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Cold Blood / Sisyphus
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2001
This wonderful CD contains the full contents of Cold Blood's first and second albums: Cold Blood, released in late 1969, and Sisyphus, released in early 1971, both originally on the San Francisco label. To say it's great to hear all these tracks with the quality of a CD would be an understatement. If you're reading this review, you probably didn't land here by accident, you know how hot this band is and you know how brilliant Lydia Pense is as a soulful blues rock vocalist. Hearing "Your Good Thing" (featuring the Pointer Sisters on backing vocals) with CD quality was a rush. There are too many highlights to dwell on in this review. So get this CD already!
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2002
My review addresses the sound quality of the CD, not the musical performance, which is adequately documented elsewhere.
I originally bought the first Cold Blood album on 8Track tape back in 1970, and bought the Sisyphus album on LP in 1971. I love both albums, but have been frustrated for years in my attempt to replace my antiquated 8Track with anything better than a scratched up copy of the LP. Until now!
I'm happy to say that both albums have been nicely mastered to CD by our friends at Rhino and released as a double album on the Collectables label. The sound quality is very good, but not exceptional. To my ears the transfer is typical of many I've heard of recordings from that era. Atlantic now owns the rights to these recordings that were originally released on the San Francisco label, but the CD was manufactured by Rhino, and I suspect the CD may not be mastered from the original master tapes. The sound lacks some transparency and exhibits some harshness, but is generally very good. Also, there is some very noticable distortion for about two seconds at the beginning of the song "Your Good Thing", but this is an isolated flaw. This defect might be mistaken by some as static from a poor quality LP to CD transfer, but it is certainly from another cause. Both "Cold Blood" and "Sisyphus" are definately mastered to CD from tape. The overall sonic quality is comparable on both albums, and the two blend seemlessly on the CD. The minor imperfection shouldn't deter anyone from purchasing this CD. I think this CD release is an excellent bargain.
I've waited a long time for this music to come out on CD and I'm very happy to have it.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2001
As with many bands & artists, Cold Blood's best stuff came at the beginning--so if you buy one Cold Blood album, this is definitely the one.
The first album, Cold Blood, appears to be from an original source but alas, as with the Best Of Cold Blood CD, the tracks from the fabulous Sisyphus album are (obviously) from a record.
So...if you've never heard 'em, run and buy this. But if have the LPs and were expecting to hear Shop Talk with crisp digital clarity, you might just want to run your LP though that pop and crackle software and make your own CD.
I realize things get lost over 30 years but I wish they would be upfront and just say original tape is unavailable.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2007
In 2006, the first five CB titles were issued in Japan in LP-replica mini-sleeve CD format on the Bomba label:

COLD BLOOD - BOMBA BOM24086
SISYPHUS - BOMBA BOM24087
FIRST TASTE OF SIN - BOMBA BOM24088
THRILLER - BOMBA BOM24091
LYDIA - BOMBA BOM24092

The audio mastering on those discs are all superior to their Collectables/domestic counterparts.

If you really love these CB albums, get the Japanese releases before they are sold out, as all mini-sleeve CD's are limited edition.

They are certainly more expensive than the domestic CB titles, but are definitely worth the price.

Link to the Japanese remaster of Sisyphus.

WHAT IS A JAPAN "MINI-LP-SLEEVE" CD?

Have you ever lamented the loss of one of the 20th Century's great art forms, the 12" vinyl LP jacket? Then "mini-LP-sleeve" CD's may be for you.

Mini-sleeve CDs are manufactured in Japan under license. The disc is packaged inside a 135MM X 135MM cardboard precision-miniature replica of the original classic vinyl-LP album. Also, anything contained in the original LP, such as gatefolds, booklets, lyric sheets, posters, printed LP sleeves, stickers, embosses, special LP cover paper/inks/textures and/or die cuts, are precisely replicated and included. An English-language lyric sheet is always included, even if the original LP did not have printed lyrics.

Then, there's the sonic quality: Often (but not always), mini-sleeves have dedicated remastering (20-Bit, 24-Bit, DSD, K2/K2HD, and/or HDCD), and can often (but not always) be superior to the audio on the same title anywhere else in the world. There also may be bonus tracks unavailable elsewhere.

Each Japan mini-sleeve has an "obi" ("oh-bee"), a removable Japan-language promotional strip. The obi lists the Japan street date of that particular release, the catalog number, the mastering info, and often the original album's release date. Bonus tracks are only listed on the obi, maintaining the integrity of the original LP artwork. The obi's are collectable, and should not be discarded.

All mini-sleeve releases are limited edition, but re-pressings/re-issues are becoming more common (again, not always). The enthusiasm of mini-sleeve collecting must be tempered, however, with avoiding fake mini-sleeves manufactured in Russia and distributed throughout the world, primarily on eBay. They are inferior in quality, worthless in collectable value, a total waste of money, and should be avoided at all costs.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2001
What would you get if you placed one "Beautiful Blonde Babe" (Ms. Lydia Pense), who if you closed your eyes for a second and just listened, you could swear under oath in court that she was born into a African American family.
Then, if you were to add a "Monsterous" horn section blowing powerful horn riffs like their very lives depended on it.
If you then still had the the presence of mind to throw into this wild musical mix, one "Dynamite" rhythm section, which had as its "Funky Drummer" a young kid (Sandy McKee) with some of the slickest hand, and feet licks this side of the Golden Gate/San Francisco/Oakland Bridges.
What would you have, and what would you call it?,...Cold Blood. That's what you would call it,...Cold Blood.
Cold Blood, maybe the second funkiest band (Tower of Power being the first) ever to come out of the S.F. Bay Area in the late sixties, early seventies. This album deserves a replay.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2005
Cold Blood was one of the finest blues/funk bands of their era. The music remains timeless. Fronted by Lydia Pense, the little woman with the big voice, this was a band with outstanding musical skills. Whether Cold Blood was performing original music or bringing a whole new meaning to a vast array of cover songs, their sound was unique and unmistakable. Apparently Cold Blood still exists, though with many personnel changes and a long-promised album that has not yet materialized.

The Cold Blood catalog deserves revisiting, and this cd of their early work is a gem.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2007
In the caldron of the late 60's-early 70's music scene there were many very good bands that are largely forgotten today. Near the top of my list would be Cold Blood and this disc is a cheap way to get an idea what they were about.

Think BST or Chicago but grittier and bluesier with a powerhouse girl singer up front that will make you think of Janis Joplin on her better days.

I gave this one 4 stars but would give it a 4.8 if I could.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2005
Sisyphus, that is. I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because there is a weird digital glitch at the beginning of "Your Good Thing"-Rhino should have destroyed this batch and redid them, but that would have cost $$. The sound is B+, and much better than my LP, still in good shape. Plus you get two for one. Trivia: Both these albums were originally on the San Francisco label, started by impressario Bill Graham.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2009
My recent purchase of this double album CD was to replace a well scratched first album, and a misplaced second album. Having not heard these songs in decades it was a real treat to hear them again. You have to wonder, of this great band and powerfull singer, where have they been? and what have they been doing? I promise you that most of this music could surface now 40 years later and find a fan base and following.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2005
Great to see these first two LP's released on CD. Both LP's are superb and Cold Blood fans will enjoy! Since this one, "First Taste Of Sin" and then "Lydia" were released domestically, where before merchants were exacting a pretty penny for Japanese-import CD's. Most of us Cold Blood fans are still waiting though for Thriller to be released stateside. Many fans will note there was a 1976 LP released on ABC, "Lydia Pense And Cold Blood", which in this reviewers' opinion, doesn't quite come close to the other LP's.
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