Blood Sweat & Tears Civic Theatre, Halifax '80

Blood Sweat & Tears Civic Theatre, Halifax '80
Item# newitem4507376058

Product Description

This footage of Blood, Sweat & Tears was recorded on April 9, 1980, at the Civic Theatre in Halifax, U.K., when concert promoter Jeffrey S. Kruger had a crew film the "last night of the U.K. leg of the tour" according to Clive Richardson's liner notes from the companion DVD to this, the group War's Loose Grooves: Funkin' Live in England, 1980. Not only do War get a cooler title and liner notes, that band also gets the thumbs-up as the better of the two concerts. On one hand, there's no denying that the David Clayton-Thomas version of BS&T racked up the hits, but there's also no denying that the artistic integrity Al Kooper's vision (along with his...well...blood, sweat, and tears) brought to the mix is nullified by the presence of Clayton-Thomas. Fully 11 years after they dominated the charts, the singer and frontman takes the stage like a biker the Hell's Angels banished from Altamont. It is not a pretty sight. He also has no original members of the group from the first three albums but many musicians from the Nuclear Blues album, a 1980 release on LAX and MCA produced by War producer Jerry Goldstein. So you have David Clayton-Thomas and a new band as Blood, Sweat & Tears. The film is grainy and dark, though it captures the moment in fine fashion. Five of the six chart hits are here (everything but "Go Down Gamblin') and a rendition of "God Bless the Child," which was pretty much an FM staple back in the day. While the band got a lot of flak by the underground press for releasing "Lucretia MacEvil" and totally "selling out," the old Greg Shaw axiom could come into play: "Hear anything a thousand times on the radio and it becomes passable." Well, time is not kind to "Lucretia," so the one-minute-and-23-second rendition is merciful in its brevity. Carole King's "Hi De Ho" as well as Laura Nyro's one contribution fare better, but wouldn't you rather be watching King's band, the City, performing it? Or better still, a video of Laura Nyro singing lead for Blood, Sweat & Tears? There are no bonus tracks, no interview footage, and -- unlike War's DVD -- no liner notes.

Clayton-Thomas takes a much welcome break after saying "You Made Me So Very Happy" was "Blood, Sweat & Tears 1970" (it was actually 1969). He then introduces Robert Piltch on classical guitar and the turnaround is quick and quite amazing. The instrumental "Spanish Wine" from the album they are touring behind is stunningly brilliant. Six minutes and 25 seconds of classical guitar meets jazz-rock followed by ten minutes and 43 seconds of "Blood, Sweat and Tears Blues." Dropped are the Las Vegas trappings for some Latin jazz that fits perfectly with what their pals on the bill, War, were up to. A perfect complement. Clayton-Thomas re-emerges to compete with Pat Boone's 1997 version of "The Wind Cries Mary" for the distinction of the worst rendition of a Jimi Hendrix tune ever recorded: two minutes and seven seconds of "Manic Depression" that would have Jimi running for the lithium. Awful doesn't describe the travesty. Imagine a drunk biker getting up with the band Flint -- ex-Grand Funk Railroad as a bar band -- and you'll have a clue. Fred Heller is listed as executive producer and one asks the question, "Wait a minute, isn't Heller the guy who forgot to film Mott the Hoople on Broadway?" A quick search gets you Ian Hunter's fan page, where someone asks him about the Uris Theater concerts not being filmed. The reply: "We were managed by Fred Heller and our label was Columbia Records. There's two great reasons for a start!" Decades after the fact, the rhetorical question is what would you rather be reading about -- a DVD of Mott the Hoople on Broadway or David Clayton-Thomas covering Jimi Hendrix's "Manic Depression" in a truncated version that unceremoniously stops cold like the last episode of The Sopranos by this "Son of Blood, Sweat & Tears" vehicle?

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Track Listing Title/Composer Performer Time Stream 1 Overture Al Kooper Blood, Sweat & Tears Amazon 2 Nuclear Blues Clayton Thomas Blood, Sweat & Tears Amazon 3 You're the One Clayton Thomas Blood, Sweat & Tears Amazon 4 God Bless the Child Blood, Sweat & Tears Amazon 5 Lucretia MacEvil Clayton Thomas Blood, Sweat & Tears Amazon 6 Hi De Ho Blood, Sweat & Tears Amazon 7 And When I Die Blood, Sweat & Tears Amazon 8 Spinning Wheel Clayton Thomas Blood, Sweat & Tears Amazon 9 You Made Me So Very Happy Blood, Sweat & Tears Amazon 10 Spanish Wine Blood, Sweat & Tears Amazon 11 Blood, Sweat and Tears Blues Blood, Sweat & Tears Amazon 12 Manic Depression Blood, Sweat & Tears Amazon