Who was/is Blood, Sweat and Tears ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more
Blood, Sweat and Tears was the brainchild of Al Kooper, following the demise of his Blues Project in 1968. One of the first rock bands with a full horn section, it was founded on the premise that rock is art, or at least arty eclecticism. On their debut album, Child Is Father To The Man (Colum-bia), the eclecticism worked more often than not. The origi-nal line-up was Kooper (keyboards, vocals), Steve Katz (guitar), Jim Fielder (bass), Bobby Colomby (drums), Randy Brecker, Jerry Weiss (trumpets), Dick Halligan (trombone) and Fred Lipsius (alto-sax).
But Kooper left almost im-mediately, and leadership of the band fell to Katz (also ex-Blues Project) and new singer David Clayton-Thomas, a big-voiced Canadian. And where the first album had mixed rock, folk, blues, jazz and classical music into something resembling coherence, the second presented a taste of rock here, a smattering of jazz there, a classical interlude else-where. 'You Made Me So Happy' was a huge hit in 1969, and there was no turning back. Commercial success grew by leaps and bounds, as did charges of 'pretentiousness.
By 1970, most of the group's original audience was gone, replaced by the sort of man who picks his mood music by scanning the Playboy Jazz and Pop Poll. They duplicated their records almost note-for-note in concert. There followed Las Vegas engagements, State De-partment tours behind the Iron Curtain, and albums full of songs by Lennon—McCartney, Jagger—Richard, Satie, Little Walter, Prokofiev, and James Taylor — none of which bore any resemblance to the original in the BS&T versions, although they certainly sounded a lot like each other. Per-sonnel changes increased until the group finally fell apart entirely in 1973.
By then, for better or for worse, it had become one of the most influential groups ever, and the horn section in rock bands was here to stay.