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Bloodstone

Bloodstone was a key group in creating the shift from the R&B and soul group concepts of the '50s and '60s to the funk and black rock ideas of the '70s and afterward.

The group began in Kansas City, while the original members were in high school, as an a cappella doo wop group, the Sinceres, around 1962. They evolved with the decade, and by 1968 were ensconced in Las Vegas, playing lounges like many other soul minor leaguers (Sonny Charles & the Checkmates, most notoriously). From there, they went to Los Angeles and did the unexpected: They learned to play instruments and became a band (like the Clash and Steely Dan, they never did settle on a permanent drummer).

In fact, Bloodstone was a very good funk-soul group using the Hendrix-derived licks of Charles Love and Willis Draffen against multiple percussion ideas to underpin a vocal blend that still owed its soul to gospel and doo wop. (If this makes you think of the Isley Brothers of "That Lady," you're on the right track.)

Bloodstone received no record company interest in L.A., however, so at the advice of its manager, the group relocated to London in 1971. There, they teamed up with Mike Vernon, founder of the Blue Horizon label, who'd made his bones producing an album with the great Chicago pianist Otis Spann; white blues acts like Fleetwood Mac and Savoy Brown; and early Euro-rock with Focus. Vernon took Bloodstone into the studio and by early 1973, its debut single, "Natural High," had cracked the R&B and pop Top Ten, becoming the group's defining song.

Vernon produced the first five Bloodstone albums, which garnered seven Top 20 R&B singles, almost all of which made the pop Top 40. The group was a big concert draw, and its album sold well, if not spectacularly. Somehow, all of this was parlayed into a 1975 film deal. Train Ride to Hollywood is arguably the funniest picture of the whole '70s blaxploitation film boom, derived in equal parts from the Marx Brothers and such early spoofs as The Palm Beach Story and International House. Somehow, amidst the slapstick and the reefer jokes, Bloodstone wedges in a fairly complete history of black vocal harmony music from the Mills Brothers to the Coasters to their own bad selves. They do it even better on the soundtrack album. (All of the Vernon-produced Bloodstone albums contain versions of '50s and '60s oldies.)

The group then faded from popular view, despite a brief stint at Motown, until the early '80s, when it hooked up with the Isley Brothers' T-Neck and scored a commercially and artistically successful album, We Go a Long Way Back, produced by the Brothers. The title track returned them to the R&B Top Ten in 1982, but although several other T-Neck singles charted, the group's recording career essentially ended there. Nevertheless, this heartland group had made a significant mark and can lay fair claim to being one of the first to figure out its particular era's future. ~ Dave Marsh, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Side 2 of the natural high album was the first songs I ever memorized and will forever be a place that I can go to and ALWAYS get my groove on
This was a very great band/group. So underrated!
What a great voice add with music a group for all times To remember..
Music with smoothness!
Music with class
I really appreciate the music of the 70's because the music of today just don't measure up.....
I'm a 80's baby, & I love this group. Guess I have an old soul.
Natural High! on my way smoooooth! Are you with me? RQ/rlh
We need more of this kind of music...awes o m e
I ALWAYS TAKE THE SKY ON A NATURAL HIGH I CALLED MY PLACES AND SPACES. AND ITS A BEAUITFUL HIGH MUCH LOVE SMILE......
Always enjoyed
Bad jam like it
This. Song. Says. It.
Great song!
Whispers are the best
garciakristy l
Bad a** jam
Chiauuu! I just love the feeling of oldies! Aqui en mi soul!
forever love ! everlasting sweet melody music of all times...
FANFREAKINTA S T I C group------l u v em more now than I did back then!!!!! :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)
All my old jams I remember back in the days all my friends used to sit back and jam most of them are gone now but this. And the jams live on God blesses all
Wow a long way back.
Love this song.
ONE OF MY FAVORITE LOVE SONG OF ALL TIME SMILE....
Reminds me of my low rideing days (front back side to side) 63 impala
It. Like.a. high. For. Me. I. Love. Y. Thorrt. Or. By. My. Sefth. I. Got. More. Not. Just. Music. Life
I love to listen to my old school music because the music today will never compare.
My girlfriend's and I used to LOVE this jam back I'm junior Hugh school! Memories of singing this in the school hallways,
Bloodstone. Is the s**t that's. Old school. Baby.
"We Go A Long Way Back"Smoove- a s - s i l k
~H-Town~Groo v i n ' ~ W e - D o n ' t - S t o p - T h e - M u s i c ~
Love+s Disciple*978 * ~ 7 m 1 4 y ~
love them Bloodstones!
Loving this song Long way Back yes we did Anrhony but at the end we was friends I loved you than and still do RIP PBR
Long wayback
Listening to this song makes me my day★★★★★★ 1 song
Bloodstione we go a long, long, long way back. You have been sooo good to me. We were jamming on this song a long, long way back. Thank you for the memories and that beautiful track. Love you guys. Bless you and your music. Old school cannot be duplicated.♥ . A n d thaanks Pandora for keeping it alive.
grldne03
Love this group Geri Daye
Love it.......
This is my song
What happened to all that great music? Blood stones was my group.
Wow I massed up
Outta site, I can dig it
BACK IN THE DAY IN DETROIT YEAH BUDDY
evelynswishe r 0 0 7
I love old school oldies !!! God bless you all !!:)))
They sure still be singing they were one of the best groups out there RASHON IBN ALMUHYI NEWARK, N.J.
This is the real s**t
How does feel to all my homy out there old school .
it was them lyrics,that was music for real
sdbolts7601
Feels Good Bumping This Jam While I'm High Natural High Be The Jam To Be Smoked Out To & To Kick Back To OLDIES POR VIDA
This is real music.
Melody, I'm so very sorry for your loss. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you. I know your pain all too well, having recently lost someone very dear to me.........m a y God bless you and help you through this difficult time, & surround you with His love, and bring you peace.
I love this song so soothing

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