Take a look below for our list of 10 of the best Ray Charles albums.
1. The Genius of Ray Charles
The Genius of Ray Charles is a 1959 Ray Charles album, released in October by Atlantic Records, the seventh album since the debut Ray Charles in 1957.
2. Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music
Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music is a studio album by American singer and pianist Ray Charles. It was recorded in February 1962 at Capitol Studios in New York City and United Western Recorders in Hollywood, and released in April of that year by ABC-Paramount Records.
3. Ray Charles at Newport
Ray Charles at Newport is a 1958 live album of Ray Charles’ July 5, 1958 performance at the Newport Jazz Festival. The detailed liner notes on the album were written by Kenneth Lee Karpe.
4. Soul Brothers
Soul Brothers is the third album recorded by Ray Charles and the eleventh album by Milt Jackson and released by Atlantic Records in 1958. The album was later re-issued in a two-CD compilation together with the other Charles–Jackson album Soul Meeting and included additional tracks from the same recording sessions not present on the original LP releases.
5. What’d I Say
What’d I Say is a 1959 Ray Charles album released by Atlantic Records, the sixth since the debut Ray Charles in 1957. The release popularized Charles’ first top 10 hit, “What’d I Say”, and became his first gold record. The album is included in Robert Christgau’s “Basic Record Library” of 1950s and 1960s recordings, published in Christgau’s Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981).
6. Soul Meeting
Soul Meeting is a 1961 Atlantic Records album of recordings made by Ray Charles and Milt Jackson in 1957. The album was later re-issued together with the earlier Soul Brothers (1958), on a 2 CD compilation together with other ‘bonus’ tracks from the same Charles and Jackson recording sessions.
7. The Genius Hits the Road
The Genius Hits the Road is a 1960 album by Ray Charles. The concept album focuses on songs written about various parts of the United States. It peaked at number nine on the pop album charts and produced a US #1 single, “Georgia on My Mind”.
8. Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music Volume Two
Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music Volume Two is a 1962 album by Ray Charles. It is the second volume of country and western recordings by Charles following his landmark debut on ABC Records. Following the surprising success of Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, an album of country music covers, which sold over a million copies, Charles and producer Sid Feller decided to do a follow-up. Unlike the previous album, where slow and fast tracks more or less alternated, this one features one side performed by the Ray Charles Big Band with the Raelettes, while the other side features a string section and the Jack Halloran Singers.
9. Genius Loves Company
Genius Loves Company is the final studio album by rhythm and blues and soul musician Ray Charles, posthumously released August 31, 2004, on Concord Records. Recording sessions for the album took place between June 2003 and March 2004. The album consists of rhythm and blues, soul, country, blues, jazz and pop standards performed by Charles and several guest musicians, such as Natalie Cole, Elton John, James Taylor, Norah Jones, B.B. King, Gladys Knight, Diana Krall, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson and Bonnie Raitt. Genius Loves Company was the last album recorded and completed by Charles before his death in June 2004.
10. Ray Charles
Ray Charles is the first release on LP by American pianist, vocalist, and band leader Ray Charles. Originally released in 1957 on Atlantic Records, it was re-released as Hallelujah I Love Her So, in 1962.