Recorded from September 11, 1952 - February 18, 1959, What’d I Say was one of the first soul albums ever released. “Brother Ray” pioneered the genre by combining blues, R&B, and gospel styles on his singles for Atlantic Records. What’d I Say was his first gold record, a precursor to his later crossover success in the R&B and pop genres. The title track was improvised to fill time one evening in 1958, and the response was so enthusiastic that Charles immediately decided to record it. Combining elements of gospel and rhumba music with sexual innuendo, the track was controversial with audiences to start, but was performed as the closing track for nearly every concert Charles performed after its release. “What’d I Say” is swinging piano lines, skittering percussion, and stomping drums, decorated with Charles’ classic screams and howls. “You Be My Baby” is spoken lyrics with jubilant brass, “What Kind Of Man Are You” is a piano stomper with hissing snares and dramatic backing vocals. This LP is pressed on black vinyl, and features newly remastered monaural audio.
- black mono vinyl pressing
- music label: Atlantic 2019
reviewed by I.F. SVENONIUS 06/2019