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Pop/Rock - Released December 11, 1968 | Columbia - Legacy

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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. 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 /TiVo
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Rock - Released December 13, 2011 | Columbia - Legacy

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Rock - Released July 26, 2019 | Columbia - Legacy

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Pop/Rock - Released February 23, 1999 | Columbia - Legacy

Sometimes, a greatest-hits set is timed perfectly to gather together a group's most successful and familiar performances just at the point when that group has passed the point of their maximum exposure to the public, but before the public memory has had a chance to fade. That was the case when Columbia Records assembled this compilation for release in early 1972. At that point, Blood, Sweat & Tears had released four albums and scored six Top 40 hits, each of which is heard here. But lead singer David Clayton-Thomas had just quit the group, so that the unit that recorded songs like "You've Made Me So Very Happy" was not working together anymore. And even when Clayton-Thomas returned, the band would continue to decline commercially. As such, BS&T's Greatest Hits captures the band's peak in 11 selections--seven singles chart entries, plus two album tracks from the celebrated debut album when Al Kooper helmed the group, and two more from the Grammy-winning multi-platinum second album. Using the short singles edits of songs like "And When I Die" emphasizes their radio-ready punch over the more extended suitelike arrangements on the albums, but this selection gains in focus what it lacks in ambition. For the millions who learned to love BS&T in 1969 when they were all over AM radio, this is the ideal selection of their most accessible material. (A later CD reissue of Blood, Sweat & Tears' Greatest Hits replaced each singles edit with the original full-length version.) © William Ruhlmann /TiVo
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Pop/Rock - Released August 2, 1987 | Columbia

Blood, Sweat & Tears had a hard act to follow in recording their third album. Nevertheless, BS&T constructed a convincing, if not quite as impressive, companion to their previous hit. David Clayton-Thomas remained an enthusiastic blues shouter, and the band still managed to put together lively arrangements, especially on the Top 40 hits "Hi-De-Ho" and "Lucretia Mac Evil." Elsewhere, they re-created the previous album's jazzing up of Laura Nyro ("He's a Runner") and Traffic ("40,000 Headmen"), although their pretentiousness, on the extended "Symphony/Sympathy for the Devil," and their tendency to borrow other artists' better-known material (James Taylor's "Fire and Rain") rather than generating more of their own, were warning signs for the future. In the meantime, BS&T 3 was another chart-topping gold hit. © William Ruhlmann /TiVo
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Rock - Released May 23, 1976 | Legacy Recordings

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Pop/Rock - Released October 4, 1988 | Legacy - Columbia

Blood, Sweat & Tears' 11-track Greatest Hits album, released in February 1972, contained all of the group's six Top 40 singles, plus notable tracks from its two best albums, Child Is Father to the Man and Blood, Sweat & Tears. Almost 24 years later came this 32-track, 138-and-a-half-minute, double-CD expansion, much of it extraneous. Where Greatest Hits contained the single edits of songs like "You've Made Me So Very Happy" and "And When I Die," here "all titles are original album versions," as the back cover notes, which means the jazzy interludes, frequently having nothing to do with the rest of the song, remain. There are a couple of unreleased tracks, and otherwise the bloated running time was filled out by, for example, four tracks from the 1972 stiff New Blood, which didn't even feature singer David Clayton-Thomas. Legacy would have better served consumers by either expanding the original 41-minute Greatest Hits to proper CD length with a few bonus tracks, or reissuing the first two albums in a double-disc set, again with a few bonus tracks to fill up the time. This compilation did not enhance the band's reputation. And the error-filled liner notes are less than worthless. © William Ruhlmann /TiVo
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Rock - Released April 4, 2014 | Columbia - Legacy

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Pop/Rock - Released February 26, 1996 | Legacy - Columbia

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Rock - Released May 22, 2015 | Sony Music Entertainment

More Than Ever was the last studio effort by the re-formed, reconstituted Blood, Sweat & Tears, with David Clayton-Thomas back in the lineup and the whole group invigorated after coming off of a successful international tour. For the first time since its second album, the group -- with only drummer Bobby Colomby left from the original lineup and Bob James producing -- sounds bold, enthused, and fully positive in its approach. The sound is a little more R&B oriented and less rocking than the older lineup, which actually makes a better fit overall -- Thomas' singing style is a bit dated, from a tradition of '60s blue-eyed soul that seems fine, but which was really out-of-place amid the disco boom of the second half of the '70s. The group's obvious enthusiasm -- there's not a lot here that sounds like it wasn't played with joy -- and the smooth mix of R&B, jazz, and gospel influences coupled with the larger-than-life sound of the production (the ten-man band is joined by 13 guest musicians and eight backup singers, among them Patti Austin and Gwen Guthrie) helps put over some very solid material. "They," "I Love You More Than Ever," "You're the One," and the soaring, haunting "Heavy Blue" are highlights of a pretty strong album. Nothing here is remotely as revelatory as anything on Child Is Father to the Man or as startlingly fresh in a pop vein as the Blood, Sweat & Tears album, but it's a good 40 minutes of listening. The pity is that the Columbia Records art department couldn't muster as much inspiration on its end as the musicians did on theirs -- one can only wonder who got paid for coming up with the "idea" of using an enlarged copy of the album label as the front cover art. But bad art aside, this record is not only one worth finding -- it's one worth keeping. [The Wounded Bird CD reissue offers very good sound, incidentally, far outstripping the clarity of such old Columbia issues as the Blood, Sweat & Tears 3 album, and all but one song is new to CD.] © Bruce Eder /TiVo
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Pop/Rock - Released March 1, 1975 | Legacy Recordings

In the late '60s and early '70s, Blood, Sweat & Tears was at the forefront of the rock with horns movement. But after lead singer David Clayton-Thomas' 1972 departure, both he and the band lost their commercial footing. New City finds Clayton-Thomas reconvening with Blood, Sweat & Tears after a three-year absence. Jimmy Ienner, who produced hits with the Raspberries, Grand Funk Railroad, and Three Dog Night, is behind the boards for this 1975 album. It does sound promising, but, in all honesty, New City fortunes seemed doomed from the start. The cover of the Blues Image's "Ride Captain Ride" turns out to be more than a perfunctory exercise and gives the band a chance to show its jazz chops, and Clayton-Thomas wails to his heart's content. Allan Toussaint's "Life" gets an irreverent and funky treatment. Strangely enough, the workouts on here pale in comparison to the ballads. The best track, the poignant "I Was a Witness to a War," is delicately arranged in the perfect key for Clayton-Thomas' subdued vocals. Janis Ian's "Applause" sustains interest, even as Clayton-Thomas' dramatic flourishes make Richard Harris seem remote. After a few ho-hum tracks, this closes with an energetic but anti-climatic cover of the Beatles' "Got to Get You Into My Life." Although New City failed to get the band back to the top of the charts, a listener might be pleasantly surprised to hear that the band did proceed through the '70s accordingly. © Jason Elias /TiVo
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Pop/Rock - Released March 12, 1973 | Legacy Recordings

The second Blood, Sweat & Tears recording without David Clayton-Thomas, No Sweat may be the jazziest BS&T ever. Surprisingly, most of the material comes from outside the band, with the exception of two tracks by Lou Marini, Jr., two co-written by George Wadenius (the featured guitarist in the band following Steve Katz's departure), and the concluding "Inner Crisis" by Larry Willis. Jerry Fisher is more integrated into the band in his role as lead singer, and the band shines throughout on material ranging from Traffic's "Empty Pages" to John Lewis' "Django." The highlight is "Almost Sorry," which features Bobby Colomby's rock-solid drumming, and solos from the entire horn section: Dave Bargeron on trombone, Lew Soloff and Tom "Bones" Malone on electric trumpets, and Marini on alto flute. © Ross Boissoneau /TiVo
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Rock - Released July 21, 1998 | Columbia - Legacy

This imported double-CD set is a bit difficult to evaluate because it is so strange (and, at times, cheesy) in its design. The 72-minute first disc is devoted to David Clayton-Thomas' tenure with the group, containing 17 songs covering the best-known tracks from their second album, Blood, Sweat & Tears, right up through their 1976 rendition of "Got to Get You Into My Life" and beyond, up as far as "Katie Bell" and "Sweet Sadie the Savior," several membership changes later. As with the domestic greatest-hits compilation, the songs are all the album edits; the producers were obviously working within the confines of a restricted budget, because apart from "Got to Get You Into My Life" -- which, one assumes, is a no-brainer in terms of an investment -- the later tracks are all drawn from old 16-bit masters, a fact declared in the packaging, which otherwise has no information or annotation whatsoever. The 26-minute second ("bonus") disc offers four tracks by the original, Al Kooper-led band, and "More and More" and "Symphony for the Devil/Sympathy for the Devil," featuring David Clayton-Thomas. The whole thing is a bit of a mess, though in the European market (where What Goes Up: The Best of Blood, Sweat & Tears is not available), it probably makes sense -- for the rest of the world, it's nothing but an attractively packaged, not too well-devised compilation. © Bruce Eder /TiVo
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Rock - Released May 23, 2014 | Legacy Recordings

There are releases that will only appeal to fans, and there are releases for strict diehards. Wounded Bird's Rare, Rarer, & Rarest is intended for the latter; it's a compilation of 25 Blood, Sweat & Tears tracks that didn't make their albums; some for good reason. "Blues-Part II" goes from a big-band version of Cream's "Sunshine of Your Love" to a 12-bar blues jam before ending on a cover of Erik Satie's classical ballad "Gymnopedie no. 1." Also included are mono single versions of the hits "You've Made Me So Very Happy" and "Spinning Wheel," which likely won't excite those who have higher fidelity versions, and 15 tracks of instrumental interludes and outtakes from The Owl and the Pussycat film score. This soundtrack was a departure for the group as they tried their hand, and succeeded for the most part, at playing introverted, steamy jazz numbers or all-purpose, funky jazz-rock. With many songs repeated, or only lasting 20-45 seconds, there isn't much opportunity for a cohesive listen. However, since most of these songs didn't make it onto the actual soundtrack -- which favored audio clips of Barbra Streisand's dialog from the movie -- this is the best place to find the band performing this specific Taxi Driver/Blaxploitation style of jazz-rock instrumental music, and the only place to hear the previously unreleased easy listening number "M." © Jason Lymangrover /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2011 | Avenue Records Catalog P&D

This 1980 edition of rock's longest-running horn band is definitely not your father's Blood, Sweat & Tears. Frontman David Clayton-Thomas is still on board, but everybody else is new. The musical emphasis has mostly shifted, from pop/soul with a jazz flavor to out-and-out fusion jazz, such as "Agitato," and the lengthy and often quite lovely "Spanish Wine" suite, with only an occasional lead vocal (a radically re-arranged cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Manic Depression"). Big exceptions include the title tune, in which Clayton-Thomas vents his paranoia about Three Mile Island, and an impassioned, if relatively straightforward, cover of the old blues standard "I'll Drown In My Own Tears." © TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2011 | Avenue Records Catalog P&D

If it has horns and David Clayton Thomas is the lead singer, does that make it Blood, Sweat & Tears? That's the question posed on this 1980 concert set, in which Thomas fronts a set of young musicians, none of whom played on any of the band's hit albums. Whatever you call them, though, there's been a major change in direction. This edition of BS&T is for all intents a fusion jazz band; in fact, the bulk of the album, the "Spanish Wine" suite, is an extended piece that inhabits a musical neighborhood somewhere near Weather Report. Old fans will be pleased to learn that there's also an enthusiastic medley of the band's best known songs, and later Thomas makes a return to his blues roots on an impassioned reading of "I'll Drown in My Own Tears." © TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2010 | SOFA - AV Catalog PS

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Rock - Released January 1, 2010 | SOFA - AV Catalog PS