About Chicago/The Blues/Today! (Pure Pleasure) by Various Artists:
In early 1966, blues history was made with the issuance of a three-volume set of new recordings produced by blues historian Samuel Charters. This series was known as "Chicago/The Blues/Today!" and the release sent shock waves through the world of rock & roll. Every artist on the three volumes had recorded before (some, like Otis Rush and Junior Wells, had actually seen small hits on the R&B charts), but these recordings were largely their introduction to a newer -- and predominately white -- album-oriented audience. These recordings have stayed in print and have been reasonably good sellers over the years since their original release, all coming out on compact disc. This new packaging puts all three volumes together, but with no bonus tracks, as no extras were recorded for these sessions.
A plus in the new packaging, is that it features a nice booklet with detailed, updated notes from Charters, a nice appreciation from Ed Ward, and absolutely eye-boggling session photos taken by Charters' wife, Ann. Even if you still have the original vinyl or CDs, this is one of the times when it would be best to spend the dough and add this one to your collection, because blues records seldom come as important, innovative, or just plain pleasurable to listen to as this set. File under 'essential'.
- J.B. Hutto
- Junior Wells
- Otis Spann
- Otis Rush
- Jimmy Cotton
- Johnny Shines Blues Band
- Johnny Young's South Side Blues Band
- Homesick James
- and Big Walter Horton's Blues Harp Band with Memphis Charlie Musselwhite
Recording: 1965 at RCA Studios, Chicago
Production: Samuel Chartersdeutsch
Format: 3LPs 33rpm / Box, booklet
About Pure Pleasure
At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Pure Pleasure all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.
During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s – or employed existent tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.
A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.
We should like to emphasize that Pure Pleasure Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle.
We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.
To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.