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Blood Sweat & Tears - Blood, Sweat & Tears CD (album) cover


Blood Sweat & Tears


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.79 | 97 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars The earlier career of Chicago is among my favourite groups to listen to, but here's a band that put albums BEFORE Chicago. Meet Blood, Sweat and Tears, a band that also is categorized as jazz-rock with a strong horn section (if I have my information correct, one of the Brecker brothers was in the band, but not on this album), a singer with a raspy voice (Kath to Clayton-Thomas) and guitarists with similar names (Terry Kath to Steve Katz). If you drew a Venn diagram with the two bands, producer James William Guercio is in the intersection. The punchline is BST has not the ''wow'' factor Chicago does despite debuting a year earlier.

Whereas Chicago were a rock band with heavy jazz influences interspersed with R&B, classical and psych, and all of those styles meshed together well in highly original tunes, BST has mostly covers and adaptations here that are more jazz-pop with slightly haphazard minglings with classical, blues, rock, and even can show off some Broadway flair. Some of the tunes have quite desirable melodies that good pop has in the form of ''And When I Die'', ''You Make Me So Very Happy'' and ''More and More''. The hitch is that David Clayton-Thomas is singing, and unlike Kath's warm rasp, Clayton-Thomas sings like he's trying too hard to hit high notes he simply cannot hit. The horn section picks up that flaw.

The self-titled album is too hit and miss all over the place. Whatever magic befell on the better poppier tracks never happened on ''Spinning Wheel'' and ''Sometimes in Winter''. The band can get a bit too humdrum and can never spark amazement like their rivals can. Even on three star albums, Chicago can really get some pizazz going to make me forget about other flaws (until review time). ''Blues Part II'' is the huge elephant in the room that lingers on a jam for too long (and references without credit Cream's ''Sunshine of Your Love''; doesn't work in a jazz-pop context) and pales in comparison to ''Liberation''.

If you love jazz-rock, get Chicago's first, second and seventh albums, and if you want ''More and More'', seek out this. Not that shabby, but you won't remember half the album five minutes later.

Sinusoid | 3/5 |


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