Blood, Sweat & Tears – Blood, Sweat & Tears

ARTIST: Blood, Sweat & Tears     220px-bst_cover

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.

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