Album #140 – Blood, Sweat & Tears
This album was very influential. Not only did it win a Grammy Award for Album of the Year, it also created a new movement in rock. That movement was the addition of a horn and woodwind section to a rock band. Blood, Sweat & Tears were the first band to do it. A whole wave of bands that had horn and woodwind sections followed: Chicago, The Ides of March, Tower of Power, Average White Band and fellow Canadian band, Lighthouse. I am glad that BS&T started this form of rock. They are part Canadian as well as their lead singer, David Clayton Thomas, grew up in Canada. Thus, they get a lot of airplay. Spinning Wheel, You’ve Made Me So Very Happy and And When I Die (written by Laura Nyro, by the way!!!) get airplay on oldies stations across the country and in the US too. This is their most well known and biggest selling album. Not only does the horn and woodwind section provide a punch, Clayton Thomas does too. He is such an awesome singer and he even makes a Laura Nyro song sound good and it became one of their biggest hits. Laura Nyro actually auditioned to become lead singer for BS&T. It did not work out. Fortunately, Clayton Thomas became the lead singer. I am so glad. This album not only showcases the lead singer but the band too. These guys are great musicians. They also show that they can play classical, blues and jazz just as good as pop music. Blues – Part II adds in riffs from Cream’s Sunshine of Your Love and Spoonful. There is also a great cover of Billie Holiday’s signature song, God Bless The Child. Clayton Thomas sings it so well and their version is one of the best I have ever heard. I liked this album more for the four songs I mentioned than for anything else. Their style is as manic as Laura Nyro’s yet still accessible. Other highlights: Smiling Faces (originally written by Steve Winwood and recorded by his band, Traffic, a few years before BS&T recorded it). Overall, I give this album 4 out of 5.
Next: The Gilded Palace of Sin by The Flying Burrito Brothers!!!!