Spinning Wheel (song)

"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.

"Spinning Wheel"
Spinning Wheel - Blood, Sweat & Tears.jpg
Single by Blood, Sweat & Tears
from the album Blood, Sweat & Tears
B-side"More and More"
Format7" (45 rpm)
RecordedOctober 9, 1968
GenreJazz fusion, pop rock, psychedelic rock
Length4:05 (Stereophonic album version)
3:26 (Quadraphonic album version)
2:39 (single edit)
Songwriter(s)David Clayton-Thomas
Producer(s)James William Guercio
Blood, Sweat & Tears singles chronology
"You've Made Me So Very Happy"
"Spinning Wheel"
"And When I Die"
"Spinning Wheel"
Single by Peggy Lee
from the album A Natural Woman
B-side"Lean on Me"
ReleasedMarch 1969
Format7" (45 rpm)
GenreJazz fusion, pop rock
Songwriter(s)David Clayton-Thomas
Producer(s)Phil Wright
Peggy Lee singles chronology
"Big Spender"
"Spinning Wheel"
"Is That All There Is?"

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.[1] "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.[2] In August of that year, the song topped the Billboard easy listening chart for two weeks.[3] 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'."[3]

The song ends with the 1815 Austrian tune "O Du Lieber Augustin" ("The More We Get Together" or "Did You Ever See a Lassie?")[4] 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.

Cover versions and samplesEdit

In popular cultureEdit

  • In Germany, a part of the song was used as opening tune for the political cabaret TV show "Neues aus der Anstalt", aired 2007-13.
  • Towards the end of 2016, the original studio arrangement received extensive airplay on many San Francisco Bay Area radio stations. In December 2016 it was listed at #13 on radicalwave.com's list of the 'Top 50 Annoying Songs of the 20th Century'. It also earned inclusion in a similar list compiled by The Stranger magazine in Seattle, Washington.
  • The song is performed by Jeffrey Tambor's character Hank Kingsley in an episode of The Larry Sanders Show ("Larry's Agent"), where he creates a more Latin sound to it, hoping to perform tap-dancing along with the song.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 68.
  2. ^ https://www.billboard.com/charts/hot-100/1969-07-19
  3. ^ a b Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of #1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications), page 74.
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2003). Top Pop Singles 1955-2002. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research, Inc. p. 66. ISBN 0-89820-155-1.
  5. ^ http://www.peggyleediscography.com/p/capitolee2c.php
  6. ^ "Various - Linger Awhile". Discogs. Retrieved 2017-10-26.
  7. ^ Bruce Kennewell (2011-06-17), Benny Goodman & Orchestra - Spinning Wheel, retrieved 2017-10-26
  8. ^ "Something for Everyone".
  9. ^ Barbara Eden "Spinning Wheel" on YouTube
  10. ^ AllMusic Review by Ron Wynn (1970-01-02). "Drives - Dr. Lonnie Smith | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  11. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2000). Top Pop Singles 1955–1999. Menomonee Falls, WI: Record Research, Inc. p. 79. ISBN 0-89820-140-3.
  12. ^ White, Cliff (1991). "Discography". In Star Time (pp. 54–59) [CD booklet]. New York: PolyGram Records.
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ Maull, Samuel (December 7, 1990). "Songwriter-Singer Sues Milli Vanilli for Alleged Copyright Infringement". AP News.

External linksEdit