Ray Charles, The World Of Ray Charles (1974)
I’m always happy to enter the world of Ray Charles – in that I’m very happy to have almost any of his music on; there’s some ropey live albums and dopey compilations from across the late 1970s and into the 80s and 90s but – man – those killer albums, and you all (should) know the ones, they are world-shaping/world-changing. And there are several good comps that do the job – including the movie soundtrack (far better than the actual movie). I don’t know when I first got this album – I have no idea, but I do know I would have bought it for next to nothing, and probably as part of a spree in the very early record buying days. I was a fan of Ray from an early age – thanks to my mum’s keen interest. We went to a Ray Charles concert too – the people in the audience (most of them anyway) really did not deserve him. I wish I was joking (not that it’s anything close to funny) when I say I heard some Hawke’s Bay farmer-type yell out “get back on stage you blind black cunt” – large portions of the audience booing because there was no encore. It was fine to them of course, when drinking, whooping and hollering and all; screaming and cheering and (sadly) talking over extraordinary material. (It was all dance monkey, dance). Hawke’s Bay did not deserve Ray Charles on that night (or any). But I’m still glad I got a glimpse into the world. This album – more so than any of the original records I have from Ray – reminds me of the bad and wonderful elements of seeing Ray Charles live in Hawke’s Bay that one time.
Sample Track: Born To Lose
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