Few musical innovators have flown under the radar than Blood, Sweat, & Tears. That’s not saying they weren’t popular and had massive hit singles and albums. But their contribution to the mix of Rock and Soul doesn’t seem to get the recognition it deserves. To this day, their incorporation of horns into rock music still feels fresh and unmatched. Sure, plenty of people do it, but not the way they did.
Originally formed from the ashes of The Blues Project by Al Kooper and Steve Katz, Kooper left the group after their first album as the band wanted a more soulful singer. It’s what the rest of the band wanted, but oddly enough it was their new singer, David Clayton-Thomas, that unknowingly put the band in a strange position. Clayton-Thomas, a Canadian, was having a problem with his green card, so the State Department said they could help, but in return, the band would need to go tour behind the Iron Curtain in a newly created arts exchange program with the USSR.
The political backlash of their decision to go on this tour, might be the reason they are not mentioned everyday with the all-time greats of the music industry. The story is the backdrop of the new documentary, What the Hell Happened to Blood, Sweat, & Tears? We spoke with guitarist and forming band member Steve Katz about the whole experience.
Here’s the trailer of the film.
Blood, Sweat & Tears, known for hits such as “Spinning Wheel”, “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy”, and “And When I Die”, headlined the legendary Woodstock Festival and won multiple Grammy Awards, most notably 1970’s win for Album Of The Year, besting The Beatles’ “Abbey Road” and “Johnny Cash at San Quinten.” This is the incredible never-before-told story about a top rock band that was unknowingly embroiled in a political rat’s nest involving the U.S. State Department, the Nixon White House and a controversial concert tour of Yugoslavia, Romania and Poland, countries that were behind what was then known as the Iron Curtain. As a result, they found themselves in the crossfire of a polarized America, as divided then as it is now.
- Genre: Documentary, Music, History
- Original Language: English
- Director: John Scheinfeld
- Producer: Dave Harding, Peter S. Lynch II, John Scheinfeld
- Writer: John Scheinfeld
- Release Date (Theaters): Limited
- Distributor: Abramorama