It Should've Been Me - Ray Charles, Curtis, Memphis
Don't You Know
I Got a Woman
What Would I Do Without You?
Come Back Baby
A Fool for You
This Little Girl of Mine
Hallelujah, I Love Her So
Lonely Avenue - Ray Charles, Pomus, Doc
Ain't That Love
Swanee River Rock (Talkin' 'Bout That River)
What'd I Say, Pt. 1
Night Time Is the Right Time - Ray Charles, Cadena, Ozzie
Drown in My Own Tears - Ray Charles, Glover, Henry
Tell the Truth [Live] - Ray Charles, Pauling, Lowman
Just for a Thrill - Ray Charles, Armstrong, Lil
By the time Ray Charles left Atlantic Records in 1959, he'd evolved from an adept follower of Nat Cole and Charles Brown to a leader who'd transformed American music. Best of ... The Atlantic Years chronicles his leap from... more » cocktail blues to the edgy, gospel-tinged music that became known as soul. Anyone who doesn't understand why he's called the Genius should hear this. --Rickey Wright« less
By the time Ray Charles left Atlantic Records in 1959, he'd evolved from an adept follower of Nat Cole and Charles Brown to a leader who'd transformed American music. Best of ... The Atlantic Years chronicles his leap from cocktail blues to the edgy, gospel-tinged music that became known as soul. Anyone who doesn't understand why he's called the Genius should hear this. --Rickey Wright
Adam B. (Cavemanmusic) from NORTHAMPTON, MA Reviewed on 9/11/2009...
Mary H. (JazzWoman) Reviewed on 7/12/2009...
Great!! from his !st and maybe greatest years.
Twenty choice tracks from Ray Charles' years at Atlantic
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 06/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ray Charles died today and that means a lot of people are going to be listening to his music and enjoying the first great American soul singer. For those who do not have a Ray Charles album in their music library they will be looking for a good hits collection and while it seems strange to recommend one that does not have "Hit the Road, Jack" on it, this Rhino album of "The Best of Ray Charles: The Atlantic Years," which brings together twenty of his best songs from his years at Atlantic Records in the late 1950s is still my top recommendation because it represents the crucial and groundbreaking period when he defined soul music, even if the term was not in use when most of these songs were recorded. But from this vantage point there is no other single word that better describes the singing of Ray Charles. That is not to say that you will not recognize the best of these tracks. If you want to point to a specific song and say this is where soul music begins then it would have to be 1954's "I've Got a Woman," where Charles blends rhythm & blue music with gospel singing. The song, which would be covered by Elvis Presley and countless others over the years, features baritone saxist David "Fathead" Newman, who would play tenor sax on a lot of Charles' best albums. "What Would I Do Without You?" features a great sax solo by Don Wilkerson and exemplifies Charles' ability to merge country and gospel (the piano playing particularly sounds like it is from a church service). There is also a cover of Henry Glover's "Drown in My Own Tears," which became one of Charles' signature songs. For younger listeners the most familiar track will probably be "Night Time Is the Right Time," which was used to great effect on "The Cosby Show," while for the rest of us "What I'd Say, Part 1" is another obvious classic and the song that made Ray Charles a household name (in the right households, anyway). So, yes, there are more hits out there and better collections of the "best" of Ray Charles if you are going by the Billboard charts. But if you want to listen to the sound of Ray Charles creating the sound of soul music that this is the one album that best accomplishes that goal. What starts off as "jump" blues with "It Should've Been Me" and "Greenback" because pure soul sung as only Ray Charles could sing it on songs like "Hallelujah, I Love Her So," "Lonely Avenue," and "This Little Girl of Mine." This stuff is so good that after "The Best of Ray Charles: The Atlantic Years" you might go back and start picking up his original albums from the Atlantic period instead of picking up a hits collection focusing on his 1960s work."
The Atlantic Years
T. B. Vick | The Lone Star State | 09/06/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD is simply "great!!!" It is early Ray Charles when he was recording with Atlantic Records. The songs have a very old Rock and Roll and Bluesy feel. These recordings occurred between 1952 to 1959. Ray's voice is young but sounds crisp and clean. This CD is Ray in progress - of course his sound, vocals, and writing skills just got better and better as the years rolled on. But this CD is early raw Ray. His bluesy piano style really comes out in "Don't You Know," and "Blackjack." Of course these sessions include his early hits like "I've Got a Woman," and "A Fool for You."Songs like "What Would I do Without You" are more akin to his 60's tunes. All the songs run the spectrum of blues, jazz, gospel, or rock. Ray puts more emotion into one bar of a song than most artists today do in their whole song. This is classic Ray Charles and worth every red cent!!"
A Must-Have for Ray Charles Fans
Penny Brooks | Missouri | 07/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The soulful singing of Ray Charles makes this album a Must-Have for anyone who enjoys today's modern R and B. Charles infuses each word he sings with emotion; he focuses not on cheap theatrics but on word-play, tone, and feeling. This particular compilation contains some of Charles' better known songs, like "I Got a Woman," and "What'd I Say," and some that should be better known. Charles paints the picture of lost love in "Lonely Avenue"; a beautiful yearning tinges "A Fool For You"; and "Tell the Truth" sounds as if all the participating recording artists had the time of their lives. This is an album that introduces newcomers to Ray Charles and keeps them fans; and for fans, it keeps them marveling at his genius."
Joan | Phoenix, AZ | 02/23/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a collection of Ray's bluesiest cuts. Some of my very favorites. Naturally, it is just one of several cd's by Ray that I own, but it's the one I listen to most."