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I Hear You Knocking (Pure Pleasure)Dave Bartholomew has often been quoted to the effect that Smiley Lewis was a »bad luck singer«, because he never sold more than 100,000 copies of his Imperial singles. In retrospect, Lewis was a lucky man in many respects - he enjoyed stellar support from New Orleans' ace sessioneers at Cosimo's, benefited from top-flight material and production (by Bartholomew), and left behind a legacy of marvelous Crescent City R&B. We're lucky he was there, that's for sure.
Born with the unwieldy handle of Overton Lemons, Lewis hit the Big Easy in his mid-teens, armed with a big, booming voice and some guitar skills. He played clubs in the French Quarter, often with pianist Tuts Washington (and sometimes billed as 'Smiling' Lewis).
As the New Orleans R&B sound developed rapidly during the early '50s, so did Lewis. He scored his first national hit in 1952 with The Bells Are Ringing, but enjoyed his biggest sales in 1955 with the exultant I Hear You Knocking (its immortal piano solo courtesy of Huey Smith). Here's where that alleged bad luck rears its head - pop chanteuse Gale Storm swiped his thunder for any pop crossover possibilities with her ludicrous whitewashed cover of the plaintive ballad.
- Smiley Lewis (guitar, vocal)
Recording: At Cosimo's (New Orleans)
Production: Dave Bartholomew
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.1. Bells Are Ringing
2. Standing on the Corner
3. Blue Monday
4. Down the Road
5. Lost Weekend
6. Real Gone Lover
7. Bumpity Bump
8. I Hear You Knocking
9. I Can't Believe It
10. Hey Girl
11. One Night
12. Nothing But the Blues$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl Mono LP - Sealed Buy Now