Dave Edmunds – I Hear You Knocking

29th November 1970 · 1970, 1970s, Music

Dave Edmunds had his second hit in a year, topping the 1970 charts for six weeks with this lovingly crafted cover of a vintage 1950s rhythm’n’blues standard, I Hear You Knocking.

I’d already heard Dave Edmunds when this song topped the charts in November 1970. I just didn’t know he’d been the virtuoso guitarist in The Love Sculpture, who had a hit with the hectic instrumental Sabre Dance a couple of years earlier.

After that, Edmunds set about making meticulous recreations of 1950s RnB records at Rockfield studio in his native Wales. Unlike most of his self-penned hommages to the era of Sun, Chess and Phil Spector, this one was a cover version of a song first written by bandleader David Bartholemew and first recorded by New Orleans singer Smiley Lewis in 1955.

That version was used by Martin Scorsese on the soundtrack of the 2019 film The Irishman. Edmunds came across it on his car radio in the late Sixties, when he was producing Shakin’ Stevens. It was also covered by Fats Domino in 1958.

Edmunds achieved the distinctive crackling quality of the vocals by recording them down a telephone line to emphasise the vintage sound of the recording, on which he also played all the instruments.

He went on to have loads of other hits over the next two decades, both on his own and with his band Rockpile, who included Nick Lowe, Terry Williams and Billy Bremner. He also produced pub rock favourites Ducks Deluxe and Brinsley Schwarz as well as albums by The Flamin’ Groovies, Stray Cats, Everly Brothers, Fabulous Thunderbirds – and, less typically, kd lang’s debut.