ARTIST: Blood, Sweat & Tears
TITLE: Blood, Sweat & Tears
YEAR RELEASED: 1968
CHART ACTION: #1 US, #15 UK
SINGLES: You’ve Made Me So Very Happy (#2 US, #35 UK), Spinning Wheel (#2 US), And When I Die (#2 US)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: God Bless the Child
LINEUP: David Clayton-Thomas, Lew Soloff, Bobby Colomby, Jim Fielder, Dick Halligan, Steve Katz, Fred Lipsius, Chuck Winfield, Jerry Hyman. Alan Rubin on one track.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Re-constituted band ditches a lot of the more outre jazz elements and adds in more rock and pop to garner hit records.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Al Kooper jumped or was pushed (I think the latter) and two other players left, and the ‘new’ Blood, Sweat & Tears debuted as more of a rock band with horns than anything. Sure they extended to some classical (with a piece by Erik Satie), and in “Blues, Pt.2” they really went out on a limb and bored everyone for 11 minutes.
Aside from those, you know the singles, and probably “God Bless the Child”. Their best attempt, I believe, is a version of Traffic’s “Smiling Phases” which showcases everyone without becoming bloated. Their “God Bless the Child” goes into a completely awkward direction halfway through.
This was more popular sure, but not better than the Kooper-led debut.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: This reached #1 in the album chart three times during 1969.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, a couple of live cuts.
GRADE: B-: When it’s good, it’s good. When it’s bad, it’s boring or overblown. Time to pick and choose your poisons.