Although they would go on to become one of the most commercially successful acts of the 1970s, most observers agree that Blood, Sweat & Tears’ 1968 debut effort Child Is Father to the Man remains the ambitious ensemble’s finest and most enduring musical statement. The band’s only album under the leadership of legendary singer / keyboardist Al Kooper, Child Is Father to the Man stands with such late-’60s art-pop landmarks as the Zombies’ Odessey and Oracle and Love’s Forever Changes in capturing the period’s seemingly limitless creative possibilities.
Child Is Father to the Man is a brilliant reflection of the desire of Kooper—a former member of the seminal Blues Project and a key collaborator in Bob Dylan’s early electric work—to use an expanded instrumental lineup to explore a broader range of sounds, styles and compositional approaches. Towards that end, he launched Blood, Sweat & Tears, recruiting a stellar assortment of players from the worlds of rock and jazz, including ex-Blues Project guitarist Steve Katz, former Buffalo Springfield/Mothers of Invention bassist Jim Fielder, jazz drummer Bobby Colomby and noted jazz horn players Randy Brecker, Dick Halligan, Fred Lipsius and Jerry Weiss.
The resulting album (produced by fabled studio genius John Simon) was a seamlessly eclectic psychedelic-rock-jazz-classical fusion, with such diverse tracks as Kooper’s gritty compositions “I Can’t Quit Her” and “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know,” as well as his playfully arty “House in the Country” and “The Modern Adventures of Plato, Diogenes and Freud,” along with stirring readings of Tim Buckley’s “Morning Glory,” Harry Nilsson’s “Without Her” and Randy Newman’s “Just One Smile.”
Kooper’s expansive musical vision may have been a bit too far ahead of its time. Although it was a favorite of early FM album-rock DJs, Child Is Father to the Man barely scraped the Billboard Top 50 and failed to produce a hit single. However, in the years since, the album has been widely recognized for its expressiveness and originality, and embraced by successive generations of listeners. For instance, it received a prominent placement in Rolling Stone’s 2003 ranking of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
Now, Child Is Father to the Man is back with meticulously reproduced original cover art and is pressed on red vinyl!
Overture • I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know • Morning Glory • My Days Are Numbered • Without Her • Just One Smile • I Can’t Quit Her • Meagan’s Gypsy Eyes • Somethin’ Goin’ On • House In The Country • The Modern Adventures Of Plato, Diogenese, And Freud • So Much Love / Underture