Brilliant as so much sixties pop and rock music was, Blood Sweat and Tears seemed fresh and exciting with their brand of jazz-rock. Of course, much popular music in the first half of the twentieth century had its roots in jazz, but the jazz influence had all but disappeared from mainstream pop music by the time rock'n'roll took over in the mid-fifties. Blood Sweat and Tears showed that records featuring prominent trumpets and saxophones could sell in huge quantities to pop and rock fans.
The group had three major American hits, all of which came from their second album and all of which peaked at number two - You've made me so very happy (written and first recorded by Brenda Holloway, a much under-rated Motown singer), Spinning wheel and And when I die. While these three songs were major hits in many countries around the world, they conspicuously failed to make much impact in Britain, where one of them (You've made me so very happy) was a minor hit and the other two failed to chart. Still, their music is readily available in Britain so their UK popularity is better than the charts might suggest.
This compilation contains those three classics as well as other great songs such as Lucretia Mac Evil, Hi de ho, Go down gambling (all hits in America) and their cover of Got to get you into my file (written by Paul McCartney for Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers, who had a UK top ten hit with it - the Beatles included their own version on their album, Revolver).
This is not the ultimate Blood Sweat and Tears compilation - there are some notable omissions such as I can't quit her - but it serves as a good introduction to their music.