I discovered Cold Blood in a manner that must seem heretical to lead singer Lydia Pense’s diehard fans: I was in it for the Rick Griffin album cover. It’s a cool cover, but the real treat turned out to be inside.
Their sound was organ, sexy horns, funky bass, and that big, big voice of Lydia’s. It’s a hot album, and they just kept getting funkier. 1973’s Thriller is a must-have for funk collectors.
Cold Blood was right in the middle of the San Francisco scene, signed to Bill Graham’s label, playing the Fillmore, the whole bit. Once I found them I couldn’t help but see them everywhere — on old hand bills, etc. — as if they’ve been hidden in plain sight this whole time.
What happened? How did Cold Blood somehow vanish from our collective pop culture awareness of the San Francisco scene? It sure as hell isn’t due to lack of talent, so your guess is as good as mine. Check out this track from their 1969 debut:
The good news is that Lydia Pense is still touring and recording with a new version of Cold Blood. She’s still got the pipes to back it up, too:
You can expect to pay in the 15-20 dollar range for this one in good shape, and double that for a mono copy. Happy hunting.