Ray Charles The Atlantic Years In Mono on 180g 7LP Box Set
If the music industry ever had a soul music visionary, that person was Ray Charles. Ray helped integrate American music by creating a space for gospel-infused R&B music on pop radio. He was Atlantic Record's most beloved R&B superstar and would go on to influence legions of musicians and fans throughout the years. A charismatic musician, songwriter and producer, Charles helped define soul music as both a new musical genre and an instrument for social change in American culture.
By 1952, Ahmet Ertegun, founder of Atlantic Records, bought Charles' recording contract from Swing Time for $3000. This unprecedented bargain solidified the beginning of a longstanding relationship between Charles and the label. While on Atlantic, Charles experienced much commercial success. In 1955, he achieved his first #1 single "I Got a Woman." This success would be followed by other chart topping releases such as "This Little Girl of Mine," "The Night Time (Is the Right Time)" and "What'd I Say."
Though Ray had proven to be a stellar recording artist, he was more than a piano-playing marvel. He helped usher in a new sound that would eventually be known as R&B. According to Jerry Wexler, an Atlantic Records executive and producer, Charles' gospel roots helped him compose songs that were perceived as gospel music to "the devil's words." Though controversial at the time, this new sound would ignite popular culture and influence the youth of America, changing the fabric of race relations in the process. Charles had effectively taken the music of the underworld, consecrated it and made it safe for mainstream consumption. These were the beginnings of the soul music revolution.
Fortunately, Atlantic Records and its pioneering fathers had the foresight to partner with an artist like Ray Charles to bring soul to the world, the soul hidden at the core of American society. And now they honor that legacy with the new 180g 7LP box set Ray Charles The Atlantic Years In Mono, which collects the studio albums he recorded for Atlantic between 1952 and 1959, available for the first time since the 1960s in glorious mono.
As Grammy winning music writer David Ritz proclaims, "These are the historic years of his creative explosion, the time when he reinvented himself as a musical revolutionary. These records will live forever."
• 180-gram 7LP box set
• Featuring the Atlantic Records albums The Great Ray Charles, Ray Charles, Yes Indeed!, The Genius of Ray Charles, What'd I Say, The Genius After Hours & The Genius Sings the Blues
• All fully remastered in mono
• Packaged in an elegant cloth-bound box
• Includes 12" x 12" 28-page booklet with period photos by Lee Friedlander & liner notes by Grammy-winning writer David Ritz