Blood, Sweat & Tears
Released: February 1972
Chart Peak: #19
Weeks Charted: 27
Certified Platinum: 11/21/86
When it comes to consistency in hitmaking records, Blood, Sweat & Tears are the winners, hands down. This package spans their success from "I Can't Quit Her," when Al Kooper was a member to the more recent hit like David Clayton Thomas' "Spinning Wheel," "Lucretia Mac Evil" and "Lisa, Listen To Me." Another winner.
- Billboard, 1972.
As with Engelbert Humperdinck, their pop success does them more good in Vegas than on the radio, and only four of these eleven cuts made top twenty. Highlights: "Lisa, Listen to Me" and "I Can't Quit Her," neither of which made top hundred -- and both of which make me appreciate Al Kooper very much. C
- Robert Christgau, Christgau's Record Guide, 1981.
Blood Sweat and Tears were the rocking jazz big-band formed by Al Kooper and Steve Katz after their Blues Project collaboration. Kooper had played organ for Dylan on his early albums and was both a competent session guitarist and songwriter but before BS&T's real commercial break he quit to record with Mike Bloomfield.
A replacement came in the shape of gravel-voiced Canadian singer David Clayton-Thomas. The big, bold, brass dominated blues and rock cut straight across musical boundaries and Blood Sweat and Tears became a tearaway chart success in America, though UK audiences were more cautious. But like a flare in the night sky BS&T's brilliance was short lived, their best numbers featuring, among others, the talents of Jerry Weiss and Randy Brecker both on trumpet and flugelhorn, Jim Fielder and Bobby Colomby on bass and drums respectively.
- David Prakel, Rock 'n' Roll on Compact Disc, 1987.
Sometimes, a greatest hits set is timed perfectly to gather together a recording artist's most successful and familiar performances just at the point when that artist has passed the point of his maximum exposure to the public, but before the public memory has had a chance to fade. That was the case when Columbia Records assembled this compilation for release in early 1972. At that point, Blood, Sweat & Tears had released four albums and scored six Top 40 hits, each of which is heard here. But lead singer David Clayton-Thomas had just quit the group, so that the unit which recorded songs like "You've Made Me So Very Happy" was not working together anymore. And even when Clayton-Thomas returned, the band would continue to decline commercially. As such, BS&T's Greatest Hits captures the band's peak in 11 selections -- seven singles chart entries, plus two album tracks from the celebrated debut album when Al Kooper helmed the group, and two more from the Grammy-winning multi-platinum second album. Using the short singles edits of songs like "And When I Die" emphasizes their radio-ready punch over the more extended suite-like arrangements on the albums, but this selection gains in focus what it lacks in ambition. For the millions who learned to love BS&T in 1969 when they were all over AM radio, this is the ideal selection of their most accessible material. * * * *
- William Ruhlmann, The All-Music Guide to Rock, 1995.
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