Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Number 411 - Blood Sweat & Tears


Number 411

Blood Sweat & Tears

"And When I Die"

(1969)
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410 ........Genre: Prog Rock........ 412
art by wieloryb
"You've Made Me So Very Happy" was Blood Sweat & Tears most famous/popular song, but, "When I Die" is [has?] to be their most technically subperb song by a long shot. Sure, a gadzillion people bought the more popular single of the two, but we all know which is the better song. I am not even going to question that statement because i'm pretty sure i am correct [well, almost].
And when I die
And when I'm gone
There'll be one child born
In this world to carry on
To carry on
With more killer lyrics [like] ...
All I ask of living
Is to have no chains on me
And all I ask of dying
Is to go naturally
Only wanna go naturally
spot the drummer
Blood, Sweat & Tears, the group's self-titled second album, was produced by James William Guercio and released in 1969. The album was much more pop-oriented, featuring decidedly fewer compositions from within the band. The record quickly hit the top of the charts, winning Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards over The Beatles' Abbey Road, among other nominees. Blood, Sweat & Tears spawned three major hit singles: a cover of Berry Gordy and Brenda Holloway's "You've Made Me So Very Happy" (US #2), Clayton-Thomas' "Spinning Wheel" (US #2), and a version of Laura Nyro's "And When I Die" (US #2). The commercial and critical acclaim enjoyed by the band in 1969 culminated in an appearance at the Woodstock Festival, in which the band enjoyed headliner status.
Beatles made $ cos there was only 4
The difference between Blood, Sweat & Tears and the group's preceding long-player, Child Is Father to the Man, is the difference between a monumental seller and a record that was "merely" a huge critical success. Arguably, the Blood, Sweat & Tears that made this self-titled second album -- consisting of five of the eight original members and four newcomers, including singer David Clayton-Thomas -- was really a different group from the one that made Child Is Father to the Man, which was done largely under the direction of singer/songwriter/keyboard player/arranger Al Kooper. They had certain similarities to the original: the musical mixture of classical, jazz, and rock elements was still apparent, and the interplay between the horns and the keyboards was still occurring, even if those instruments were being played by different people.
circa 1969
Kooper was even still present as an arranger on two tracks, notably the initial hit "You've Made Me So Very Happy." But the second BS&T, under the aegis of producer James William Guercio, was a less adventurous unit, and, as fronted by Clayton-Thomas, a far more commercial one. Not only did the album contain three songs that neared the top of the charts as singles -- "Happy," "Spinning Wheel," and "And When I Die" -- but the whole album, including an arrangement of "God Bless the Child" and the radical rewrite of Traffic's "Smiling Phases," was wonderfully accessible. It was a repertoire to build a career on, and Blood, Sweat & Tears did exactly that, although they never came close to equaling this album. ~ [William Ruhlmann & Bruce Eder, All Music Guide]
For the Beatles see Number 489, #587, #894 & #947
What does Grand Poppa Stone think of BS&T?
The new Blood, Sweat & Tears album is a perfect example of the rock record that "tries harder." While at some points on the record the basic style of the group resembles rock and roll, more often the listener is being bombarded with non-rock arranging devices, non-rock solos, and non-rock material, all of which tells him that "something else" is going. The obvious response is that we are hearing something new: rock being mixed with jazz, rock being mixed with soul, etc. Ultimately, someone at Columbia will come up with a name for it: "jazz-folk-soul-baroque-C&W-latin-show-tune-rock." And for once the hyphenated labeling would be appropriate because B, S & T play hyphenated music: first they play folk, then they play jazz, then they play latin, etc. Styles exist in tangent on their record, but never merge into one. ~ [Source: RS, JON LANDAU Posted: Mar 1, 1969)
Rolling Stone seem to think that BS&T beating the Beatles @ the Grammy's in 1969 is no mean feat.
Rolling Stone magazine deemed their '411th Song of all Time' was "I Feel Love" by Donna Summer. Donna Summer "I Feel Love" has appeared in The Definitive 1000 @ #420
Other songs with reference to BS&T #700
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (No tears here bro) and the Album ranked at Number (And no sweat either)
This song has a total Definitive rating of 78.3 out of 108
Search Artist here:1-2-3-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z

underlay trademe

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