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Blood Sweat & Tears - Blood, Sweat & Tears CD (album) cover

BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS

Blood Sweat & Tears

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.78 | 78 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Blood, Sweat & Tears" is the self-titled 2nd full-length studio album by US rock act Blood, Sweat & Tears. The album was released through Columbia Records in December 1968. Three members of the band, includinc lead vocalist Al Kooper, had left the band since the release of the debut album "Child Is Father to the Man (1968)". An album released only 10 months prior to this second studio album. The band brought in new lead vocalist David Clayton-Thomas to replace Al Kooper and also added three additional members to the lineup, to bring the total number of members up to nine. "Blood, Sweat & Tears" proved to be a huge commercial success for the band as it sold more than 4 million copies...

...which is a testimony to how open minded listeners, radio stations and labels were in those days. There are definitely some mainstream oriented material on the album, but to my ears this is predominantly a semi-progressive jazz rock album and at times a fairly challenging one at that. Blood, Sweat & Tears have further developed on the brass rock sound of their debut album (which also included strong elements of rīnīb, classical music and mainstream pop) and added more jazz elements and at times progressive elements like complex songstructures and strong classical music leanings. Apparently this adventurous fusion of music styles went down well with the music listeners in 1968.

I love the fact that those listening to the album back then (and with 4 million copies sold I assume that some of them werenīt necessarily accustomed to more adventurous music) could actually embrace such a diverse and relatively complex album. Just take a listen to the three opening tracks on the album to get an idea of how diverse this album is. The opening track "Variations On A Theme By Erik Satie (1st and 2nd Movements, Adapted from "Trois Gymnopedies")" is a classical piece, "Smiling Phases" is a progressive jazz rock tune and "Sometimes In Winter" is a more mellow and pop oriented track. Brass are omnipresent throughout the album and define the bandīs (at the time) unique sound. New lead vocalist David Clayton- Thomas is a more raw sounding vocalist than Al Kooper, and as a result the music on the album features slightly more edge, than the case was on the debut album.

"Blood, Sweat & Tears" is one of the first albums recorded on a 16-track recorder, in a time when 4- and 8-track recorders were the norm. And itīs audible. Not that the debut album didnīt feature a professional and well sounding production, but this sound production is even more detailed and well sounding. All in all "Blood, Sweat & Tears" is a step up from the debut album in every department and also a very strong release on itīs own merits. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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