Cherry Red Films have just released an interesting DVD featuring a live performance of the band Blood Sweat And Tears. The video comes from a 1980 concert held in England. Considering that the original material is 27 years old, they have done a great job of cleaning up the audio and video. Blood Sweat And Tears were a rather bizarre band, some called them Jazz, some called them Blues, but almost everyone agreed that there was a dash of ‘rock n roll’ involved as well. Fronted by David Clayton-Thomas they were a power in the music industry for several years. Spinning Wheel, is maybe their best known song, but they also had many other great songs in their repertoire. And this newly released DVD should be of interest to anyone that loved Blood Sweat and Tears.

In this concert David Clayton-Thomas shows his great vocal range, he can play the part of the Jazz singer, the Blues singer, and even the Rocker. He definitely comes across as a presence on the stage. One of the more interesting aspects is how the concert progresses. It starts rooted in the 70’s music, and then they transition into their ‘new’ works. This was a huge change in style. Suddenly we are introduced to classical guitars, and a much more acoustic sound. The 70’s tunes are raw and fun, while the 80’s one’s are cool and sophisticated.

Maybe the most unusual aspect of this change can be found in Spanish Wine and Blood Sweat And Tears Blues. Spanish Wine is a track entrenched in classical Spanish guitar style, it is light, acoustic, and very endearing.

Next up is Blood Sweat And Tears Blues, this is a tune would make the average roaming Mariachi band proud! The use of the trumpet and saxophone are distinctly Mexican. They wrap the concert up with a version of Jimi Hendrix’s Manic Depression, I am not sure that I liked this track; it was not as manic as it could have been.

If there is a downside to this otherwise excellent DVD it would have to be that they created a medley out of ‘And When I Die’, ‘Spinning Wheel’, and ‘You Made Me So Very Happy’. For many people these are the songs that represent Blood Sweat And Tears. With a running time of just under an hour, I think this is a fun DVD.

It is available through the MVD group.

Simon Barrett


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