The Complete Columbia Singles
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Audio CD, January 7, 2014
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BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS: The Complete Columbia Singles (2-CD Set)
They were a pioneering jazz-rock outfit and a hit singles band (which shows how progressive pop music got in the late '60s/early '70s) that wowed fans and critics alike. They were Blood, Sweat & Tears and this two-CD, 32-track set offers not only the most comprehensive collection ever compiled of their work, but also the most appropriate lens through which to view their long and often chaotic career. Very few bands experienced the kind of turnover that Blood, Sweat & Tears did and lived to tell the tale the group began with the Blues Project's Steve Katz and Al Kooper as their visionary leaders, but Kooper left after their first album, to be replaced by David Clayton-Thomas as lead singer, thus launching the band's "classic" period punctuated with such hits as "You've Made Me So Very Happy," "And When I Die" and "Spinning Wheel" (here in their rare mono single mixes). After their fourth album, B. S. & T: 4, Clayton-Thomas and original members Fred Lipsius and Dick Halligan left en masse, yet the band soldiered on, winding up with only one original member drummer Bobby Colomby by the time they called it quits with Columbia. Yet, through it all, Blood, Sweat & Tears maintained a remarkably high level of musicianship and material throughout their stint with the label, and their innovative use of jazzy horn arrangements in a rock context paved the way for such bands as Chicago, Cold Blood, Chase and If. Along the way, they also integrated elements of psychedelia, R&B, folk and classical music into their jazz-rock framework to produce an eclectic mix of recordings unlike that of any other band of the era. Blood, Sweat & Tears: The Complete Columbia Singles follows the band through every phase and configuration, and features five single versions/mixes making their first appearance on CD. Producer Ed Osborne s notes include fresh quotes from Steve Katz, and the entire set is beautifully remastered by Vic Anesini at Battery Studios in NYC. The ultimate look at an underrated band.
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Top customer reviews
It sure surpasses the "Rare, Rarer & Rarest" collection which I already bought before and reviewed. This is way worth a few bucks more to get as it is a better overall listen, value, and picture of the band. This collection contains ALL the mono singles released by the band including all the ones found on "Rare, Rarer & Rarest". It allegedly contains ALL the singles ever released by the band while on Columbia Records. The couple released on ABC or MCA later on won't be missed much. They were stale by then.
As expected, the first disc is the true great listen of this band. The single edits miss a few memorable instrumental breaks and moments from the stereo LP versions. However, for a listen in the stereo of your classic automobile, this is hard to beat. The first handful of singles are in the original mono and the rest of the collection are all in stereo.
The second disc is a mixed bag of lesser songs with some good jamming at times but less cohesive as a band since many personnel changes permeated the band. There are some goods mixed with the bads. Some are leaning towards the funk-disco sound but who didn't do that to survive in the mid-late-1970s? The second disc gives you a snapshot to get an idea of what the band did after their 4th LP (the end of their peak) but just isn't that memorable. You do know, it is the first disc you would be primarily buying this collection for.
Some good LP moments may be missed but casual fans mostly will want the first 4 LPs of the band, and this collection.
So for anyone wanting a good picture of this band and at least one great disc to listen to with good sound, this is the one to get.
As a bonus, the essay in the booklet is interesting and informative including contributions from original band guitarist Steve Katz.
CD 1: Absolutely great, every song a classic mix played on radio.
CD 2: This is good but since they were slipping down the charts by this time. The material was not quite as good as CD 1.
Overall, it is highly recommended to purchase if you enjoy this band as much as I have through the years.
Drop by my website sometime @ "JudeMac Forever" & look around. Always something there for everyone.
Most recent customer reviews
Blood, Sweat & Tears is a rock-jazz band formed by Al Kooper in 1967. Nucleus consisted of Kooper, Steve Katz, Bobby Colomby (drums) and Jim Fielder...Read more