Analogue Productions' new Blood, Sweat & Tears box set Bloodlines captures the band's cornerstone horn driven sound as never before, across 4 albums and 8 LPs – Child Is Father To The Man (1968), Blood, Sweat & Tears (1968), Blood, Sweat & Tears 3 (1970) and B, S & T 4 (1971). Each album was remastered from the original master tapes by Ryan K. Smith at Sterling Sound in New York, and each was plated and pressed on deluxe 200g 45rpm double vinyl at Quality Record Pressings. The jackets – from Stoughton Printing – are top-of-the-line, old-style tip-ons showcasing immaculately reproduced artwork. The whole set comes in a custom-designed deluxe hinged box. An in-depth essay by lead singer David Clayton-Thomas highlights an accompanying booklet which is stocked with rare photos.
The Al Kooper-helmed Blood, Sweat & Tears created the often imitated but never duplicated '60s big horn, big city rock sound. The band's 1968 debut, Child Is Father To The Man, was their lone release with the celebrated singer/keyboardist and it stands as Blood, Sweat & Tears' most enduring collection. The inventive and soulful set was produced by John Simon and features such accomplished Kooper compositions as "I Can't Quit Her," "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know," "House in the Country" and "The Modern Adventures of Plato, Diogenes and Freud," plus excellent takes on Tim Buckley's "Morning Glory," Harry Nilsson's "Without Her" and Randy Newman's "Just One Smile."
In 1969, faced with both the departure of Kooper and the pressures created by the critical acclaim of their debut, Blood, Sweat & Tears stood tall and delivered with their 1968 self-titled sophomore release. Welcoming vocalist David Clayton-Thomas aboard, the band advanced beyond its R&B/blues origins to create what can only be described as a masterpiece, culminating in a Grammy award for Album Of The Year. Utilizing Erik Satie's "Variations On a Theme" to quietly open and close the album, in-between the band mixed songs from exciting, contemporary writers like Laura Nyro ("And When I Die"), Traffic ("Smiling Phases"), and Barry Gordy ("You've Made Me So Very Happy,") with classic original material such as "Spinning Wheel" and "Sometime In Winter," creating a virtual greatest hits set of concert staples.
After the runaway success of Blood, Sweat & Tears, the band returned with the appropriately titled Blood, Sweat & Tears 3 in 1970. Same as its predecessor, 3 also rose to the top of the charts, yielding the two hit singles "Lucretia MacEvil" and Carole King's "Hi-De-Ho." In addition, the free flowing affair also includes sparkling renditions of Laura Nyro's "He's a Runner," Traffic's "40,000 Headmen," a grandiose version of the Rolling Stone's "Sympathy for the Devil" and a compelling take on James Taylor's "Fire and Rain."
The last in the band's procession of self-titled albums was their 1971 Top 10 B, S & T 4, which was Clayton Thomas' final effort with the group before embarking on a solo career although he would return three records later for 1975's New City. The 12-track affair marked the end of an unprecedented run for the band and boasts the Top 40 hit "Go Down Gamblin" and fellow charter "Lisa, Listen to Me" while former member Al Kooper even contributes the cut "John the Baptist (Holy John)" to the proceedings.
• 200g 45rpm 8LP box set from Analogue Productions
• Featuring remastered versions of Child Is Father To The Man, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Blood, Sweat & Tears 3 and B, S & T 4
• LPs mastered from the original master tapes by Ryan K. Smith at Sterling Sound
• Old-style tip-on jackets from Stoughton Printing
• Plated by Gary Salstrom & pressed at Quality Record Pressings
• In-depth essay by lead singer David Clayton-Thomas highlights booklet with rare photos
• Housed in custom designed deluxe hinged box