Writer: David Clayton-Thomas
Producer: James William Guercio
Recorded: Late summer 1968 at Columbia Studios, New York City
Released: October 1968
|Players:||David Clayton-Thomas – vocals
Bobby Colomby — drums
Steve Katz — guitar
Jim Fielder — bass
Dick Halligan — keyboards, flute
Jerry Hyman — trombone
Fred Lipsius — saxophone
Lew Soloff — trumpet
Chuck Winfield — trumpet
|Album:||Blood, Sweat & Tears (Columbia, 1968)|
The second single from Blood, Sweat & Tears' second album, “Spinning Wheel” hit Number Two on the Billboard Hot 100 in June 1969 while also topping the Adult Contemporary chart for two weeks.
The song's commercial success was a relief for the band, which experienced internal discord in the summer of 1968 that led to the departure of frontman Al Kooper and two other founding members.
BS&T's first choice to replace Kooper was singer-songwriter Laura Nyro, girlfriend of bassist Jim Fielder. She auditioned with the group but opted against joining at the advice of her manager, David Geffen. The group also reached out to Stevie Wonder and Stephen Stills before hiring David Clayton-Thomas, a Canadian singer and songwriter who guitarist Steve Katz had met at Steve Paul's Scene in New York City.
Of Clayton-Thomas, drummer Bobby Colomby remembers, “Steve and I were at this club. We weren't paying attention to the stage, but we were sitting right under this large speaker. We heard this unbelievable voice coming out of it, like Ray Charles or Bobby “Blue” Bland. When I looked at the stage, it seemed as if the singer was lip-synching, because he did not look like what I was hearing.”
BS&T started making its second album with producer James William Guercio, but while those sessions yielded hits such as “Spinning Wheel” and “You've Made Me So Very Happy,” Guercio wasn't around when the album wrapped. “He left before the thing was really done,” says Colomby. “He lost interest. He hated David. He hated Steve. It was like, 'These guys are prima donnas. I can't stand it. I gotta get outta here.'” The group finished the album on its own.
Buoyed by its hit singles, Blood, Sweat & Tears spent seven weeks at Number One on the Billboard 200 and was certified triple-platinum.
Blood, Sweat & Tears was also the first album ever to house three gold singles — “Spinning Wheel,” “You've Made Me So Very Happy,” and a cover version of Billie Holiday's “And When I Die.”
BS&T celebrated the album's success by appearing at the first Woodstock festival in 1969.