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First Taste of Sin

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Album Review

Founding guitarist Larry Field left before this album was recorded, resulting in an emphasis on keyboardist Raul Matute and sax player Danny Hull. The result is, surprisingly, somewhat tighter playing by the band, with the horn section reined in to provide percussive punches on guitar- and keyboard-driven songs. The Escovedos drop in to provide Latin percussion on such funk monsters as "Down to the Bone," and the band sounds both confident and aggressive in the tightly wound rave-up of "All My Honey." The album takes an unusual turn toward soulfully bittersweet blues on "You Had to Know"; while the song takes entirely too long to resolve, it's still an admirable showcase for Lydia Pense's bruised vocals. Trumpeter Max Haskett also steps in to provide vocals on a couple tracks, but they're an unavoidable letdown after the explosive power of Pense's singing.

Customer Reviews


Best singer you might never have heard of (Lydia Pense). Production by a soul legend (Donny Hathaway). Inspired playing all around. If you like horn-driven soul-rock, give this one a spin. I have all of Cold Blood's albums (LPs, you youngsters) and this is the best one. Donny's influence runs far and wide, as the band is automatically more soulful with him behind the desk. Lydia is a more controlled version of Janis Joplin and she never fails to produce goosebumps. Personal favorites include "Valdez In The Country", "Down To The Bone", and "You Had To Know". The best testament to this record is that I still enjoy listening to it thirty years after first purchasing it.

Larry Fields...A minor legend

To say that Larry Fields "left" before this album is not quite accurate. Larry had some demons even late in life. I was honored to sit in and watch some rehearsals and jam sessions for a band he called Hot City Band with his wife and friends. Friends including Tom Maloney, briefly with the Byrds and Billy Joel, playing bass. I do not wish to tarnish Larry's memory but he commited suicide long before this album was ever made. James Gurley from Big Brother and the Holding Company lived within this circle but do not recall if he sat in. His wife had a wonderfully strong voice as I do recall. Larry was a successful accountant prior to his death but the music was always his first love. Rest in peace Larry.


If you were into music "back in the day" then you know this band! If you came later in apologies. You missed the era of good sounds. Cold Blood may have never cracked the top 40, but the hip folks knew them well. This my opinion...their strongest lp. Produced by Donny Hathaway, they "stole" his two contributed songs on this lp and made it their own with his blessings while he played the keys. Great music stands the test of time....this lp does!


Formed: 1968 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s

A San Francisco-based R&B band originally formed by guitarist Larry Field as the "New Invaders" in the wake of the Summer of Love, Cold Blood had the key elements of strong female vocalist, a fine guitarist, and a powerful horn section. After successful gigs at Golden Gate Park and at the Fillmore, they were signed by impresario Bill Graham to his new San Francisco Records label, on which they released their self-titled debut in 1969. Four more albums followed over the next five years -- in fact,...
Full Bio
First Taste of Sin, Cold Blood
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Customer Ratings