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|7. Hard Times (No One Knows Better Than I)|
|8. Whatd I Say (Live)|
|9. Georgia On My Mind|
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|11. Unchain My Heart|
|12. I Cant Stop Loving You (Live)|
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This fall Universal Pictures and Walden Media will release the feature-length biopic Ray, the never-before-told musical biographical drama of the late American legend Ray Charles. Featuring a remarkable performance from Jamie Foxx in the central role, Ray follows the inspiring story of a one-of-a-kind genius. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Taylor Hackford (La Bamba, An Officer And A Gentleman), the film features FoxxB s uncanny lip-syncing to classic Ray Charles tracks (utilizing the artist's original master recordings). Ray is an inspirational story about an amazing artist and human being, with Ray Charles music at the film's very core.
Soul and r&b legend Ray Charles may not have lived to see the success of Hollywood's ultimate tribute to him, but director Taylor Hackford's biopic (featuring a landmark performance by Jamie Foxx as the musical legend) will further burnish his legacy as one of the cornerstones of contemporary American music. Though it stretches from 1953's ecstatic, proto-soul "Mess Around" to a sublime, bluesy live take of "Georgia On My Mind" recorded in Japan in the mid-70's, this 17-track song-score can only be an inviting appetizer to the singer's epochal body of work. Charles' artistry may have virtually defined soul music itself, yet it also triumphed in genres as far afield as blues blues ("Nightime is the Right Time") and country ("I Can't Stop Loving You," "Bye Bye Love") during the 60's, the impossibly rich era from which the bulk of this soundtrack is culled. Crucially, fully a third of the cuts here are live recordings -- including electrifying 1965 performances of "What'd I Say," "You Don't Know Me" and "Hallelujah I Love Her So" hand-picked for the film by Charles himself -- the forum in which the singer consistently operated on a whole other artistic plateau from mere mortals. -- Jerry McCulley
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Top Customer Reviews
As far as the soundtrack goes, it has all the great music from the movie.. including many of Ray's classics as well as the fantastic "(Night Time is) The Right Time", featuring the superb voices of the Raelettes. However there is one disappointing omission on this soundtrack. It does not include the terrific extended studio version of "What I'd Say" featured in the wonderful opening sequence of Ray. Instead, they have the live version which isn't nearly as good. I'm not sure why the soundtrack couldn't include both the studio version to start off the CD, then the live version later on. This would have made it a 5-star CD for me. Other than that, anyone who loved "Ray" should love this compilation.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This CD starts out with the mischievous "Mess Around;" this song is so much fun you may replay it a few times before you even get to the rest of the CD! Hehehe! "I've Got A Woman" continues in this same way. There are some terrific live recordings here, too! Ray sings "Hallelujah I Love Her So," "What'd I Say," "You Don't Know Me," "Let The Good Times Roll," and "Georgia On My Mind" all live! I only wish I had been at one of these concerts; the electricity that so clearly is there in his performance would have blown my mind!
I especially liked the somewhat different arrangements on "You Don't Know Me" and "Let The Good Times Roll!" Very well done! The live recording of "Georgia On My Mind" is indeed very bluesy; a nice twist to a great song that is also here from a studio recording session Ray did.
Ray had a hand in the production of this film before he died; therefore this CD is also an excellent introduction or perhaps a single CD miniature compilation of some of his most famous songs. This is also a wonderful way for us all to remember the great Mr. Charles; since his performances here are dynamic, exciting, fresh and straight from the heart.
The CD comes with liner notes by Taylor Hackford. Hackford both directed and co-wrote the film "Ray."
In short, GET THIS CD! and help celebrate the life and art of the great Mr. Ray Charles! You won't regret this CD purchase! And while you're at it, why not see the movie, too? GRIN
My conclusion; I love Ray Charles and his music but after hearing his music from the DVD in full Dolby 5.1, this CD is very disappointing. Put simply, it's like me taking my collection of Ray Charles Hi-Fidelity recordings and doing a straight transfer to CD. The music would be there but it would in no way sound like a modern day state of the art produced CD. And that's my problem; if the producers could make the film sound so good, they should have used the same music for the Soundtrack and used this collection of recordings labeled "The Originally Recorded Music" that inspired the movie Ray. That's my take for what it's worth.
Charles style is covered quite well with this collection of his long career...virtually every genre of music has its place on this compilation, he's so brilliant ~ every song here is a classic...there's nothing like listening to "MESS AROUND" , from early on you knew his style would catch on..."I'VE GOT A WOMAN" , "MARY ANN" , "HARD TIMES (No One Knows Better Than I)" , "HALLELUJAH I LOVE HER SO (Live)"  and "WHAT'D I SAY (Live)" , last five composed by the "Genius" himself, but you already knew that..."I CAN'T STOP LOVING YOU (Live)"  and "BORN TO LOSE" , are two of my favorite Country and Western tunes that Ray favored us with..."GEORGIA ON MY MIND", appears twice on the album, the 1960 studio recording and 1976 Live in Japan performance, both are truly legendary and a must have for your ever growing collection.
Was he a "Genius"...you be the judge and decide...he will be a tough act to follow encompassing an extremely broad recording career...some of the best music you'll ever hear...one of the most exceptional artists of the century ~ Ray Charles!
Total Time: 54:36 on 17 Tracks ~ Rhino Records 76540 ~ (10/19/2004)