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Album Review

Rhino's 2006 double-disc set The Definitive Soul Collection is the latest in a long list of Ray Charles compilations from Rhino, and it covers much of the same territory as the others: namely, it's a selection of highlights from his classic Atlantic recordings from the '50s. Since it doesn't have any of Ray's ABC sides of the '60s, it can't quite be called definitive, but it is an excellent overview of Charles' timeless Atlantic hits, including "Mess Around," "I've Got a Woman," "This Little Girl of Mine," "Drown in My Own Tears," "Hallelujah I Love Her So," "Lonely Avenue," and of course, "What I'd Say." There are more comprehensive collections of this material — such as the highly recommended three-disc set The Birth of Soul — and there are superb single-disc comps that would act as a good introduction, but for those listeners who want something between those two extremes, this is an excellent choice.


Born: 23 September 1930 in Albany, GA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Ray Charles was the musician most responsible for developing soul music. Singers like Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson also did a great deal to pioneer the form, but Charles did even more to devise a new form of black pop by merging '50s R&B with gospel-powered vocals, adding plenty of flavor from contemporary jazz, blues, and (in the '60s) country. Then there was his singing; his style was among the most emotional and easily identifiable of any 20th century performer, up there with the likes of Elvis...
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The Definitive Soul Collection (Digitally Remastered), Ray Charles
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  • USD 11.99
  • Genres: R&B/Soul, Music, Rock, Soul, Blues, Jazz, Country
  • Released: 05 February 2007

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