Personalities | Blood, Sweat & Tears | Sixties | Rock

(Vocal/instrumental group, 1967–present)

They were the most famous rock equivalent of a ‘brass band’ – founder member Al Kooper’s own description. With a sensational horn section always high in the mix, 1968’s Child Is Father To The Man established them a musicianly act that was to serve as role model for Colosseum and The Average White Band and the more sophisticated US jazz rock of Weather Report and Return To Forever. On keyboards and lead vocals, Kooper was responsible for self-penned items on this debut album. Yet the group survived his exit later that year by adopting a more mainstream approach, chiefly via the recruitment of London-born, Canadian-raised David Clayton-Thomas, a singer of aggressively masculine bent, who dominated a million-selling second LP, Blood Sweat And Tears, and its 45 rpm spin-offs ‘You’ve Made Me So Very Happy’ and ‘Spinning Wheel’, which both climbed to No. 2 in the US Hot 100. Four more hits followed, but the outfit proved incapable of major commercial recovery after ‘Go Down Gamblin’’ fell from its apogee of No. 32 in 1971.

Styles & Forms | Sixties | Rock
Personalities | Mike Bloomfield | Sixties | Rock

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley


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