Ray Charles

Genius: The Ultimate Collection

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Concord's 2009 compilation Genius: The Ultimate Collection is merely one in a long line of Ray Charles hits packages -- not to mention merely one in a long line of releases that have either the word "Genius" or "Ultimate" in their titles -- and "Ultimate" may be too strong a word for a collection that has only 21 tracks, but it nevertheless does function as an excellent sampler of Ray's iconic hits of the '50s and '60s. This samples his Atlantic and ABC recordings relatively equally, ever so slightly favoring the latter. While some of his rawest early R&B will be missed by those who care about such things, those who lodge a complaint already know and have that music in their collections. This is an introduction and sampler for those who don't know Ray Charles' prime, or only need him at his very best, a side that this compilation presents cleanly and efficiently.

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