The Incomparable Ray Charles and Ray Charles’ Greatest Hits Volumes 1 & 2


“I’m very disappointed,” claims area smart-arse

(Bristol, England) – Having thought what he had was great good fortune, self-confessed cool person Alan Rico purchased cheaply the first two volumes of Ray Charles’ ABC Records Greatest Hits within a week of each other at separate area thrift stores.

“I though, you know, Ray Charles, everyone’s supposed to like him,” reported the sarcastic, 28-year old textbook editor who already owns Tell the Truth, the Charly collection of Charles’ Atlantic releases. “And what better way to enjoy his soulful croon than a couple period compilations.”

But fate had a cruel shock in store: These post-Atlantic albums simply aren’t that good.

“There’s all these strings and backing singers, the ‘Raelets’, for Pete’s sake,” Rico said of the Sid Feller-produced recordings, using a deliberately hackneyed euphemism and crooking his index and middle fingers to indicate both speech marks and his condescension. “They just smother things.”

“So you would have thought, given my penchant for witty distain, that, having been unable to enjoy the records on a musical level, I could, you know, take the piss.” he continued. “Like, for example, saying that Elvis Costello wasn’t as unkind to Ray as the Marty Paich arrangements on these albums.”

“But actually, [the songs] are so boring and middle of the road, with a couple exceptions, that I can’t even muster the enthusiasm to make fun of them and enjoy them ironically.”

As if life hadn’t dealt Rico enough bitterness, The Incomparable Ray Charles, a Summit compilation of earlier, rougher, more R&B material he subsequently bought at an area junk shop a week later, was warped, a bit too scratchy and, therefore, tantilisingly unplayable.

“It’s like ‘God’ has it in for me,” he said over-dramatically, once again dibbing his digits, this time to demonstrate a patronising attitude to the Supreme Being.

Published in: on July 11, 2012 at 4:16 pm  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This is exactly how I felt after I bought and heard Modern Sounds in Country and Western….

  2. Yes, supposedly a masterpiece of genre mash-up, but it could’ve been Perry Freakin’ Como.

    The Atlantic stuff’s alright though.

  3. Yeah – I was sorely disappointed – only listened to it once.

  4. Alan Rico was right.

    • He’s a knowledgeable guy.

  5. […] debut, itself a compilation of the previous four year’s singles. Having been dismissive of Brother Ray’s ABC recordings, I have to say this is the real deal, an excellent early R&B album, especially for a pound. […]

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