Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Complete Swing Time & Down Beat Recordings 1949-52
Genres: Blues, Pop, R&B
"This two-disc set marks the first comprehensive domestic compilation of Charles? 1949 to 1952 output for Jack Lauderdale?s Swing Time and Down Beat logos that pays proper homage to its contents." -LIVING BLUES Tuff City ... more »
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"This two-disc set marks the first comprehensive domestic compilation of Charles? 1949 to 1952 output for Jack Lauderdale?s Swing Time and Down Beat logos that pays proper homage to its contents." -LIVING BLUES Tuff City is excited to announce that in response to the overwhelming demand for their Ray Charles 2XCD, they are re-launching it at a new low price! This is the most comprehensive collection ever created from this time period, consisting of 45 tracks on two CDs and including previously unreleased alternate takes! As the owners of the original label that recorded these Ray Charles gems, Tuff City Music Group offers the highest-quality and only legitimate collection of these recordings. Listen for their Brother Ray Swing Time tracks in the film Ray starring Jamie Foxx.
Good, valuable collection, but Buyer Beware
David J. Rosen | Birmingham, AL USA | 04/14/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Anyone purchasing this album should be made aware that it's not quite complete: Late in the Evening Blues, while included on the tracklist of the CD, is not included in error. "Sweet As Can Be" is the actual track 22 of disc 2 (in addition to track 22 of disc 1) in it's place. Unfortunately, this error occurs on all versions of this collection and was mysteriously not corrected with the 2005 re-release. With all the half-hearted, sketchy, and downright awful sounding releases of Ray's pre-Atlantic material out there for consumers to sort through, it's a shame that Night Train Int'l/Tuff City missed a fabulous opportunity to put out a definitive collection once and for all.
Nevertheless, for those that don't mind missing just one song, it's a great collection with decent sound quality, with the alternate takes acting as its greatest redeeming value.
As for the music that made its way onto the discs, it of course does not have near the same fire as anything Ray recorded afterwards, but it serves as above average 1950s blues. Even though it is true that he was coming close to a straight-up imitation of Charles Brown and Nat King Cole, as was his intention in those years, he could not help but mix a little bit of his own, future vocal style in there, peaking out in hints and flashes. This is classy music from an underrated portion of his career. Some might even say that this era of his recorded studio work outshines some of his later output, such as his 3 underacheiving, synthesizer-drenched studio albums from the 1990s.
Nevertheless, unless this collection is corrected upon future re-issues, I would recommend spending just a little bit more (usually around $25-$30 as of 2006) for the currently out-of-print, but still relatively easy to find, "Birth of a Legend 1949-1952" for a truly complete collection of all of Ray's officially released pre-Atlantic sides. Then, if you're a Ray Charles completist, pick up this album along with 2006s wonderful "Unreleased," put out by the same label, for all the alternate takes. This will give you every currently known Swingtime and Downbeat Ray Charles recording ever released, finally allowing you to shove all those other shady releases of the same material to the side."
Love CD but.....
J. bell | yonkers, ny United States | 09/28/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Eventhough I like how this CD is packaged, nice cover and all, I decided not to purchase this item for two reasons. #1 - I already have Swingtime's Birth of Soul CD put out sometime in the early 90's with complete and correct name of tracks. #2 - I love all the songs on this CD and "Late In the evening Blues" is one of my favs and because its not on this CD there is no reason for me to purchase it. Even if I didn't have the previous mentioned CD. I'm just a stickler that way I guess. But if missing a song doesn't bother you, you should purchase this CD. Or try to buy the CD with all correct selections."