Old Atlantic 3 CD Box set: Ray Charles "The Birth Of Soul", you should grab this one

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Dec 14, 2011.

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  1. Ramos Pinto

    Ramos Pinto New Member

    Southeast US
    I have this set and love it - it is far easier on the ear than the subsequent Rhino releases (which were compromised for loudness)
  2. Mal

    Mal Phorum Physicist

    ^ add "The Right Time" (aka "The Night Time Is The Right Time" to the list for this CD re-issue.
  3. PaulKTF

    PaulKTF Senior Member

    It's a shame this set went out of print. I'll never understand why that happened.
  4. dirtymac

    dirtymac Forum Resident

    Exile, MN

    To my ears, a big difference.
  5. dale 88

    dale 88 Errand Boy for Rhythm

    west of sun valley
    I found this set just a few years ago, and I love it.
  6. Hamhead

    Hamhead The Bear From Delaware

    Probably because Rhino brought out that big set.
    The 3-CD set is the bomb to me.

    Here's the original 1964 set that has the stereo tracks


    Tom Dowd told me the reason for the extreme separation is because of "phase cancellations in case if it's played in mono". If the LP is labeled "this album is avalable in stereo only", it should have been mixed better. The mono mixes are superior, I cherish my original black label Atlantic LP's.
  7. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    The mono mixes are not superior. Only a few (IMO) are, the rest of the monos are full of overload distortion, too much reverb and edited way too much. A few of the monos can not be listened to at all without cringing.

    The box set people made the right call in using the stereo versions but THE RIGHT TIME at the very least deserves to be heard in the powerful mono, if just to get Margie loud enough..

    Just my opinion, feel free to argue the point..
  8. jabrow75

    jabrow75 Forum Resident

    Southern Indiana
  9. Hamhead

    Hamhead The Bear From Delaware

    Yes sir! Crank it up and feel the spirit.
    I used to talk to Tom Dowd about that all the time "why is there so much distortion on the 50's Atlantic recordings". His answer, "I cranked up the levels to drown out the hiss on the 8-track machine". Some of the vocals are so distorted there unlegable (Coasters: The Shadow Knows & Drifters: Under The Boardwalk). I like the monos since the separation on that album is too extreme. I always wondered if that wooden furniture factory building that housed Atlantic's tape storage facility hadn't burnt down and those multitracks could get a proper mixdown. Since it did those mono and stereo mixes are all we have.
  10. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    I think Tom's "reason" for that wacky mix changed over the years.

    A friend (now sadly dead) told me that the reason those stereo mixes sound like that is in 1964, stereo meant STEREO, damn it. He put Ray in one speaker and the girls in the other to get that call and response thing happening and I'm sure it sounded great on a Magnavox console. In fact I'll try that one of these days..

    Distortion? I don't think Tom heard it. His Altec monitors weren't telling him any truth in all the years he used that accursed Ampex eight channel hiss-o-matic recorder...

    At any rate, I'd love to do that RAY "Great Hits Of Ray Charles On Eight Track Stereo" album for a Gold CD. Those stereo tapes could sound a LOT better with some actual midrange..
  11. apileocole

    apileocole Lush Life Gort

    The Birth of Soul is a great set. A keeper. :righton:

    I happen to enjoy the stereos, warts and all, except for I Believe To My Soul, which just doesn't sound like a finished mix to me, wonky or no. That one I think should have been mono, with the stereo perhaps as an extra track.

    Hi Mal. Add the mono of I'm Movin' On is also a bonus on the Rhino CD of Genius Hits the Road, itself a delightful CD which should be easy to find.
  12. Adam9

    Adam9 Senior Member

    I got this set quite some time ago, it's great and I really should listen to it more often but I can say this about a lot of music.
    SH Music forums have helped me discover so much great music in addition to getting the best-sounding issues of stuff I've always loved.
    I think I've posted this before, but this is one of the best uses ever of a classic track in a movie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmpMqa89wx8
  13. C6H12O6

    C6H12O6 Senior Member

    My lab
    I'll have to check again but I'm pretty sure the first disc of Rhino's Genius & Soul: the 50th Anniversary box set has:

    My Bonnie
    (Night Time Is) The Right Time
    What'd I Say Parts l & ll
    Tell The Truth
    I Believe To My Soul

    all in their original mono single mixes. For some reason this disc was mastered by Dan Hersch at DigiPrep while the remaining four were done by Doug Sax.

    fwiw, Genius & Soul is one of the nicest, most elegant box sets I've ever seen. It still uses a basic format, longbox with jewel cases and long booklet, but is very well designed. My favorite touches are the jewel boxes made with opaque plastic that's 'painted' like pianos and the braille in the booklet.
    daviddaniel likes this.
  14. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    Steve Innocenzi mastered lots of older Atlantic CDs as well.
  15. USAF Chief

    USAF Chief Forum Resident

    Dublin, OH
    I picked up the Uh-Huh 2 disc set...thanks for the tips guys.
  16. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Milwaukee, WI
    Blues + Jazz has the following tracks in mono (of the GHORCRO8TS tracks):

    Early In The Morning
    Night Time Is The Right Time
    I Believe To My Soul

    It also has the following tracks in stereo, which aren't on The Birth Of Soul:

    Two Years Of Torture
    Sweet Sixteen Bars
    X-Ray Blues
    Love On My Mind
    Bill For Bennie
    Hard Times (not the song subtitled "No One Knows Better Than I")
    Willow Weep For Me

    I don't have the liner notes in front of me at the moment, but several of those are not Ray Charles recordings per say, but rather recordings he is sitting in on.

    Back to the box, the stereo mix of I Believe To My Soul is a mild curiosity, but it makes the stereo mix of I Ain't Gonna Eat My Heart Out Anymore sound like a sonic miracle.
  17. NotebookWriter

    NotebookWriter Forum Resident

    I've had this set since around 1996, and it's among the most cherished titles in my collection. I always thought it sounded good, but I appreciate it even more these days. I think I paid between $40-50 CDN back then. Some people are asking a lot for it now, but you can still get it for a good price.
  18. apileocole

    apileocole Lush Life Gort

    Geez less than 1 year ago they were giving them away like crazy. Amazon (not marketplace) was selling the box for $15 new.

    Bought it when it came out so paid about $50 US. Good times...
  19. Ragu

    Ragu Forum Resident

    I agree, I think that set is underappreciated, a great career overview and a beautiful box.
  20. SBurke

    SBurke Nostalgia Junkie

    Philadelphia, PA
    Agreed. It's nice to have the "Pure Genius" box for the extra stuff, but the sound is suboptimal, too loud, too much treble, and some distortion. "Birth of Soul" beats it hands down IMO (and I'm not the type of guy who pays the closest attention to subtle mastering differences).
  21. Lespaul59

    Lespaul59 New Member

    I happen to prefer the stereo mix of What I'd Say.It's longer for one. Also, I think it captures the majesty of this piece the best. I have what I think is a German import CD of What I'd Say in its original MONO format (the album). Perhaps its the mastering (I can't be sure of which mastering it is, but it is definitely not over compressed like the Pure Genius Box), but the stereo version provided on the Birth of Soul set just epitomizes what it is What I'd Say should sound like. In the end though, maybe it's the audiophile in me, I think both versions should of been included in this set regardless of quality.

    In the end this is the definitive set of Ray Charles on Atlantic until Steve or MFSL gets their hands on it. After All, The Genius Sings The Blues is an incendiary sounding SACD.
  22. JuanTCB

    JuanTCB Senior Member

    Brooklyn, NY
    I just picked up Disc 3 of this set in the used bin about a month ago for $3.99. It most definitely does sound fantastic!

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid

    one can never have enough Ray Charles box sets! got this one and basically every other Ray box they've unleashed and all the DCC's and Rhino's and wow...he never fails to entertain me. I've even grabbed a few of his Itunes or digital only releases never on cd...put that guys catalog on random shuffle and you've got yourself one fine radio station...one that's got more tracks in rotation that your basic 21st century cookie cutter radio station on autopilot...

    now back to some "Sticks and Stones"...

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid

    I have this set as well as the 3 cd longbox being discussed...what you've got here is another 5 discs of materials to be "wow'd" by...now the sound isn't quite as relaxed/amazing as the 3 cd set...but it sounds very good to my ears..hotter and brighter, but nothing horrific about it...

    but if you've got a Santa looking to buy you something sweet to have, look no further...this 8 disc box set (one's a dvd) for $80 is worth having...for the contents and the packaging...very sweet piece that will someday soon i predict be oop...
  25. Sandinista

    Sandinista Forum Resident

    Steve, thanks for reminding me of this. It's been forgotten on my shelf for years. No more!
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