Jeffree I. from WEST, TX Reviewed on 10/16/2012...
Michael F. from BURKE, VA Reviewed on 3/6/2007...
Another album to turn heads and make people wonder
29-year old wallflower | West Lafayette, IN | 11/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"At the beginning of 1969, the psychedelic movement was dying down. The social turmoil of the previous year was already seeming to hint that not all was fine and dandy with the situation at hand. While some bands took the time out to address the upheaval, a few barely bothered to acknowledge it and instead just made some great experimental music typical of the time. Blood, Sweat & Tears was one of these bands. After firing Al Kooper, who had virtually founded the band himself, the remaining members recruited vocalist David Clayton-Thomas, and a totally different dynamic was taken for their self-titled second album. Horns were used throughout CHILD IS FATHER TO THE MAN, no doubt, but they weren't the primary focus, that being Al Kooper's organ. This time around, the horn section is used almost on the level a lead guitar would be used in a regular rock band. And the material they use is equally mind-blowing. Not afraid to cover the most unusual sources, BS&T manage to take Traffic's "Smiling Phases", Billie Holliday's "God Bless The Child", Laura Nyro's "And When I Die" and Brenda Holloway's "You've Made Me So Very Happy" and turn the originals inside-out to the point that BS&T actually own the songs now. Kooper may not have agreed with the new music being made, but the omnipresent organ that was all throughout CHILD is still a big part of this album, which I guess explains why Kooper's version of the band is often overlooked as if it didn't even exist. Unlike CHILD, BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS was pretty much the THRILLER of 1969, topping the charts for weeks on end, spawning 3 #2 hits which should have been #1's, and going platinum before platinum was even an official designation. But like Kooper's BS&T, long-running success was not to be. With 8 members in the band, differences were bound to erupt, and while they did manage to hold out a little longer (for two more albums), this album was rather the beginning of the end for BS&T, rather than the beginning of a new era, which it damn well should have been. It still ranks as one of the most original and breathtaking statements popular music has ever made."
AN OVER-AMBITIOUS REMASTERING JOB
BOB | LOS ANGELES, CA | 10/02/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
This is a rare remastering failure from Columbia/Legacy.
The overall gain of the recording has been raised to the point where the background hiss of the original master tape is far too audible. As a result, the cymbals and horns are also annoyingly harsh and sibilant.
This recording is a masterwork which deserves better. For those who wish to hear this work in proper form, seek out the Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs version. Now that MFSL has re-emerged from bankruptcy, that title is now commercially available again at the original reasonable retail price, right here on Amazon.
I am not an advocate of buying only MFSL titles vs. recently remastered CD's available from the record companies. I have A-B'd dozens of older MFSL titles, most which were mastered in the 80's or mid-90's, against remasters produced in the last five years. In almost all cases, IMHO, the advances of remastering technology in the past five years supercedes much of the older MFSL work. The comparisons were performed on two Sony XA7ES players run digital out thru a Camelot Uther DAC.
However, I've always held the opinion that the MFSL version of this title was one of the best MFSL CD's ever. It certainly is superior to this Columbia/Legacy remastered version.
I feel bad about having to post this, because, by and large, Legacy has done an amazing and laudable job of leading the industry in sonically updating the rich Columbia catalog (the bean counters at wretched Warner Brothers should take note). This is one title, however, where they just missed the target.
The MFSL title is going to cost you 3X of the Legacy version. However, this is one area where you don't need to have tens of thousands of dollars invested in high-end audio equipment for the difference to be stark and immediately noticeable. If you indeed have an affection for this wonderful work, buy the MFSL. It is a much more warmer, pleasant audio experience, where this CD is just too harsh.
You won't be sorry."
For the Ages
Kurt Harding | Boerne TX | 07/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I picked this up recently along with some other CDs from a bargain bin at one of my favorite record stores. I hadn't listened to Blood, Sweat and Tears in years, I remembered them as a very decent horn-based band but had never been a real big fan. Then I put the CD in the changer.
Oh my lord, how much greater this sounds today than when I was a teen! From the classical "Variations on a Theme" to all the great songs sandwiched between the two takes on that, I was in heaven. BS & T's top 40 songs are some of the few top 40 songs I will listen to, but it is the incredibly suave rendition of God Bless The Child that catapults this band to greatness and makes the CD a must-have.
Singer David Clayton-Thomas was one of the best of his day, and its really too bad that he and his band did not stick around long enough to produce more gems but instead drifted into undeserved obscurity.
Blood, Sweat and Tears was a good album when it was first issued but with its reissue remastered, it is now an album for the ages."
BS&T Avoid The Sophomore Jinx
marleyscott | Long Island, NY | 09/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a big Al Kooper fan, I was gonzo over BS&T's first release, Child Is Father To Man. That album combined a solid rhythem section, great R&B keyboads by Kooper and an outstanding horn section. More than any other jazz/rock fusion band BS&T, set the standard and influnced the sound of Electric Flag and Chicago and even predated the funky LA based Tower of Power.Unfortunately, the chemistry was not to last. Gone was Kooper and his keyboard wizadry, to be replaced by David Clayton Thomas. With their new frontman and a more eclectic sound, BS&T were now incorporating swing, funk, classical and pyschedelic elements and were ready to conquer the rock world. And conquer they did. Blood Sweat & Tears, their self titled second effort sat on top of the album charts for fifteen consecutive weeks. No small feat, in an era that produced the likes of Electric Ladyland, Begger's Banquet, Wheels of Fire and The Soft Parade.Success, however was fleeting. BS&T were able to avoid the sophomore jinx, by topping Chid Is father To Man. They even managed to survive the loss of Kooper and regroup, seemingly with ease behind Clayton Thomas. But succsessive efforts never achieved the same level of greatness. The new remastering and additional cuts make both Blood Sweat & Tears and Child is Father To Man essential relistening."
One for the ages
pspa | Boston, MA USA | 02/28/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This great masterpiece defies categorization. It has clear classical roots, with themes derived from Eric Satie. It has clear jazz influences, and blues. And at the same time, it delivers hard driving rock and roll, powered by the man with perhaps the greatest voice in rock history, David Clayton-Thomas. The brass are fabulous (the revolutionary concept of having a rock album with brass providing the basic orchestration directly foreshadows the group Chicago), the singles are fabulous (You Made Me So Very Happy, Spinning Wheel), the remake of the Billie Holiday classic God Bless the Child is a revelation, More and More is just fun driving rock, And When I Die is a satirical masterpiece. Do you get the feeling I like this album? And to top it all, it sounds just as fresh today as thirty years ago. A desert island rock CD."