MUSIC BOX FOR "40,000 HEADMAN"

Some years before Blood, Sweat & Tears, my friend, Mike Paccione played me a Bartok piano piece that he liked very much. It was a theme and variations - a short, simple folk song melody which repeated a number of times throughout the piece using different harmonies. Later, in BS&T, I happened upon Rita Ford’s Music Box Shop in a ritzy area of Manhattan. It was full of beautiful, expensive music boxes of all shapes and sizes– many with intricate carvings and designs. When I was working on the "40,000 Headmen" arrangement with Bobby Colomby, I remembered Rita Ford’s Music Box Shop and thought it would be a wonderful effect to record a music box playing Bartok's theme with my harmony to set the tone for Stevie Windwood’s tale of adventure.

The idea I had for the introduction of the song was to depict a young child listening to this music box theme and drifting off into a dream (the song's story), which begins with the faint sound of the electric piano ... Reintroducing the music box theme at the end of the song brings to a close the child's dream. I visited Rita Ford to ask if she could have a small music box made that would play the Bartok theme. She told me to record the music a few times on tape or cassette and she would send it to Switzerland to have the music box made. I had to wait a while before receiving the music box, but I was very pleased with how it sounded. It gave the dreamy, child-like effect I wanted. It was also very beautiful looking. A 'special' thing happened during the recording of the music box theme at the end of the song... The box, almost wound down, was able to play the theme just one last time, as it slowed down and ended. Like a ritardando played at the end of a piece of music. It was truly the most perfect version of this theme because the person holding the music box by the microphone simply closed the box. Thus ending the song and our album!