CD The Ballads of Charlie Rich [Digipak] (CD 6265243),
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The Ballads of Charlie Rich [Digipak]

  • 1. School Days [Undubbed]
    2. My Heart Cries for You [Undubbed]
    3. Apple Blossom Time
    4. Time and Again
    5. Who Will the Next Fool Be
    6. Stay
    7. It's Too Late [Undubbed]
    8. Now Everybody Knows
    9. Unchained Melody
    10. Sittin' and Thinkin'
    11. Juanita [Undubbed]
    12. Ain't It a Shame
    13. I'm Making Plans
    14. I Said Baby
    15. How Blue Can You Be
    16. There Won't Be Anymore
    17. Every Day
    18. Loneliest Days, The
    19. I Need Your Love
    20. Don't Put No Headstone on My Grave
    21. Stay
    22. We Belong to Each Other
    23. It Hurt Me So
    24. Cloud Nine
    25. River, Stay Away from My Door
    26. Tomorrow Night
    27. Let Me Go My Merry Way
    28. Why, Oh Why
    29. I Don't See Me in Your Eyes Anymore
    30. Share Your Love with Me
    31. A Field of Yellow Daisies
    32. No Home
    33. Best Years, The
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 16516

  • Credits
    ProducerChet Atkins; Jack Clement; Sam Phillips; Jerry Kennedy; Scotty Moore; Bill Justis; Charlie Rich; Hank Davis (Reissue)

    Liner Note Author: Hank Davis.
    Illustrators: Colin Escott; R.A. Andreas; Hank Davis.
    Photographers: Colin Escott; R.A. Andreas; Hank Davis.
    Germany's Bear Family is arguably the finest label in the world when it comes to reissues of seminal figures in country, blues, early rock & roll, and even Deutsch music. Along with their lavish, exhaustively annotated and compiled box sets, they issue single-disc compilations that are of equal quality. This single-disc set in its Ballads series complements two other releases by Charlie Rich on the imprint, Charlie Rocks and the box set Lonely Weekends: The Best of the Sun Years, 1958-1962. There are a whopping 33 cuts here, ranging from the original ballads cut for Sun, RCA, and Mercury's Smash labels between 1958 and 1966. On the surface, it would seem that everything here has appeared in one form or another in other compilations issued since Rich's death in 1995. But many of these tracks, at least in this form, have never been released before or were issued on unofficial recordings. All of the tracks here contain original studio versions or demos, before there were overdubs added. This is especially true of the RCA material, when large groups of backing singers and strings were added to Rich's takes ad nauseam. Some of the demos have noticeable mistakes, not necessarily on the part of Rich, but in his rhythm sections -- though to be fair there are a few by him as well. Check this alternate version of "Don't Put No Headstone on My Grave," originally issued by Sun. The take included here is damned by the rhythm section trying to play a slap-bass rockabilly version of the blues that just doesn't come close to the hard gospel-styled rhythm & blues in Rich's vocal and piano. They lag behind in their timing and then they do manage to be on time, but they are stiff. That said, Rich's singing is chilling and deeply emotive, even in the higher register where his voice cracks. His version of "Unchained Melody" is another awe-inspiring piece here and an unissued Sun alternate. One could go on and on with track picks, but it's the entire set that matters. Taken as a whole, it's a genuine revelation to anyone who's never heard anything but the Columbia material, and even for fans this is one of the most satisfying collections of his work out there -- as well as the only one that focuses exclusively on ballads. ~ Thom Jurek

  • Critic Reviews
    Record Collector (magazine) (p.94) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "You can get hooked on Rich's way with a ballad because the way he tells it is as compulsive as what he has to say..."
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