Final Note (Until It’s Crying Time) On Ray Charles

I know Ray’s Columbia releases are a speckled mess. I could go through why I kept free Ray Charles LPs (which I would have considered miracle gifts in my late teens), speckles and all (c’mon, you gotta go with the personnel on Just Between Us in 1988). But there’s (part) of one release I feel strongly about. It got lost because it came out after the ehh-meh-wha? of Wish You Were Here Tonight, a dull country-Ray recycle.

…Do I Ever Cross Your Mind  (1984, Columbia — never reissued as shit) is yes, another country recycle, but the first side of the LP succeeds as well as the latest Boz Scaggs at accomplishing what the previous release intended: making the dreams of yesterday unfold in today.

Then the second side starts with three snores right out of Wish You Were Here and kicks up the finale with “Workin’ Man’s Woman” and “I Was on Georgia Time.” Yeh, yeh, it’s the performances rather than the songwriter than make the last two (probably part of his publishing-company factory line).

Anyway, for what it’s worth, according to me, if you put those eight tracks together, you have a beautiful sequence of late-period Genius.

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