In a four-day period this week in 1968, from February 21st to February 24th, three classic albums were released.  Two were the debut releases of groups that would go on to much bigger things.  The third was a posthumous release of a recently departed soul icon.                                                                                                                               The first of the three albums, released on February 21st, 1968, was the debut album from Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Child Is Father To The Man”.   The brainchild of founder Al Kooper, Blood, Sweat & Tears was his next group after The Blues Project.  Al had long wanted to have horns as part of a rock band, and he was able to do just that with this band and album.  It’s a wonderful album, and ranks with the best work of Kooper’s long career.  Sadly, he was forced out of the band not long after it’s release, replaced by David Clayton-Thomas for their second album, “Blood, Sweat & Tears”, which was one of the biggest albums of the late 60’s, early 70’s era.            Blood,Sweat&TearsChildIsFathertotheMan.jpg                                                                                            Two days later, on February 23rd, 1968, Otis Redding’s album “Dock Of The Bay” was released.  Otis had died about 10 weeks earlier, in December of 1967.  In the meantime, the title cut had become a #1 hit in January.  The album was compiled by guitarist Steve Cropper from singles and b-sides dating back to 1965.  Of his posthumous releases, I don’t think it’s as good as “The Immortal Otis Redding”, but it does have some great work by the master of soul.  Otisdockofthebay.jpg               The next day, February 24th, 1968, saw the release of Fleetwood Mac’s debut, “Fleetwood Mac”.  This is not the later Fleetwood Mac of the mega-selling “Rumours”,etc. but the original band formed by Peter Green.  In fact, they were billed as “Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac”.  It’s a good debut, featuring some of the best British blues rock of the time, and hinting at the later great work Green would do with the band, such as “Black Magic Woman” and the wonderful “Then Play On” album, containing his opus, “Oh Well”.  Interesting side note, “Fleetwood Mac” was the only Mac LP that does not include Christine McVie piano.  She contributed to the later Green releases and “Kiln House”, but was not a regular member until “Future Games”.      Fleetwood Mac - Fleetwood Mac (1968).jpg                                                                 So it was an interesting time in popular music, and I will be featuring all three albums on my show Monday, 12-2 PM CST at http://www.uicradio.org .  I hope you can join me!        

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