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Posted October 1, 2010
An essential collection for the Ray Price fan
Any serious fan of honky tonk country music recognizes the contributions made by Ray Price, the artist who literally defined the genre. This set is remarkable in that, by listening chronologically, you can hear how Ray's career progressed over the years. And let's don't forget all the important musicians--names like Tommy Jackson, Jimmy Day, Joe Zinkan, Pete Wade, and Floyd Cramer, as well as those more familiar names noted in the bn.com review--who are often overlooked but who played a major role in making this music successful. The included book highlights these people, in addition to giving a session-by-session account of Ray's recording career, and it is fantastic. A major gripe I have with this set is that in their zeal to provide stereo reissues, on several key cuts (such as ''Heartaches by the Number'' and ''The Same Old Me'') the Bear Family engineers lost Ray's overdubbed hamony vocal, which in most cases is crucial to the sound of the recording! This is a glaring error which keeps me from giving this set the full five stars. Nevertheless, that's only a problem on very few of the over 200 cuts here, and the set is, overall, wonderful.
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