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Who was worse? Chicago, or Blood, Sweat & Tears?

PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 12:13 pm
by Adam Blake
I think this question needs to be addressed by this forum.

For myself, I lean towards Blood, Sweat & Tears. I had the misfortune to see them when I was about 12 at the BBC Theatre in Shepherds Bush. You know, my dad got me tickets to see them filming an "In Concert". He thought I'd "like it". I didn't. I was bewildered as to why it was so boring. At that tender age I was entranced merely by being in the proximity of electric guitars and amplifiers and all the accoutrements of live amplified music. I should have liked it. But it was awful. Not long after, my dad got me tickets to see The Kinks filming an "In Concert". This provided me with invaluable perspective. They were great. I loved them.

At the end of my first year at grammar school, someone lent me "Chicago Transit Authority" - Chicago's 1st album. Again, I thought I ought to like it because it had lots of long tracks with "interesting" solos (nascent jazz buff that I was) - but I didn't. It was boring. Except for "I'm A Man" which I liked but I knew that the original version was better. (It did also have a thing on it called "Freeform Guitar" which was pretty far-out sounding, but a long way from enjoyable.)

Later on, both groups made lots and lots more albums that routinely got bad reviews and sold in truckloads - especially Chicago. My all-time favourite record review is Lester Bangs's immortal review of "Chicago Live At Carnegie hall" which is pretty much unsurpassed in the genre.

Does anyone else have any thoughts on this burning issue?

Re: Who was worse? Chicago, or Blood, Sweat & Tears?

PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 1:42 pm
by Chris P
I must read this later

Re: Who was worse? Chicago, or Blood, Sweat & Tears?

PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 1:43 pm
by Chris P
hard luck Adamski

Re: Who was worse? Chicago, or Blood, Sweat & Tears?

PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 1:59 pm
by Chris P
They're both yanks stick with the Cap'n n Frank. But then, I'm younger than you, so who am I to say

Re: Who was worse? Chicago, or Blood, Sweat & Tears?

PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 6:31 pm
by john poole
Blood Sweat & Tears were worse, especially after Al Kooper left (or was kicked out) and David Clayton-Thomas became their vocalist, but ideally I would avoid both groups.

Re: Who was worse? Chicago, or Blood, Sweat & Tears?

PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 6:54 pm
by Chris P
Avoid both

Re: Who was worse? Chicago, or Blood, Sweat & Tears?

PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 11:03 pm
by willvine
Are either of them still going?

For me, I think, it was a case of I was there but didn't pay enough attention - not enough to answer the question posed here, but I remember the famous sampler album "The Rock Machine Turns You On" and suddenly here was this cascade of exciting new band names and sounds. So many of them, from far away - mythical even. Moby Grape, Peanut Butter Conspiracy, Electric Flag, Spirit, Taj Mahal and Blood Sweat and Tears. It was an album everybody I knew loved and savoured. I liked every track including BS&T's "My Days are Numbered." Then they had that other great track "I Can't Quit Her."

I was always one for picking at things and moving on. My interest in BS&T and Chicago Transit Authority didn't last beyond their debut LPs. I bought Chicago's 25 or 6 to 4 single and loved their version of I'm a Man. I never revisited either band as I have done with It's A Beautiful Day and Tower of Power, and The Doobie Brothers.
Ah! Come on, they all had their moments.

Re: Who was worse? Chicago, or Blood, Sweat & Tears?

PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 9:30 am
by NormanD
I'm with John on BST's first album, and I also had the first CTA, which I pretty much enjoyed. A CD player, with choose and skip, would have made it even more enjoyable. They both became something other, and quite dire, so they won't hold up well despite your best determination.

I never knew what "25 or 6 to 4" referred to. Odds on a horse? The time?

But I do love "Does Anybody Know What Time It Is". It's a great melody and deserves to be revived into a jazz standard. But perhaps it's the old nostalgia talking.

Re: Who was worse? Chicago, or Blood, Sweat & Tears?

PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 8:52 am
by AndyM
NormanD wrote:
I never knew what "25 or 6 to 4" referred to. Odds on a horse? The time?


The latter, I believe.

Always liked that track and 'I'm A Man' too.

B S & T did truly horrible things to Laura Nyro songs, so boooooooooooooooo to them.

But the best track in the whole sub-genre these two combos epitomised was actually 'Vehicle' by the Ides of March. Even though its lyrics now sound decidedly iffy in these post-Yewtree days!

In case you've forgotten it --

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiLaNEFyCiM

Re: Who was worse? Chicago, or Blood, Sweat & Tears?

PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 10:03 am
by john poole
AndyM wrote:the best track in the whole sub-genre these two combos epitomised was actually 'Vehicle' by the Ides of March. Even though its lyrics now sound decidedly iffy in these post-Yewtree days!

That has lasted a little better than the other two bands, although it does sound like a song that Tom Jones would cover (as I noted from the side of the screen).

In 1966 before they had a horn section -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63KnlInETkI

Their vocalist/songwriter Jim Peterik later co-wrote 'The Eye of the Tiger' .....

Re: Who was worse? Chicago, or Blood, Sweat & Tears?

PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 10:05 am
by NormanD
David Clayton-Thomas recorded a song called "Professor Longhair". Everything is wrong about it. I thought so at the time, and I still do, having just listened again. It's on youtube, find it if you must. It might as well have been a Clinton Ford song, or by Alan Breeze with the Billy Cotton Band Show. 1973, too - when Fess could have done with some money. This, and crimes against Laura Nyro (though she at least got a few bob).

I do remember that Ides Of March song. A bit of a mover, ennit.

When did rock-with-horns start, or at least become popular? I'll start the ball rolling with 'Good Day Sunshine". Any thoughts?

Re: Who was worse? Chicago, or Blood, Sweat & Tears?

PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 11:25 am
by Adam Blake
NormanD wrote:When did rock-with-horns start, or at least become popular? I'll start the ball rolling with 'Good Day Sunshine". Any thoughts?


I think you mean "Got To Get You Into My Life"!

Georgie Fame? But he wasn't really rock, was he?

Re: Who was worse? Chicago, or Blood, Sweat & Tears?

PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 11:26 am
by Adam Blake
AndyM wrote:But the best track in the whole sub-genre these two combos epitomised was actually 'Vehicle' by the Ides of March. Even though its lyrics now sound decidedly iffy in these post-Yewtree days!

In case you've forgotten it --


I had forgotten it! How careless of me! Thank you.

Re: Who was worse? Chicago, or Blood, Sweat & Tears?

PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 11:49 am
by john poole
Rock with horns - Sounds Incorporated and Cliff Bennett & the Rebel Rousers in the UK.

In the US maybe the Electric Flag were the precursors of Chicago & BS&T?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WW3fxAA1wM
(starts 20 seconds in)

Re: Who was worse? Chicago, or Blood, Sweat & Tears?

PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 1:46 pm
by NormanD
I wondered about Electric Flag, and thought of it more as Mike Bloomfield's emulation of some Black blues players who were starting to move into the realms of soul music. Maybe that's what Al Kooper wanted from BST too?

Lord Rockingham? They seemed like a dance band who occasionally let their hair down before having to go back to their day jobs playing cha-cha and swing on the ballroom circuit.