1969 had seen Blood, Sweat & Tears rebuild themselves and scoring three hit singles shortly after ousting their leader Al Kooper. They had also played at the Woodstock festival. Their third album came in 1970, and featured further explorations of their high-brow jazz-rock sound, full of complex arrangements and instrumental flash. They were now relying heavily on cover material, cleverly re-arranging songs by James Taylor, Traffic, The Band, Joe Cocker, Laura Nyro and others. However sometimes their cleverness tripped them up, as their version of The Rolling Stones' "Sympathy For The Devil" (paired in a suite with "Symphony For The Devil") ended up losing all elements that gave the original its appeal and resulted in a bit of an awkward mess.
Nevertheless, the album did give them two more hits, a cover of Carole King's "Hi-De-Ho" (#14), and "Lucretia McEvil" (#29), which it's worth noting was actually one of their few original compositions, written by singer David Clayton-Thomas. The album itself was another #1 hit.
Though they were still managing to do well on the charts, the band's days as a popular counter-culture group were numbered. They had made the unpopular decision of going on a government-sponsored tour of Eastern Europe, as well as performing at Las Vegas casinos and doing the music for comedy film The Owl And The Pussycat.
Blood, Sweat & Tears (1969) <|> Blood, Sweat & Tears 4 (1971)
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