100 Greatest Albums of All Time
From ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ to ‘The Doors’ make it to the ROLLING STONE list
54. The Birth of Soul: The Complete Atlantic Recordings, Ray Charles, Atlantic, 1991
Soul music is a blend of the holy and the filthy: gospel and blues rubbing up against each other. And Ray Charles was just about the first person to perfect that mix. Charles was knocking aroundSeattlewhenAtlanticbought out his contract in 1952. For the next seven years, he turned out brilliant singles such as “What’d I Say” and “I Got a Woman,” which was a takeoff on a gospel tune, “It Must Be Jesus.” He was inventing the sound of ecstasy, three minutes at a time. This box collects every R&B side he cut forAtlantic, though his swinging take on “My Bonnie” will have you thinking it covers his Atlantic jazz output as well.