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The Ballads of Charlie Rich

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/22/2009
  • Label: Bear Family
  • UPC: 790051651626
  • Catalog Number: 16516
  • Sales rank: 208,427

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Charlie Rich Primary Artist, Piano, Leader, Vocals
Ed Bruce Guitar
Ray Stevens Leader
Scotty Moore Guitar
Anita Kerr Choir, Chorus
Martin Katahn Cello
Will Ackerman Organ
Byron Bach Cello, Viola
George Binkley III Violin
Kenny Buttrey Drums
Ray Edenton Guitar
Fred Ford Tenor Saxophone
Buddy Harman Drums
Wayne Moss Guitar
Floyd Newman Saxophone
Louis Dean Nunley Choir, Chorus
Billy Lee Riley Bass
Brock Speer Choir, Chorus
Henry Strzelecki Bass
Brad Suggs Guitar
Jerry Tuttle Organ
J.M. Van Eaton Drums
Cecil Brower Violin
Dorothy Ann Dillard Choir, Chorus
Al Jackson Jr. Drums
Sid Manker Guitar
Robert W. Stevenson Bass
Faye Thompson Choir, Chorus
Elbert Raymond "Dutch" McMillin Saxophone
Solie Isaac Fott Violin
Jerry Reed Hubbard Guitar
Martin Willis Tenor Saxophone
William Guilford Wright Jr. Choir, Chorus
Kenneth Goldsmith Violin
Velma E. Williams Smith Guitar
Harvey Wolfe Cello
James Wilkerson Drums
Walter L. "Hank Sugarfoot" Garland Guitar
Howard Ralph Carpenter Violin, Viola
Sidney Maker Guitar
Cecil Lee Tanner Violin
Thomas Grady Martin Guitar
Homer Louis "Boots" Randolph III Saxophone
Brenton Bolden Banks Violin
Floyd T. Lightnin' Chance Bass
Bob L. Moore Bass
Lillian Vann Hunt Violin
Charles R. "Charlie" McCoy Guitar, Harmonica
Robert McGhee Bass
Kelton D. "Kelso" Herston Guitar
James L. Hall Choir, Chorus
Technical Credits
Chet Atkins Producer
Charlie Rich Composer, Producer
Percy Faith Composer
Bill Justis Composer, Producer
Scotty Moore Producer
Jack Clement Producer
Colin Escott Illustrations
Jerry Kennedy Producer
Alex North Composer
Carl Sigman Composer
Hy Zaret Composer
Sam Phillips Producer
Don Bowman Composer
R.A. Andreas Illustrations
Sam Coslow Composer
Mort Dixon Composer
Will Grosz Composer
Andreas Merck Photo Scanning
Marcus Heumann Mastering
Hank Davis Liner Notes, Reissue Producer, Illustrations, Tape Research, Biographical Information
Tilzer Composer
Callendar Composer
BRAGGS Composer
Harry M. Woods Composer
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