Wednesday, 10 September 2014

"Child Is Father To The Man" by BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS (2000 Sony/Legacy 'Expanded Edition' CD Remaster of their 1968 Debut LP) - A Review by Mark Barry...

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"…You Can Say I Told You So…" 

Arising out of the ashes of THE BLUES PROJECT - both AL KOOPER (Guitars, Organ and Lead Vocals) and STEVE KATZ (Guitars, Lute and Lead Vocals) joined forces with Bassist JIM FIELDER and Saxophonist FRED LIPSIUS and formed Mark 1 of BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS. And what a debut album they produced - "Child Is Father To The Man". Here are the sweaty details...  

UK released September 2000 - "Child Is Father To The Man" by BLOOD SWEAT & TEARS on Sony/Legacy 499823 2 (Columbia/Legacy CK 63987 Barcode 074646398722 in the USA)) is an 'Expanded Edition' CD Remaster with Three Bonus Tracks and plays out as follows (64:00 minutes):

1. Overture
2. I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know
3. Morning Glory
4. My Days Are Numbered
5. Without Her
6. Just One Smile
7. I Can’t Quit Her
8. Meegan’s Gypsy Eyes
9. Somethin’ Goin’ On
10. House In The Country
11. The Modern Adventures Of Plato, Diogenes And Freud

12. Refugee From Yuhupitz
13. I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know (Mono Demo)
14. The Modern Adventures Of Plato, Diogenes And Freud (Mono Demo)

Recorded and Produced by JOHN SIMON in late 1967 - the LP “Child Is Father To The Man” (tracks 1 to 11) first appeared in the USA in February 1968 on Columbia CS 9619 (on their famous 360 Sound label) while it showed up later in the UK - June 1968 on CBS Records S 63296. 

I’m thrilled to say that their debut masterpiece has been given a stunning VIC ANESINI remaster – gorgeous sound quality that hammers you – track after superb track. You can hear RANDY BRECKER’s Trumpet, ALAN SCHULMAN’s Cello and the sweetness of Jim Fielder’s Bass –a top job done.

Once you get past the superfluous "Overture" with it's manic giggling - you're hit immediately with Bluesy Rock genius - "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know" (lyrics above). It's the kind of great drama love song that lends itself to cover versions. Tina Britt did her take on the 1968 Minit Records LP "Blue All The Way" while one of my fave versions is Donny Hathaway's Soulful variant on his stunning 1973 Atlantic album "Extension Of A Man". Even legendary guitarist Les Paul revisited it in 2005 on his "& Friends" CD project with Mick Hucknell on Vocals and Joe Perry of Aerosmith on Guitar.

You're then hit with a brass/keyboard cover of Tim Buckley's "Morning Glory" sung sweetly by Steve Katz. "My Days Are Numbered" is another superb Kooper original - this time in a funky vein. Things go almost Lounge Lizard with their cover of Nilsson's "Without Her" - another album highlight (Producer John Simon plays Piano on “Without Her” and Organ on “Just One Smile”). The tempo's changed again to something more solemn - Randy Newman's "Just One Smile" which leads it into another gem "I Can't Quit Her". After all that brass and rock - the beautiful acoustic opening of "Meagan's Gypsy Eyes" comes as a welcome surprise (a Steve Katz original) - the remaster really shining here. And on it goes to the cover of Goffin/King's "So Much Love". The three bonuses are interesting - especially the simple piano basis to "The Modern Adventures..." - it gives you an idea of how advanced the arrangements on the finished track are.

Kooper left almost immediately after the LP was released - replaced with the superb vocalist DAVID CLAYTON-THOMAS who brought the band proper chart success with their self-titled 2nd album in 1969 - spawning hits like "You've Made Me So Very Happy" and "Spinning Wheel". I'd argue in fact that “Blood, Sweat & Tears” is just as good as the debut – albeit in a slightly different musical way.

But that starter album - "Child Is Father To The Man" - just had something special about it – cool, funky and wonderfully new - and this dinky CD remaster of it recaptures that vibe in spades...

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