GENIUS LOVES COMPANY 10TH ANNIVERSARY Vinyl Record
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Genius Loves Company is the last studio album Ray Charles completed before his death in June 2004. Prior to this, the last studio album he released was Strong Love Affair in 1996, which was a stab at modern pop, filled with new songs and given an adult contemporary sheen. It was not one of his most distinctive efforts, even when judged against his latter-day albums, and it disappeared not long after it's release. Charles left Warner and, years later, signed with Concord, who released Genius Loves Company, which had a decidedly different approach than the all-modern Strong Love Affair. As the title acknowledges with a wink, this is a duets album, which may be a little commonplace as far as latter-day superstar albums go but is still a step up from his previous studio album since it puts Ray Charles in a comfortable, relaxed situation that plays to his strengths. Instead of trying to put Charles in a modern setting, producers John Burk and Phil Ramone (Burk helmed seven of the album's tracks, Ramone is responsible for the other five, and their work fits together seamlessly) go for a clean retro setting with a few guitars, synths, and a rhythm section, occasionally dressing it with an orchestra or some strings. In other words, apart from the glistening production, it's not far removed from any of Charles' crossover records from the '60s, and he's also given a strong set of songs, largely familiar pop classics, from "Fever" and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" to "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" and "Crazy Love." His duet partners are fairly predictable - classy newcomers like Norah Jones and Diana Krall, but also old stalwarts like Elton John, B.B. King, Johnny Mathis, James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, and the ubiquitous Willie Nelson (who has never sounded older than he does here on "It Was a Very Good Year") - but they're also reliable, never overshadowing Ray yet never shrinking in his shadow either; in short, it sounds more like a real duets album than most superstar duet records.
Here We Go Again with Norah Jones
Sweet Potato Pie with James Taylor
You Don't Know Me with Diana Krall
Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word with Elton John
Fever with Natalie Cole
Do I Ever Cross Your Mind? with Bonnie Raitt
It Was A Very Good Year with Willie Nelson
Hey Girl with Michael McDonald
Sinner's Prayer with B.B. King
Heaven Help Us All with Gladys Knight
Over The Rainbow with Johnny Mathis
Crazy Love with Van Morrison
Each record is protected within its record sleeve by a white vellum anti-dust sleeve.
All items are shipped brand-new and unopened in original packaging. Every record is shipped in original factory-applied shrink wrap and has never been touched by human hands.