Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Ray Charles singing songs about crying and tears
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 06/23/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Sweet & Sour Tears" might be a concept album in that all of the songs sung by Ray Charles on this 1964 album have the words "cry," "crying" or "tears" in the title (or related terms like "weep" and "teardrops"), but it is not exactly a thematic unity. If anything Charles likes to mix up his genres, moving from jazz to country and then to soul and pop. Overall the slow and more sentimental songs do not fare as well as the more upbeat numbers such as "Don't Cry, Baby" and "Baby, Don't You Cry" (really, those are two different songs). The best of the bunch would be "Cry Me a River," which makes some nice use of the brass section behind the vocals. These songs really make the slower tracks seem rather ponderous with their use of strings and too often the sentimentality of the songs just do not work as well. Actually, the big surprise here is that when Rhino reissued this CD the seven bonus tracks they tacked on at the end, culled from the early part of Charles' career (1956-71), have the best songs on the album. The choices all continue the original album's crying motif and the best are the 1956 R&B track Henry Glover's "Drown in My Own Tears" and the 1964 hit "I Wake Up Crying," written by the team of Bacharach & David. They also included "Crying Time," one of the earliest "country" songs that Ray Charles recorded, although it still has blues and jazz elements in it. These bonus tracks get this album up to the 4.5 star point, but I still have to round down just because the credit goes to the producers at Rhino and not Charles. This is not one of the top ten albums you would want to include in your music library, but for fans of the late great Ray Charles it certainly deserves strong consideration for selections from the second tier."
wdanthemanw | Geneva, Switzerland | 10/23/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a record ! You'll find in it the twelve songs recorded in 1964 plus seven extra songs whose theme is sorrow and tears. This CD is a must-buy for any music lover desiring to discover Ray - the Genius - Charles but still hesitating in front of the numerous compilations available. The incredible thing about SWEET & SOUR TEARS is that, after having heard it, you could swear it's a compilation. But it's not. It's just one of the average recordings of a man who turned into gold whatever song he played, a man whose musical production during the fifties and the sixties is a unique and admirable legacy. By the way, Ray is still alive and well. So don't miss him the next time he's in town. And dont' forget to take your children with you, they'll be hypnotized and will destroy your library to find the CD's of the Genius.A CD zone essential stuff."
The one single CD of Ray's to buy
wdanthemanw | 01/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There is no way to jam into one album an overview that encompasses the scope of the greatest musician of the twentieth century (sorry Duke Ellington, sorry Elvis, sorry James Brown and sorry Hank) but this album from 1964 when Ray was at the peak of his vocal and exploratory powers, remastered and with unissued cuts that even surpass some of the original list ("I Wake Up Crying" might be the best Bacharach-David cover ever) makes a good stab at it. Jazz, blues, middle-pop, a little rock-and-roll, some great country (If "A Tear Fell" does'nt have you waltzing across the floor, you're dead) all rolled-in together in one superb LP. A great start to the most essential of collections."