Monday, February 09, 2009
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Blood, Sweat & Tears
I featured the first version of Blood, Sweat & Tears in September. This is the version of the band fans are more familiar with. Spinning Wheel was one of several hits from their second album Blood, Sweat & Tears. When Child Is Father To The Man didn't sell as well as Steve Katz and Bobby Colomby thought it should, they blamed Al Kooper's lead vocals. Kooper's deal was he would stay with the band as long as he was in charge so he left. Trumpeters Randy Brecker & Jerry Weiss also left. The band could have ended right there but Katz & Colomby decided to keep it going and auditioned new singers. Stephen Stills auditioned and BS&T got as far as rehearsing with legendary songwriter Laura Nyro. But folksinger Judy Collins told them about a singer she saw in a New York club. David Clayton-Thomas was born Sept. 13, 1941 in Surrey, England and grew up in Toronto. He moved to New York in 1967 and was leading his own band when he was deported back to Toronto. Colomby offered him the job with BS&T. Dick Halligan was moved from trombone to keyboards and Jerry Hyman replaced him on trombone. Trumpeters Lew Soloff & Chuck Winfield relpaced Brecker & Weiss. Though BS&T was still viewed as jazz rock, Colomby wanted to go in a more pop direction and brought in Buckinghams producer James William Guercio to produce. The album was huge and won the 1969 Best Album Grammy. The Clayton-Thomas song Spinning Wheel was probably their most memorable hit. You can get them all on this comp. The Clayton-Thomas blues based vocal style was exactly what Colomby was looking for. The group made a deal with the US government. They agreed to tour Eastern Europe for the US State Dept. in exchange for a work visa for Clayton-Thomas. This didn't endear the band to young people. They continued to have some success with two subsequent albums but there was conflict within the band mostly from the jazz oriented guys who didn't like the pop direction. David Clayton-Thomas left to go solo in 1972 and was replaced by Jerry Fisher. The group's records were not successful but continued to tour. Clayton-Thomas had fronted various versions of Blood, Sweat & Tears until leaving in 2004. Bobby Colomby led the band for a couple of years and Steve Katz leads them now. Here's Blood, Sweat & Tears performing Spinning Wheel on what appears to be an early 80s TV show.