Today, Concord Records has released the iconic Ray Charles albums Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music Volumes 1 & 2.
These have been remastered and are available on streaming platforms for the first time. There is also a “deluxe edition,” which includes both volumes released on 180g vinyl, also for the first time. Purchase these HERE.
These titles are some of the most treasured albums in music history. Critics are raving about the new release of Modern Sounds:
“…one of the most interesting and brash albums of its time…Charles selected songs he could attack with utter mastery in big, bold, horn-driven arrangements, and his interpretations underscore the durability and power of the songs…” NPR MUSIC
“…revolutionary, cutting across racial barriers as well as those of musical taste, appealing to virtually every audience regardless of bias. Over a half-century after their release, these sides justify Brother Ray’s sobriquet of ‘The Genius.’” ***** MOJO (UK)
“…these two volumes of Modern Sounds in Country and Western remain required listening for Americana fans and their reappearance is worth celebrating.” **** American Songwriter
“There will never be another Ray Charles. He sounds just as amazing as he did 55-56 years ago. This is music one can’t revisit too often.” Glide
“The recording has become so revered over the years, it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and has been given credit for being one of the most influential records in history, especially for spreading the love of country music throughout popular culture.” Saving Country Music
In Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Mr. Charles reworked some of his favorite songs including “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” “You Don’t Know Me,” and “Born to Lose.” His record company was, at first, taken aback by Charles’ challenge to musical convention. The album’s integration of soul and country music at the height of the civil rights movement overcame racial barriers in popular music, and simultaneoulsy gave country music far broader exposure that it had ever enjoyed.
The album was a blockbuster commercial success, spending 14 weeks atop the Billboard Pop Albums Chart in 1962 and becoming the first country album in history to achieve Gold record status, which naturally led to a sequel, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music Volume Two.
In addition, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will be celebrating the releases with a panel entitled Ray Charles: Still Modern. The panel takes place on February 23, and details can be found here.