"What?" you say. "How is Blood Sweat & Tears forgotten? They're songs are all over classic rock radio!"
Well, obviously, this is another Blood Sweat & Tears.
Note that there is no mention of David Clayton-Thomas. He wasn't part of the group at the time Child is Father to the Man was made. The album and group were part of the genius of Al Kooper.
Kooper broke into music as a member of the Royal Teens (who had a small hit before Kooper joined with "Short Shorts," written by Bob Gaudio before he became a Jersey Boy). He quickly became a fixture of the New York music scene as a studio musician and cowrote "This Diamond Ring." He was asked to observe a Bob Dylan recording session and was able to get himself hired on the spot to play organ on "Like a Rolling Stone" (despite the fact most of his session work was on the guitar) and on Blonde on Blonde. After Dylan, he was asked to join the Blues Project, a well-regarded jazz-blues group of the era.
In 1967, with the Blues Project broken up, Kooper got together with a few other musicians -- Jim Fiedler (fresh from a gig with Buffalo Springfield), Steve Katz (a friend from the Blues Project), and Bobby Columby -- with a new idea for a group, something that would merge rock and jazz, using jazz horns the way rock bands used guitars. They played a few gigs together, and started to recruit a horn section.
The result was Blood Sweat and Tears.
In 1968, their album was released. It was a triumph. It started with an overture, which, like a Broadway overture, had snippets of the songs in the album. It was an eclectic mix. Kooper wrote a good deal of the material, but there were songs by Harry Nilsson ("Without Her"), Randy Newman ("Just One Smile"), and Jeff Buckley ("Morning Glory'). There's the paranoid blues of "Something's Going On" (about a man afraid his lover is leaving him), the blusey "I'll Love You More Than You'll Ever Know," and the love song, "I Can't Quit Her." There's the gloriously goofy "Life in the Country," and Steve Katz's song to his young daughter, "Megan's Gypsy Eyes." There really isn't a bad cut on the records.
The album did OK, grazing the bottom of the charts and showing a promishing new group.
But Kooper, always restless, left. He returned to playing as a session musician, and became a producer, where he helped discover Lynyrd Skynyrd and gave the Zombies their last big hit. He put out some solo albums, along with a couple of live albums -- Super Session (with Mike Bloomfield and Stephen Stills) and The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper -- both of which were big sellers at the time.
The rest of Blood Sweat & Tears, of course, continued. Columby and Katz decided to find a new vocalist; the result of David Clayton-Thomas and superstardom (which deemphasized the Jazz background in the first album). Many people who liked the second (hit) album may have gone back to hear the first and be confused and disappointed (I know I was).
As time goes one, Child is Father to the Man is being recognized as a milestone in 60s music. If you hate Blood Sweat & Tears, then you may want to give it a listen.