Studio album twenty in the career of Ray Stevens was a rather obscure release. The LP was issued in the latter half of 1983 as his debut album for one of his former homes, Mercury Records. Ray had been on the Mercury label during 1961-1963 and it was the label credited with turning Ray into a successful recording artist and session musician. Ray's comeback LP for the label was titled Me...and it's cover art shown Ray as a painter, looking at himself in a mirror, while at the same time painting a very different image of himself. I took the cover shot to mean that underneath the clown-like reputation beats the heart of a very serious artist. As you can see from the cover shot, the entire front of the album is designed as a picture frame.
However, upon the official parting of ways with Mercury at some point in mid 1984, Ray returned to the studio and began working on a brand new album...one that would hit late in 1984, on yet another record label...but this particular LP would change the commercial direction in his career tremendously and set in motion a string of remarkable successes. In our next installment we take a look at studio album twenty-one and the career decisions that kick started an entirely different direction in his career!