Some of his other songs show off his voice better, and have a more distinctive musical style too. Feels like you could sub in a Sinatra or whoever onto this record and the result would be pretty similar. 2.5

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2

I’m not the biggest R&B/blues fans but it was nice to hear Ray sing, he’s got a great voice. Preferred the small group pieces on this one to the big band ones.

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2

Big band 50s music , not the R&B Ray I’ve come to like .

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2

De la musique d'ascenceur, de la soul sympa à écouter en fond 2 étoiles parce que même si rien ne sort du lot, rien n'est merdique non plus

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2

just not my kind of music. but I acknowledge it's good for what it is.

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2

I'm sure this is good quality but I really don't like this style of music!

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2

I love his voice but found myself getting bored

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2

Meh, shmaltzy big band swing. Not a patch on Ray's small combo R&B stuff.

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1

No

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1

IDK, not even listen

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yeahhh

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I remember ray charles because when I was a child saw his movie

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sick

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