November 25, 2008

Ray Stevens: 1983 Greatest Hits

This album was issued by RCA in 1983. I have written about it before but I wanted to write about it again. It contained only two RCA songs with the rest pulled from previous years from the Monument and Barnaby labels. What you see from left to right are the back and front of the album. As mentioned, the RCA album only featured two songs Ray recorded during his RCA stay and it's made me wonder if this hits collection was issued as part of Ray's recording contract? Some artists have contracts, they say, that dictate a "greatest hits" collection is to be released at some point and going by that sort of thing, I wonder if RCA issued this on Ray out of contractual obligations because the label could have featured a bit more RCA material than they did.

Here is the song list for the 1983 album...

Shriner's Convention; 1980 RCA
Ahab the Arab; 1969 Monument
The Streak; 1974 Barnaby
Everything Is Beautiful; 1970 Barnaby
Mr Businessman; 1968 Monument
The Moonlight Special; 1974 Barnaby
Misty; 1975 Barnaby
Gitarzan; 1969 Monument
Freddie Feelgood; 1966 Monument
The Dooright Family; 1980 RCA

It's quite an impressive list of songs...that's for sure...and while it features the hit single "Shriner's Convention" and the hilarious "Dooright Family", both from 1980, it lacks the other hit singles Ray had for RCA, which remains a mystery. It's missing "Night Games", a hit from late 1980 plus the hit "One More Last Chance" from 1981 and the two hits from 1982 "Where The Sun Don't Shine" and "Written Down In My Heart".

If RCA would have put those four songs on the 1983 collection in addition to "Shriner's Convention" and "The Dooright Family", it would've contained six RCA recordings, making it RCA-heavy, which would have made more sense due to the album being issued on RCA, after all...

This version of Greatest Hits features 10 great Ray Stevens recordings and the collection was released during Ray's final year with the RCA.

Click image below for super-sized Ray...


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