Spinning Wheel

Blood, Sweat & Tears

About Spinning Wheel

"Spinning Wheel" is the title of a song from 1968 by the band Blood, Sweat & Tears. The song was written by the band's Canadian lead vocalist David Clayton-Thomas and appears on their eponymous album. Released as a single in 1969, "Spinning Wheel" peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in July of that year, remaining in the runner-up position for three weeks. "Spinning Wheel" was kept out of the #1 position by both, "The Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet" by Henry Mancini and "In the Year 2525" by Zager and Evans. In August of that year, the song topped the Billboard easy listening chart for two weeks. It was also a crossover hit, reaching #45 on the US R&B chart. "Spinning Wheel" was nominated for three Grammy Awards at the 1970 ceremony, winning in the category Best Instrumental Arrangement. The arranger for the song was the band's saxophonist, Fred Lipsius. It was nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year; the album won the Grammy for Album of the Year. Clayton-Thomas was quoted as describing the song as being "written in an age when psychedelic imagery was all over lyrics ... it was my way of saying, 'Don't get too caught up, because everything comes full circle'."The song ends with the 1815 Austrian tune "O Du Lieber Augustin" ("The More We Get Together" or "Did You Ever See a Lassie?") and drummer Bobby Colomby's comment: "That wasn't too good", followed by laughter from the rest of the group. According to producer James William Guercio this section was inserted at the last minute after the end of the master tape was recorded over accidentally by an engineer at the studio. Most of this section and Lew Soloff's trumpet solo were edited out for the single version. The eight-bar piano solo which precedes the trumpet solo on the album version is overlapped with guitar on the single version before the last verse. Alan Rubin sat in on trumpet for Chuck Winfield, who wasn't able to attend the song's recording session. 


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What goes up must come down
Spinnin' wheel got to go 'round
Talkin' 'bout your troubles it's a cryin' sin
Ride a painted pony let the spinnin' wheel spin

You got no money and you got no home
Spinnin' wheel all alone
Talkin' 'bout your troubles and you, you never learn
Ride a painted pony let the spinnin' wheel turn

Did you find the directing sign on the
Straight and narrow highway
Would you mind a reflecting sign
Just let it shine within your mind
And show you the colors that are real

Someone is waiting just for you
Spinnin' wheel, spinnin' true
Drop all your troubles by the riverside
Catch a painted pony on the spinning wheel ride

Someone is waiting just for you
Spinnin' wheel, spinnin' true
Drop all your troubles by the riverside
Ride a painted pony let the spinnin' wheel fly

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Blood, Sweat & Tears

Blood, Sweat & Tears (also known as "BS&T") is an American music group, originally formed in 1967 in New York City. Since its beginnings in 1967, the band has gone through numerous iterations with varying personnel and has encompassed a multitude of musical styles. What the band is most known for, from its start, is the fusing of rock, blues, pop music, horn arrangements and jazz improvisation into a hybrid that came to be known as "jazz-rock". Unlike "jazz fusion" bands, which tend toward virtuostic displays of instrumental facility and some experimentation with electric instruments, the songs of Blood, Sweat & Tears merged the stylings of rock, pop and R&B/soul music with big band, while also adding elements of 20th Century Classical and sma… more »

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Written by: David Clayton-Thomas

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

10 facts about this song

"Blood, Sweat & Tears" is an iconic Canadian-American rock band formed in 1967. "Spinning Wheel" became one of their biggest hits.
Lead Singer and Composer
The song "Spinning Wheel" was both sung and written by the well-known Canadian singer and songwriter "David Clayton-Thomas" who joined the band Blood, Sweat & Tears in 1968.
Album Release
The song was released as part of the band's self-titled second album "Blood, Sweat & Tears" in 1968.
Single Release
"Spinning Wheel" was released as a single in 1969.
Chart Position
In the United States, it peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Grammy Awards
In 1970, the band won a Grammy Award for Album of the Year and for Best Contemporary Song for "Spinning Wheel".
The song was also featured in the popular music video game series "Rock Band".
Song Structure
The song begins and ends with a slow, haunting melody, while the middle sections are both jazzy and upbeat.
Cultural Influence
The song’s lyrics, with references to a spinning wheel, a painted pony and a stepping stone, are often interpreted as a philosophical reflection on the cyclical nature of life and human existence.
Covers and Performances
"Spinning Wheel" has been covered by many other artists, including Sammy Davis Jr, Peggy Lee, and James Brown.

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    Spinning Wheel

    29,688     824

    Top Hot 100 Songs 1969

    Billboard #2

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