Top 10 Blood Sweat & Tears Songs

Blood Sweat & Tears Songs

Photo: By Columbia Records (Billboard, page 5, 14 October 1972) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Some bands are extremely difficult to create top 10 songs list for. Blood Sweat & Tears is one of those bands. The band’s’ second album could easily fill this entire Top 10 Blood Sweat & Tears songs lists. That’s not to take away from all the other great records, which is the problem. The band released a tremendous amount of great songs defined by an original sound that crossed the genres of jazz, big band, progressive rock, r&b and pop music. In the end, the sound of Blood Sweat & Tears was all their own. The only other band that could compare to what Blood Sweat & Tears was doing was the great band Chicago.

Blood Sweat & Tears released their first album in 1968 entitled Child is Father to Man. The same year, the band released their second album with new lead singer David Clayton Thomas aboard. The band’s second album simply titled Blood Sweat & Tears would become one of the greatest rock recorded ever released in Classic Rock History.

In 1970 the band released Blood, Sweat & Tears 3. The album was followed by B, S & T 4 in 1971, New Blood in 1972, No Sweat in 1973, Mirror Image in 1975, New City in 1975, More Than Ever in 1976, Brand New Day in 1977, and Nuclear Day in 1980. 

Our Top 10 Blood Sweat & Tears Songs list is an attempt to choose some of the band’s most essential songs while at the same time throwing in few surprises.

# 10 – Back Up Against The Wall

We open up our Top 10 Blood Sweat & Tears songs list with the horn’s blasting, guitars blazing and the drums pounding with a ferocious fever while that big band smacks you in the face and says “wake up,” it’s time to strut, boogie, run, jump, swing and everything that the music of Blood Sweat & Tears inspires to be. The great song “Back Up Against The Wall,” was released on the Blood Sweat & Tears album No Sweat. The album was released in 1973. It was the band’s sixth album.

This was considered the Jerry Fisher era. The lineup of great musicians on the album No Sweat consisted of Jerry Fisher on lead vocals, Jim Fielder on bass, George Wadenius on guitar, Larry Willis on keyboards and Bobby Colomby on drums. The great Blood Sweat & Tears Horn section was made up of Dave Bargeron on multiple  brass instruments, Lew Soloff  Tom Malone on trumpet and Lou Marini on woodwinds.

# 9 – Go Down Gamblin’

The heavy blues infused funked up “Go Down Gamblin” was the opening track on the band’s fourth studio album entitled Blood Sweat & Tears 4. The song was written by David Clayton Thomas who also played guitar on the track. Blood Sweat & Tears 4 was a great record that was often overlooked. The album was released in 1971. David Clayton Thomas left the band after the album was completed.

# 8 – They

The Blood Sweat & Tears song “They,” is probably the least known track out of all the Blood Sweat & Tears Songs on this list. Nonetheless, it is one of the most interesting, and in many ways an outlier in the group’s history. The band’s music has always been a blend of jazz rock, fueled by their incredible horn section. However, in this great track its the rhythmic keyboard playing and blend of progressive rock concepts that sets it apart from other Blood Sweat & Tears Songs.

The song “They,” was released on the album, More Than Ever in 1976. It was the band’s ninth album.

# 7 – And When I Die

In continuing with our Blood Sweat & Tears songs list we once again turn to the band’s second album and another iconic song cover. The Blood Sweat & Tears song “And When I Die,” was originally written and recorded by the great Laura Nyro. One more time, the band’s version of the song was light years away from the original.

“And When I Die,” was the third of five singles released from the Blood Sweat & Tears sophomore album. The song was incredibly successful reaching all the way to the number 2 position on the Billboard Hot 100 in the year 1969. The song hit number one in Canada and New Zealand.

# 6 – Snow Queen

The sound of the band Blood Sweat & Tears changed on the group’s fifth album. The Jerry Fisher era had begun as the vocalist replaced David Clayton Thomas. Founding member Fred Lipsius had also left the group.The band’s sound shifted more towards the jazz world than it had ever done before. The band sounded great and the soloing was top-notch. In essence, they had grown, even though they had lost two key members. If you doubt that growth, just listen to this incredible cover of Carole King’s “Snow Queen.” Then take a listen to “Maiden Voyage,” which was the album’s closing track.

# 5 – Lucretia Macevil

The great track “Lucretia MacEvil” was released on the band’s third album appropriately titled Blood Sweat & Tears 3. The album was released in 1970. The album consisted almost entirely of covers with the exception of “Lucretia MacEvil” which was written by David Clayton Thomas. After the phenomenal success of the second Blood Sweat & Tears album with its five hit singles, the band faced daunting odds to repeat that success.

# 4 – I Can’t Quit Her

The great track “I Can’t Quit Her,” was released on the band’s debut album Child Is Father to the ManBlood Sweat & Tears debut album was released in 1968. ” I Can’t Quit Her,”was the only single released from the album. The song only reached the number 47 spot in the Billboard Hot 100. The song was written by Al Kooper and Irwin Levine.

# 3 – You Made Me So Very Happy

The Blood Sweat & Tears song “You Made Me So Very Happy,” was recorded during the David Clayton Thomas era. The song was released by the band in 1969. It is one of the band’s most well known songs. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1969. “You Made Me So Very Happy,” was written by Brenda Holloway, Patrice Holloway, Frank Wilson and Berry Gordy. It was originally recorded by Brenda Holloway and reached the number 39 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1967. The song’s arrangement was pure Motown with that iconic drum and bass groove wrapping itself around the smooth Brenda Holloway vocal.

The Blood Sweat & Tears version of the song “You Made Me So Very Happy,” was dramatically different from Brenda Holloway’s version. The Blood Sweat & Years recording of “You Made Me So Very Happy,” defines the brilliance of the band’s arrangements and song interpretations. It also defines the importance of the arrangers who work on the albums. “You Made Me So Very Happy,” appeared on the band’s second album entitled Blood Sweat & Tears. The tracks on the album were arranged by Al Kooper, Dick Halligan and Fred Lipsius.

# 2 – Spinning Wheel

There is probably not a person alive over the age of fifty that does not know the song “Spinning Wheel.” If we were choosing the most popular Blood Sweat & Tears songs of all time, well then there would be no other choice than to pick the song “Spinning Wheel,” as number one. In terms of chart position, it reached the number 2 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 just as “Your Made Me So Very Happy,” and “When I Die,” had done.

# 1 – God Bless The Child

Billie Holiday may have owned this song, but Blood Sweat & Tears paid heavy respect to Billie with their fabulous version of this great song. “God Bless the Child,” is one of the most covered songs in Classic Rock History. The song was first composed in 1939 by Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog, Jr. This may not come in at the top on most Blood Sweat & Tears songs list, but it has always been our favorite.

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