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B, S & T 4

Blood Sweat & Tears

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Blood Sweat & Tears B, S & T 4 album cover
3.35 | 41 ratings | 3 reviews | 5% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Go Down Gamblin' (4:17)
2. Cowboys And Indians (3:10)
3. John The Baptist (Holy John) (3:38)
4. Redemption (5:14)
5. Lisa Listen To Me (3:03)
6. A Look To My Heart (Instrumental) (0:54)
7. High On A Mountain (3:16)
8. Valentine's Day (3:59)
9. Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me A Little While) (3:30)
10. For My Lady (3:25)
11. Mama Gets High (4:12)
12. A Look To My Heart (Duet) (2:09)

Total time 40:47

Line-up / Musicians

- David Clayton-Thomas / lead vocals, guitar & arrangements (1)
- Steve Katz / acoustic & electric guitars, harmonica, mandolin, lead vocals (8)
- Dick Halligan / organ, piano, flute, trombone, arranger
- Fred Lipsius / alto sax, piano, organ, clarinet, arranger
- Lew Soloff / trumpet, fluegelhorn
- Chuck Winfield / trumpet, fluegelhorn
- Dave Bargeron / trombone, tuba, horn, acoustic bass (8,10), arrangements (11)
- Jim Fielder/ bass, guitar (4), arrangements (9)
- Bobby Colomby / drums, percussion, co-producer

- Don Heckman / clarinet & bass clarinet (8,10), co-producer
- Michael Smith / congas (4)
- Al Kooper / arrangements (3)

Releases information

Artwork: Norman Seeff

LP Columbia ‎- KC 30590 (1971, US)

CD Sony Records ‎- SRCS 6313 (1993, Japan)
CD Friday Music ‎- FRM 1105 (2009, US)

Thanks to easy livin for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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BLOOD SWEAT & TEARS B, S & T 4 ratings distribution

(41 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(5%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(56%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

BLOOD SWEAT & TEARS B, S & T 4 reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Gambling only pays when your winning

For their fourth album, BS&T relocated en-masse to San Francisco. The decision was taken to rely as far as possible on their own song-writing skills, moving away from their previous practice of applying their interpretations to other peoples' songs.

As a rule, the tracks are generally shorter and tighter than those on the previous two albums which feature Clayton-Thomas; the brass/jazz undercurrents are still very much in evidence though. The opening "Go down Gamblin'" is one of the most powerful songs they ever recorded and for the first time since joining the band, David Clayton-Thomas plays lead guitar on the track, giving it a truly hard rock feel.

Dave Bargeron's "Cowboys and Indians" is an unusually soft and reflective piece, which is at odds with the generally upbeat feel of the album. While original member Al Kooper is of course long since gone from the band, his "John the Baptist" is subject to a superb interpretation here. "Redemption" was effectively recorded live in the studio, the semi-improvised nature of the piece giving it a noticeable vitality.

While "Go down gamblin'" was the obvious single extracted from the album, "Lisa listen to me", another Clayton-Thomas song written with Dick Halligan is also highly accessible, with a strong hook and some fine brass work. Pianist (and multi-instrumentalist) Fred Lipsius closes each side with a soft reflective piece "A look to my heart" which "reflects the sense of peace he discovered moving to San Francisco".

Side two of the album is largely dominated by the song writing of Steve Katz. "High on a mountain" has the spiritual feel which made "Hi-de-ho" so appealing. Dick Halligan's superb arrangement of the song gives it a majesty which Clayton-Thomas' vocal fully exploits. Katz gets his once per album opportunity to provide lead vocal on "Valentine's day", a pleasant but undistinguished love song which might have sounded so much better had Clayton-Thomas retained his vocal duties.

Never a band to shy away from surprises, the Holland/Dozier/Holland soul standard "Take me in your arms (Rock me a little while)" is given the BS&T treatment transforming it from the Isley Brothers original into an exciting and very funky slice of fun. Halligan provides another sympathetic arrangement for Katz's mushy but emotionally charged "For my lady". Clayton-Thomas demonstrates that he is equally at home with the demands of a delicate ballad as he is with the rock style we generally associate with him. "Mama gets high" is the poorest track on the album, the attempt at a Dixieland rock song totally misfiring.

While BS&T's fourth album found the band moving is a slightly more mainstream direction, it served to validate their song-writing credentials, and offered some highly impressive performances. The improvisational side of the band is largely put to one side in favour of a tight and largely coherent work. Unfortunately and all too soon, David Clayton-Thomas would leave the band after this album was released, and their classic era was at an end.

Review by GruvanDahlman
4 stars Blood, Sweat & Tears is a terribly uneven band. Though bursting with skill, musicality and vision not many albums are solid. Often enough they are a collection of good, great and even boring material. Unlike other bands in the genre they seemed to draw in opposite directions at times, resulting in an uneven spread. The good parts are superior. The bad or not so good are, quite frankly, not that interesting.

In the year of 1971 Blood, Sweat & Tears released this album, simply entitled 4. As on previous albums the musical contents are made up of jazz, rock, blues, folk and classical elements. The difference being that 4 is a very cohesive and enjoyable album. It is held together in a way I feel some other records fail to do.

The opener, "Go down gamblin", is a terrific piece of raw and heavy jazz-rock. A great riff, fantastic energy and Clayton-Thomas' vocals makes it one of their best hard rock tracks. "Cowboys and indians" is a ballad-ish song with great lyrics and warm atmosphere. "Redemption" opens with a fantastic drum beat and heads into distinctly jazzy territory, as is the case in "Mama gets high": Again, I am not one to go through every track, so I will settle with some final words on the album as a whole.

I think this is a tremendous album. Apart from "New city" this is the one album of Blood, Sweat & Tears I return to the most. It is great from beginning to the piano led end and it's classical theme. What Blood, Sweat & Tears managed to do on 4 is simply to put all that made them great into one fabolous piece of art. Not too sentimental, not too slick and not too overbearing. It still sounds fresh to me and as vibrant as it ever did back in 1971. It did not break any new ground but consolidated what had already been gained over the past few years. The even mixture of hard rock, rock, blues, jazz, classical, folk and what not is very comforting and thrilling, 4 is a charming, energetic and lively album that really shows what Blood, Sweat & Tears was all about in it's first years of existence.

Latest members reviews

2 stars I got this album because I had the provious 3 they made. I was disappointed with the product after I heard it the first time. I was expecting the whole album to sound somwthing like "Go Down Gambling." It was not like that much at all. "Go Down Gambling" was my favorite because of the guitar ... (read more)

Report this review (#281810) | Posted by Keetian | Thursday, May 13, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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