Blood, Sweat, & Tears, had one of the most hasty formations in the history of rock bands. Band founder Al Kooper felt he needed a new start after leaving his first band, the Blues Project, and wanted to make a little money. He had been thinking for quite some time about forming a rock/jazz fusion band with rock guitars and jazz horns to create a cool jazz feeling with the standard rock band image. Kooper decided his dream would begin in London, so he needed to raise enough money to get himself to London to put together his dream band. He decided to organize a series of gigs with some of his big-name friends in New York. His plan did not raise enough money, but as they say, when a door closes, a window opens. The gigs brought a core group of musicians to Kooper who were all interested in being involved in his project. Kooper was joined by Jim Fielder on bass, Steve Katz on guitar, and Bobby Colomby on drums. Soon, the band also gained the horn section of Kooper's dreams. Randy Brecker and Jerry Weiss joined up, playing trumpets and Flegelhorns, and Dick Halligan played trombone.
The group was soon signed with the name Blood, Sweat & Tears to Columbia Records. Their sound became wildly successful in the 1960s with a true blend of rock and jazz, also incorporating a strong element of soul. They debuted on the stage at CafÃ© Au Go Go in New York to a cheering crowd. Surprised by their success, Blood, Sweat & Tears decided to release an album and see how they did on the mass market. Child Is Father to Man was recorded only two weeks after their debut performance and was released to positive reviews. The album did well and was praised in the music community, but it did not produce a hit single to aid record sales through radio play. The album had to rely on word-of-mouth and minimal rock press attention to become a bigger seller. Eventually the band went on tour to promote the new album, and that proved to be their most successful avenue to success.
Though the tour successfully promoted the album and helped it edge onto the charts, the constant travel created tensions within the band. Katz and Colomby ousted Kooper as bandleader. Eventually Kooper left the lineup and took a producer's job at Columbia Records. Randy Brecker also quit in order to join Horace Silver's band. Jerry Weiss left the band at the end of the tour in order to form the group Ambergris. Colomby and Katz decided to stick with the band's name, sound, and success and began auditioning new musicians and singers. David Clayton-Thomas joined the group as singer. Chuck Winfield and Lew Soloff came to fill the gap in the horn section and Jerry Hyman came in on trombone when Halligan moved over to play keyboard. The new nine-piece band came together to release another album, which, ironically, included many of Kooper's songs.
The self-titled album was issued 11 months after the group's debut with a nearly new line up. The album included the single 'You've Made Me So Very Happy' which soon rose to the number two spot on the charts and helped the album climb the charts as well. The album won the Grammy for Album of the Year and sold three million copies. They continued to tour with the album, their shows selling thousands of tickets and drawing big crowds. The issues that arose with the first tour were subdued, and the group managed well on the road. A new album, Blood, Sweat & Tears 3, was produced during this time. After Kooper left the band, the sound changed to a more traditional use of horns, which some rock fans did not enjoy. The audience, by the time of the third album, had changed considerably.
Though record sales fluctuated, Columbia stuck with the band. Through the next two decades the line up continued to change and the sound also changed. They continued playing original songs but did very well with remakes of songs like the Beatle's 'Got to Get You Into My Life'. They continued touring, which eventually yielde