Get the Best of Ray Stevens is a 20-track collection of previously recorded songs by Ray Stevens, released in 1987 by MCA Records. All of the songs featured on the recording had been previously released as singles. The versions of certain songs on this compilation are not original recordings or the most popular versions; "Gitarzan" is the album version that begins with cheering and applauding of an audience; "Harry the Hairy Ape" and "Ahab the Arab" are re-recordings that Stevens made for his album Gitarzan; "Freddie Feelgood (And His Funky Little Five-Piece Band)" is the album version from Gitarzan that contains audience noises; "Furthermore" is a re-recording of Stevens' 1962 song of the same name.

The album mistakenly says that "Harry the Hairy Ape" is provided through the courtesy of Mercury Records, but the version of the song is actually through the courtesy of Barnaby Records.

The front of the album cover shows Stevens being taunted by two clowns outside his private dressing room. Stevens has a black eye and smokes a cigar that has a stick of dynamite inserted inside and has a "kick me" sign on his left side. One clown has a pie in his hand, while the other bends down behind Stevens and aims a gun that has a bang sign at the end of it. Next to Stevens' door, there is a chair with a whoopee cushion on it. Publicity for this collection included numerous advertisements in newspapers and magazines of the day plus a television commercial where Stevens played out various parts of the included songs. This was several years before he would revolutionize the home video industry and explore the profitability of music videos in 1992.

Track listing[edit]Edit

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Misty"   Erroll GarnerJohnny Burke
2. "Mr. Businessman"   Ray Stevens
3. "Shriner's Convention"   Ray Stevens
4. "Can He Love You Half as Much as I"   C.W. Kalb, Jr.
5. "Turn Your Radio On"   Albert E. Brumley
6. "Gitarzan"   Ray Stevens, Bill Everette
7. "The Ballad of the Blue Cyclone"   Glenn SuttonLarry Cheshier
8. "Jeremiah Peabody's Poly Unsaturated Quick Dissolving Fast Acting Pleasant Tasting Green and Purple Pills"   Ray Stevens
9. "Along Came Jones"   Jerry LeiberMike Stoller
10. "Freddie Feelgood (And His Funky Little Five-Piece Band)"   Ray Stevens
11. "The Mississippi Squirrel Revival"   C.W. Kalb, Jr., Carlene Kalb
12. "In the Mood"   Joe GarlandAndy Razaf
13. "Furthermore"   Ray Stevens
14. "I Need Your Help Barry Manilow"   Dale Gonyea
15. "The Haircut Song"   Mike Neun, Ray Stevens, C.W. Kalb, Jr.
16. "The Streak"   Ray Stevens
17. "Harry the Hairy Ape"   Ray Stevens
18. "It's Me Again Margaret"   Paul Craft
19. "Ahab the Arab"   Ray Stevens
20. "Everything Is Beautiful"   Ray Stevens

Album credits[edit]Edit

  • "Misty," "Mr. Businessman," "Turn Your Radio On," "Gitarzan," "Along Came Jones," "Freddie Feelgood (And His Funky Little Five-Piece Band)," "The Streak," "Harry the Hairy Ape," "Ahab the Arab," and "Everything Is Beautiful" - courtesy of Barnaby Records, Inc.
  • "Shriner's Convention" - courtesy of RCA Records
  • "Jeremiah Peabody's Poly Unsaturated Quick Dissolving Fast Acting Pleasant Tasting Green and Purple Pills" - courtesy of Mercury Records
  • "In the Mood" - courtesy of Warner Bros. Records, Inc.
  • Mastered by: Glenn Meadows at Masterfonics using the JVC Digital Audio Mastering System
  • Digital Editing by: Milan Bogdan
  • Design: Ray Stevens and Slick Lawson
  • Photo: Slick Lawson
  • Album Graphics: Barnes and Company

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