10 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Five of the original eight members from the February 1968 debut Child is Father to the Man remain for the commercial success of this self-titled 1969 follow-up. Most notable, however, is the general absence of the band’s original visionary Al Kooper (who hung on only to ‘arrange’ two tracks). In his place, producer James William Guercio (who would have even greater success with another horn-heavy band, Chicago) and singer David Clayton-Thomas assembled an album that connected across many stylistic lines with the now ever-present radio hits “Spinning Wheel,” “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy” and Laura Nyro’s “And When I Die.” The fusion of guitar-keyboards and jazz-influenced horns is still a major draw, but the emphasis towards pop is unmistakable – even with the inclusion of “Variations on a Theme by Erik Satie (First and Second Movements)” and the Billie Holiday classic “God Bless the Child.” Clayton-Thomas’ vocals are simply too pronounced to ignore and his flair for the dramatic made for the strong audience ties that helped make BS&T one of the era’s most successful bands. Additional live tracks were added to the deluxe reissue.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Five of the original eight members from the February 1968 debut Child is Father to the Man remain for the commercial success of this self-titled 1969 follow-up. Most notable, however, is the general absence of the band’s original visionary Al Kooper (who hung on only to ‘arrange’ two tracks). In his place, producer James William Guercio (who would have even greater success with another horn-heavy band, Chicago) and singer David Clayton-Thomas assembled an album that connected across many stylistic lines with the now ever-present radio hits “Spinning Wheel,” “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy” and Laura Nyro’s “And When I Die.” The fusion of guitar-keyboards and jazz-influenced horns is still a major draw, but the emphasis towards pop is unmistakable – even with the inclusion of “Variations on a Theme by Erik Satie (First and Second Movements)” and the Billie Holiday classic “God Bless the Child.” Clayton-Thomas’ vocals are simply too pronounced to ignore and his flair for the dramatic made for the strong audience ties that helped make BS&T one of the era’s most successful bands. Additional live tracks were added to the deluxe reissue.

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