Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Blood Sweat & Tears - Nuclear Blues CD (album) cover


Blood Sweat & Tears


Jazz Rock/Fusion

2.65 | 14 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Where are Blood and Sweat?

"Nuclear Blues" looks like it will stand as the last studio album released in the name of Blood Sweat and Tears. I phrase the wording in that way deliberately, as this is not really a genuine BS&T album. The only relationship line up wise with any of the previous albums is through singer David Clayton-Thomas, the rest of the line up being Canadian musicians originally brought together by Clayton-Thomas to form a new band.

Ironically, this is probably the most progressive, and certainly the jazz funkiest (if that is a legitimate expression!) album release in the band's name. In this case however the term progressive is not necessarily synonymous with "good".

The album opens with a funky jazz rock instrumental written by brass instrumentalist Bruce Cassidy. The track has occasional horn bursts such as we have come to expect from a BS&T song, but the overt funk masks anything more substantial. The funk element is carried into the Clayton-Thomas written title track. Ironically, it is only when we get to a cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Manic Depression" that we start to find anything truly reminiscent of the band's early years.

Side one concludes with a lengthy blues cover of Henry Glover's "I'll drown in my own tears", perhaps best known through the Janis Joplin version. Clayton-Thomas gives a suitably soulful performance which largely mirrors Joplin's approach.

Side two contains just two tracks. "Fantasy stage" is a downbeat but still funky song with an Earth Wind and Fire or later Santana like arrangement. The rest of the side is taken up by a 15 minute suite called "Spanish Wine". This is a 7 part piece with something of a Spanish flavour. After the Spanish guitar intro of "LA cantina", we move into the brief Don Juan brass filled "Spanish wine". Thereafter, things become more conventionally jazz orientated, "Latin fire" being little more than an exercise in improvisation. Each of the band members appears to get a shot at solo spot as we continue through "The challenge", "The duel" and "Amor". The only notable absentee from the whole exercise is Clayton-Thomas, who is the sole band member not to perform on the track or to receive a writing credit. Those who enjoy orthodox jazz will probably appreciate the suite, but for me it is over indulgent and makes for a sad end to a once great band.

In all, "Nuclear blues" does have some redeeming qualities. It is not however from the same mould as previous albums by the band, and for that reason alone I would recommend approaching with some trepidation. I am sure however that some will find it to be worthwhile.

Incidentally, I find I have two copies of this album. The first is a Dutch cassette release on the Bigtime label which with admirable attention to detail seems to think that Clayton and Thomas are two different people. The sleeve has an alternative cover with a picture of what looks very much like an old like up of the band playing live. The other, which I had assumed to be an entirely different album, is an LP called "The challenge" on the German Astan label. The tracks are however identical.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this BLOOD SWEAT & TEARS review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.