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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 9 August 2006
For me this was a real discovery, because I wasn't really listening to B, S & T back then, although I certainly recognised their major hit "Spinning Wheel", which is included in this absolutely wonderful album. Starting of with French composer Eric Satie's "Gymnopédies", first introduced very much as written from the composers hand, but then `twisted' in a nice and imaginary way, with some great writing for horns, and I guess this is the key point to this album; they take other peoples compositions and make them into their own, in a very personal and imaginary way.

To me there is no doubt; this is one of their finest moment, the most inspiring and soulful outlet of them all. This is also the first album with singer David Clayton-Thomas and what a singer.

The only little thing that I can criticize is the second last track called Blues-part 2. Is has a great and very interesting organ intro, which builds up to a climax where horns finally enter, but then right away cuts into a drum/bass groove, which is a bit of an anticlimax, and the rest of this song is virtually different ideas spliced together, contra a homogeneous composition.

But that cannot take anything away from this album as a whole, which is just full of great songs arranged in such an irresistible way. Check this out!
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This second album from the enduring collective known as Blood Sweat and Tears saw a couple of changes from their debut (Child is father to the man). Al Kooper had been replaced as vocalist by David Clayton-Thomas, who provided a stronger voice for the group. The musical vision was still largely the same with a fusion of rock, soul, classical, jazz and bues, but here the blues element was somewhat stronger, especially with the inclusion of a cover of the Billie Holliday classic `God Bless The Child'.

This album has a big sound, a bombastic depth from the horn section coupled with the intimate bluesy sound of the keyboards and guitars. The band synthesise soul, jazz, rock and blues with a classical influence that gives a complex and unique sound totally their own. It works really well due to the depth of talent of the musicians. The stronger vocals are a definite benefit, and a classic album, with some really classic tracks (especially `Spinning Wheel', one of my all time favourites) results.
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VINE VOICEon 2 March 2006
At last this legendary recording gets a release that does it justice. A massive hit in its time this secord excursion for BS&T spawned no less than three hit singles and featured big brassy jazz inflected rock, soul, country and classical music held together by Jim Fielder's bubbling bass and Bobby Colomby's dynamic drumming.
The band never really recaptured the eclectic mix of styles so this album is a crucial purchase. Although the album has been available on CD for many years it featured minimal information and the digital transfer was a bit harsh. This latest release redresses that problem with a crisp mix that brings out the best in the brass and the sizzles in the cymbals.
You also get two live bonus tracks though they don't actually add much to the proceedings - in fact the 18 minute-plus live cut of Smiling Phases is quite hard work
The packaging has improved with reminiscences by Bobby Colomby, recording details and a few photos of the era.
Budget priced, you'd be mad not to purchase it
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on 31 March 2007
The jazziness of this record made a pleasant change from the bluesy influece which affected so much music of the late 60's. There are several big hits on this record (although the British largely passed them by), and 40-odd years later on it still sounds fresh and arresting. Singles include: 'You've Made Me So Very Happy', 'And When I Die', and perhaps best known, 'Spinning Wheel'. The variations on the Satie Theme at the end go on a bit and tend towards pomp and pretension, but this is overall a fine record, and well worth getting if you like something a bit different and classy.
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on 17 February 2009
I never cared much for this album when it first appeared in 1969, its self-conscious blend of jazz & rock sounding rather stiff & artificial, compared with West Coast counterparts Spirit & Santana.
But it's amazing what time can do! Now, I appreciate so much about it:
- the full, rich horn sound,
- the polished production,
- David Clayton-Thomas's superb vocalizing,
- drummer Bobby Colomby's brilliant jazz technique - & tone,
- the precision-playing, all-round.
Why didn't I notice these things before? To be fair, I was only 18 at the time &, for someone weaned on Elvis, the Beatles & the whole rock & roll thing, this was just a bit too formal, I guess (most of their fans at the time did seem to be in their 20's & 30's, come to think of it). The fact that they didn't compose their own material was also a negative factor, though it doesn't seem to matter so much, now.
This must rank as one of the finest albums of the 60's - a milestone, in fact, paving the way for Chicago, Flock & later jazz-rock acts like Spyrogyra.
The 2 bonus tracks are no more than average. "More & more" features increased use of the guitar, while "Smiling phases" - all 18 minutes of it - has a long, slow introduction, then rather uninspired piano improvisation, without the tempo changes that made the album version so interesting - in short, more quantity, less quality.
NOTE: Although, as Amazon's heading indicates, this is an (Austrian) import, the sleeve-notes, including an extensive interview with Bobby Colomby, are in English (no lyric-sheet, though).
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on 2 October 2012
I ordered this cd as I had the LP years ago.I loved it then and it's just as good now as it was. I am slowly trying to buy all my old records on cd, David Clayton Thomas has a voice you can never forget. Buy it.
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on 22 November 2014
This is an album I first heard in 1969, around the same time Chicago had released their first album. David Clayton Thomas never really got the adulation he received, neither Dick Halligan, the group's keyboard player and arranger. Both B S & T and Chicago were produced by James William Guercio, the former more a fusion of rock and jazz, the latter were really originally rockers with horns, with only slight jazz pretensions. Listen to this album and BS & T 3 and marvel at the way each song, nearly all composed by people not in the group, is given the B S & T individual treatment
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on 12 October 2015
Don't know what happened to my old vinyl version from way back when BS&T were new and very cool, but v. pleased to hear it again and see the old album cover.
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on 10 June 2016
I had forgotten how good & innovative this album was when it was first released. It still sounds as good today
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on 13 October 2014
I love this album having owned it originally and it is wonderful to own it again and play it all time.
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