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Archive for November 22nd, 2013

Happy New Year: Real Gone Ushers In 2014 With Blood, Sweat & Tears, Grateful Dead, More

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Blood Sweat and Tears - SinglesReal Gone Music is hoping to make you so very happy with its first release slate of 2014!  On January 7, the Real Goners compile for the very first time The Complete Columbia Singles of jazz-rock pioneers Blood Sweat & Tears, offer up The Complete Atlantic Recordings of the soul great Bettye Swann (“Make Me Yours”), unearth another vintage Grateful Dead show, and recover the lone long-player of R&B singer-songwriter Samuel Jonathan Johnson.

Despite 1968’s strong debut Child is Father of the Man, with Al Kooper as chief songwriter, Blood, Sweat & Tears quickly parted ways with founding members Kooper, Randy Brecker and Jerry Weiss. Just months later, the group re-emerged with a new, self-titled album, adding Lew Soloff, Jerry Hyman, Chuck Winfield and Canadian lead vocalist David Clayton-Thomas to the mix. (Bobby Colomby, Steve Katz, Jim Fielder, Dick Halligan and Fred Lipsius all remained in the band.) Blood, Sweat & Tears, produced by James William Guercio (The Buckinghams, Chicago), rocketed the band to superstardom with the hit singles “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy,” “Spinning Wheel,” and “And When I Die.” And Clayton-Thomas quickly established himself as a contender for the title of best blue-eyed soul vocalist out there.  Real Gone’s 2-CD set The Complete Columbia Singles offers all three of those smashes in their original mono mixes, plus 29 more single sides (five of which are making their CD debuts) all in original 45 RPM versions.  The first eight tracks are in mono; the remaining cuts are in stereo.

Blood, Sweat & Tears was a platinum-selling, Grammy-winning Album of the Year. But inner turmoil still plagued the band. 1970’s follow-up Blood, Sweat & Tears 3 also reached No. 1, but following 1971’s fourth album, Clayton-Thomas, Halligan and Lipsius all departed for greener pastures. Clayton-Thomas was back in the fold by 1975, but the time for Blood, Sweat & Tears had passed. The band continued to record, with diminishing returns, despite the presence of well-known producers including Steve Tyrell, Bob James, Henry Cosby and Jimmy Ienner. BS&T’s final studio album for Columbia was released in 1976.  Producer Ed Osborne’s new liner notes include recollections from founding member Steve Katz, and the entire set has been remastered by Vic Anesini at Battery Studios in NYC.  The Complete Columbia Singles looks to be a definitive anthology from one of the most underrated bands of the era.

After the jump: a look at the rest of the Real Gone line-up, plus pre-order links for all titles! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

November 22, 2013 at 11:03