The Big Beat of Dave Bartholomew: 20 of His Milestone Productions 1949-1960

Dave Bartholomew

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The Big Beat of Dave Bartholomew: 20 of His Milestone Productions 1949-1960 Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

The last time EMI/Capitol's reissue division prepared a large reissue series of Imperial's rich catalog of New Orleans R&B it was in the early '90s, and Dave Bartholomew was given a generous double-disc set that showcased his productions, songwriting, and performing. That set was used as the basis for 2002's The Big Beat of Dave Bartholomew, a single-disc, 20-track collection (released as part of EMI/Capitol's Crescent City Soul series) that does the job of that double-disc somewhat better, largely because of its conciseness. With only 20 tracks to work with, the compilers are forced to put the best of the hits and cult favorites on one disc, and the results are dynamite. Apart from Smiley Lewis' hit "One Night" and Bartholomew's record-collector favorites "The Monkey" and "That's How You Got Killed Before," there aren't that many acknowledged classics here -- there are songs better known by other performers (Smiley Lewis and Fats Domino's "I Hear You Knocking" and "Blue Monday" are performed by the respective other artist, Bobby Mitchell's "I'm Gonna Be a Wheel Someday" is better known by Fats), but much of this is known primarily to fanatics of the scene, and it's great that they're given an airing such as this. Perhaps there aren't songs that should have been hits, but many of these songs stand as excellent sides from the peak of New Orleans R&B and any serious collector should pick this disc up -- even if they already own The Spirit of New Orleans.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Dave Bartholomew feat: Chris Kenner 02:31 Amazon
2 Dave Bartholomew 02:29 Amazon
3 Dave Bartholomew feat: Smiley Lewis 02:42 Amazon
4 Dave Bartholomew 02:22 Amazon
5 Dave Bartholomew feat: Bobby Mitchell 02:27 Amazon
6 Dave Bartholomew 02:39 Amazon
7 Dave Bartholomew feat: Fats Domino 01:52
8 Dave Bartholomew 02:06 Amazon
9 Dave Bartholomew feat: The Bees 02:22 Amazon
10 Dave Bartholomew feat: The Spiders 02:37 Amazon
11 Dave Bartholomew feat: Shirley & Lee 02:18 Amazon
12 Dave Bartholomew 02:15 Amazon
13 Dave Bartholomew feat: Jewel King 02:35 Amazon
14 Dave Bartholomew feat: Smiley Lewis 02:13
15 Dave Bartholomew feat: Archibald 02:32 Amazon
16 Dave Bartholomew 02:33 Amazon
17 Dave Bartholomew feat: Smiley Lewis 02:27 Amazon
18 Dave Bartholomew 02:50
19 Dave Bartholomew feat: Tommy Ridgley 03:04 Amazon
20 Dave Bartholomew 02:24 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick