The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Blood, Sweat & Tears


4-10-08 Blood, Sweat & Tears

It’s 2008, so it OK to talk about David Clayton Thomas and Blood, Sweat & Tears!

LP B, S & T; 4 CBS UK S 64355

LP BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS COLUMBIA US CS 9720

LP BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS 3 COLUMBIA US KC 30090

LP CHILD IS FATHER TO THE MAN CBS NL S 63296

CD CHILD IS FATHER TO THE MAN re COLUMBIA US CK 64214

Because of my older brother, I first heard of BS&T when “Child Is Father To The Man” came out. I think my sister Marilyn also had that LP. It was possibly one of the first times I ever noticed a rock record’s producer – Mr. John Simon. I knew that Mr. Simon had produced one of my then-favorite records, “Songs of Leonard Cohen” – and Al Kooper’s version of BS&T is fantastic. There are so many good songs on “Child Is Father To The Man”! Really good stuff. I’ve seen Al Kooper live a few times recently, and – he’s a very funny guy, and he still sings “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know” and “I Can’t Quit Her” really well. Get the re-mastered CD of “Child…” for a real 1968 rock music treat. (John Simon also produced the soundtrack of “You Are What You Eat” and The Band’s “Music From Big Pink”!)

But the whole living, breathing universe got on the BS&T bandwagon once that trio of ever-present singles issued forth, about ‘69: “Spinning Wheel”, “You Made Me So Very Happy” and “And When I Die”. None of us knew (or cared) that David Clayton Thomas was a Canadian; we just knew he belted them out, and the band was crankin’.

They were definitely not a slouchy singles band – I still enjoy “Lucretia MacEvil” and “Go Down Gamblin’”! And I’ve read on an audiophile website that the self-titled (2nd) BS&T album is “in a league of it’s own”, as far as recorded sound goes. My LP of it always sounded pretty good, but I do not recall any revelations. I should add that I have a factory-made Sony MiniDisc of “Greatest Hits”, so I do have all the hits in a digital format. Weren’t most of their Columbia albums also issued in QUAD?

It’s also surprising how many easy listening and jazz cover versions there are of the famous BS&T songs. Just tons!

I would never had had the chance to see them play live – I was too young for the tours for the first two albums, and – even though my Dad liked them – we didn’t go to any rock concerts together for a few years (I think the first show my Dad took me to was King Crimson at the Long Beach Auditorium).

They must’ve been nuts to keep the band going with a singer who wasn’t DCT. And I don’t remember any of his solo LP’s as being particularly meaningful. He eventually re-joined the band, didn’t he? I always thought they should’ve asked Al Kooper back – as a producer, if not as a singer / songwriter / performer.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Jim Donato said...

Ron:

That is one creepy as hell cover! I am so disturbed I may be pushed over the brink of sanity.

There. I am insane now.

8:25 AM  
Anonymous Jim Donato said...

Good news - my wife brought home the new copy of Backstage Passes & Backstabbing Bastards she recently ordered for me at work. [It's great having a wife who works in a college library] It looks like an amazing read I can hardly wait to get through my current amazing read [Bomp: Saving The World One record At A Time] to start on it. Methinks it will be a fast read.

9:39 AM  

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