Blind Faith [2000 Deluxe Edition]

Blind Faith [2000 Deluxe Edition]

4.5 2
by Blind Faith
     
 

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The term "supergroup" was coined to describe this short-lived but brilliant aggregation, which hit No. 1 with their self-titled debut and disappeared just as quickly -- but not without leaving some tantalizing sonic artifacts that are finally going on public display. This artfully packaged two-disc set, which includes a 28-page booklet with a lengthy essay, an

Overview

The term "supergroup" was coined to describe this short-lived but brilliant aggregation, which hit No. 1 with their self-titled debut and disappeared just as quickly -- but not without leaving some tantalizing sonic artifacts that are finally going on public display. This artfully packaged two-disc set, which includes a 28-page booklet with a lengthy essay, an annotated track listing, and lots of photos, doesn't merely dress up Blind Faith with a few outtakes: Rather, it adds an entire disc's worth of admittedly unpolished jamming that hints where Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, and company might have gone, given the chance. The group's extant album is joined on disc one by a handful of previously unreleased material, highlighted by two versions of "Sleeping in the Ground." The first, a gentle Beatlesque meander, would have fit in nicely on the era's FM radio, while the second, a doomy Chicago-styled blues, has considerably more heft. The second disc, however, is where folks who pine for free-form radio will have a field day. Comprised of four unstructured jams, each clocking in at more than ten minutes in length, the tribal, rhythm-based disc shows both the seeds of Winwood's future work in Traffic and the burgeoning world music affinity of drummer Ginger Baker. It goes down nice and easy, but it's most assuredly not easy listening.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
Blind Faith's lone album is often considered vivid proof as to why superstar collaborations simply don't work, but that is a little unfair -- in contrast to, say, Chess Records' various Super Blues releases, which stuck top musicians such as Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf together in awkward combos that they didn't really want to be part of, the guys in Blind Faith really were trying to work together on a long-term basis, and had an affinity for each other's work; the group just never had the time to evolve properly. And in retrospect, the album does have something to offer, including two songs that are touchstones of classic late-'60s rock: "Can't Find My Way Home" and "Presence of the Lord," not to mention the bracing "Sea of Joy." "Had to Cry Today" is also pretty effective, as is the Buddy Holly cover "Well All Right." Still, for those who subscribe to conventional rock critic doctrine, it may seem a little strange that an album as muddied as Blind Faith was given this lavish Deluxe Edition, containing basically everything capable of being released that the group cut during these sessions. This expanded edition will not change any minds; just on principle, it may even sour some open-minded listeners who have a distaste for extended, seemingly endless jams; in the latter regard, anyone so inclined should probably skip all but the third track on the second disc entirely, since three of the four jams that comprise the nearly hourlong platter are the least interesting of the bonus materials, even if some moments work well -- Eric Clapton's electric guitar playing is always interesting, and when Steve Winwood's organ kicks in there's a fair degree of excitement, though not without a lot of meandering before and after. But the bonus tracks appended to the basic album on the first disc -- which runs a whopping 75 minutes -- are a different matter. These include two previously unreleased versions of "Sleeping in the Ground" (the one on Crossroads is missing), an electric version of "Can't Find My Way Home" that's just about worth the price of admission, and "Time Winds." If one compares this double-disc set to, say, The Layla Sessions triple-CD box, there's more here, if only because this group still had so many rough edges to work out that are worth a listen, whereas the completed Derek & the Dominos Layla album did, indeed, distill down the best of that band's work. With Blind Faith, there was still a lot of ground to cover musically, although "Acoustic Jam" will probably not be on too many listeners' playlists more than once or twice, except for some aspects of Eric Clapton's and Rick Grech's playing -- this track may be the earliest instance (albeit an unintended one, as it wasn't ever supposed to see the light of day) justifying the criticism that sometimes gets hung on Steve Winwood's multi-instrumentalist status, that he is a jack of all trades and master of none, because his piano playing here just isn't very interesting. The fact remains that -- even with these new tracks and the lavish presentation -- this is a muddled album, but like The Layla Sessions it's still a hell of a set for the dedicated, filled with unheard music, good liners, and beautiful packaging. Those who do love the album or the work of the musicians involved will not be disappointed by this, and may well find new moments of fascination in the best of the jams. [The two bonus tracks that appeared on the original late-'80s CD release of Blind Faith are not here, as it was subsequently discovered that they were Rick Grech demos that didn't involve the rest of the band.] ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Bruce Eder

Product Details

Release Date:
01/09/2001
Label:
Polygram Records
UPC:
0731454952927
catalogNumber:
549529

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Blind Faith   Primary Artist
Ginger Baker   Percussion,Drums
Steve Winwood   Organ,Bass,Guitar,Piano,Keyboards,Vocals
Rick Grech   Bass,Violin,Vocals
Eric Clapton   Guitar,Vocals

Technical Credits

Sam Myers   Composer
Ginger Baker   Composer,Contributor
Buddy Holly   Composer
Steve Winwood   Composer,Contributor
Rick Grech   Contributor
Norman Petty   Composer
Jimmy Miller   Producer
Jerry Allison   Composer
Chris Blackwell   Contributor
George Chkiantz   Engineer
Eric Clapton   Composer,Contributor
Andy Johns   Engineer
Bill Levenson   Producer
Joe Mauldin   Composer
Robert Stigwood   Contributor
Vartan   Art Direction
Bob Seidemann   Cover Photo
Stanley Miller   Cover Design,Cover Art

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Blind Faith: Deluxe Edition 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you meet someone in their forties who has never heard this album, steer clear ... you've met someone who was clearly out of touch with their generation. This album, as much as any other defined a disaffected, restless generation. Yet the music remains as seductive today as when the album first appeared. My favorite cuts are ''Can't Find My Way Home'' and ''In the Presence of the Lord''. These songs reflect how the popular music of the 60's and 70's differed from the music of earlier periods. While both songs are melodic, the melodies transcend the lines between several musical disciplines, and the lyrics are a departure from sugar-coated tripe of earlier music. I could do without ''Do What You Like'', which features an extended drum solo by Ginger Baker. But extended cuts featuring ''jam'' efforts were typical of albums produced at the time, and this particular cut showcases Baker's previously underappreciated talents. I've owned three copies of this album, (buying a new one each time the old one began to show wear). My current copy is the UK version that was banned in the United States because the cover displayed a photo of a topless 13 year old. Apparently times have changed, as I notice that the once-forbidden cover now graces the soon-to-be-released CD version. But times have not changed so much as to relegate this music to the ''oldies'' bin. The music and the lyrics are timeless. It is best, I think, that this band produced only one album. As with the Beatles, fans of Blind Faith are forever left to wonder whether the group could have produced another album of this quality. It is that imponderable that makes this album so special. Moreover, Blind Faith's lone effort set the stage for the meteoric rise of Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton as solo performers, and made Ginger Baker and Rik Grech household names among audiophiles. I know it's expensive, but gems usually are. Buy it!!! You'll be glad you did!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
the sound of songs such as Sea of Joy, Can't Find My Way Home, Do What You Like and Had To Cry Today are quintessentially 1969 and the soundtrack underlying my childhood. I don't know whether this deluxe edition has been severely cleaned up tapewise and I don't care. However 90 percent of the extra stuff - previously unreleased jams and Sleeping In The Ground are for collectors and incurable hippies only. Beware!
Guest More than 1 year ago
They may have only made one album, but when it's this good, do you really need to make another? ''Blind Faith'' is perfect.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What's with that subject title you may wonder? I mean to point out that in the history of rock music, when it comes to bands that were considered 'supergroups', few came more super than Blind Faith. Often, Cream is cited as rock's first supergroup, but I believe it to be more apt to consider Blind Faith to hold that title, considering how established Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, and Ginger Baker were by the time they recorded their only album in 1969 (whereas Cream were simply three of the best musicians to ever convene in a rock group, if not the most famous or popular at the time of their debut in 1966). It's always been an interesting album, really what one might expect - somewhat Traffic-ish (that Winwood sings lead on all the songs, that would stand to reason) and somewhat Cream-ish (Clapton and Baker's guitar and drums sound like an extension of what Cream did, but more in a Traffic direction.) Can't say what Rick Grech brought to the table influence-wise, since I'm not familiar with his previous group Family, but he does good bass parts (although he's not Jack Bruce, Blind Faith didn't require him to be that). Supposedly, "Presence of the Lord" is the first song Eric Clapton ever wrote by himself (he co-wrote Cream songs, never wrote one on his own before) and it's classic epic late '60s track, great Leslie effect on the guitar (like "Badge" before it) ... "Had to Cry Today" good merging of Traffic soulfulness and Cream jamming ... "Can't Find My Way Home" nice acoustic track that has the most Traffic influence of the album (for an interesting variation, get the 'deluxe edition' of 'Blind Faith' to hear the electric version)... "Do What You Like" with the gratuitious drum solo so prevelant in those days, except that supposedly Ginger Baker did 'compose' the solo. Indeed, Blind Faith was not meant to have a long career, and in that one album, they formed the blueprint for future 'supergroups' like Asia (ex-members of Yes, ELP and King Crimson), the Firm (Jimmy Page and Paul Rogers [from Bad Company]), GTR (Steve Hackett from Genesis, Steve Howe from Yes, and Asia), Audioslave (ex-Rage Against the Machine meets Chris Cornell from Soundgarden) and now Velvet Revolver (Stone Guns Temple and Roses Pilots?) ... not in sound so much as the idea of creating bands with musicians so closely associated with their previous bands that makes it difficult to believe they can exceed standards previously set. In the case of Eric Clapton, one year after 'Blind Faith' he was making 'Derek and the Dominoes - Layla', by then being the only one of the 'supergroup' bunch to break that mold ('Laya' arguably is the best music Clapton ever made, group, solo or otherwise). In the other cases (especially for Jimmy Page after Led Zeppelin, that would be just about impossible. But for Eric Clapton, 'Blind Faith' was one step closer to his development towards his solo career while still being in a group of great players.
JohnQ More than 1 year ago
Clapton, Winwood, Baker and Grech only made one studio album together but its a keeper. There may only be six songs here but they have become muched loved over the years.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A supergroup able to mix rock, blues, hints of jazz and much more.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Now often overlooked, Blind Faith was Eric Clapton's first move after Cream imploded at the end of 1968. Joining forces with the multi-talented Steve Winwood, who has just left Traffic seemed like an unbeatable idea, and the addition of drummer extraordinaire Ginger Baker and bassist Rick Grech made Blind Faith seem like a ''can't miss'' project. Six months later it was over. Rushed into the studio my greedy and insensitive managers and then sent on a long and chaotic tour, Blind Faith never had a chance to gel as a band. After one promising album, the group broke up. Judged a disappointment at the time Blind Faith's one and only album has some very fine moments. Clapton had yet to develop the confidence needed to be a convincing lead vocalist, so he deferred to Winwood, who was at his peak as a singer. Clapton's guitar work is simply magnificent, as he is already maturing beyond his work with Cream and pointing towards his renaissance with Derek & the Dominoes that began a year later. Polydor has remastered ''Blind Faith'' using state-of-the-art technology, and reissued it with outtakes and jam sessions from the original 1969 recording sessions. The original album is a revelation; the sound as crisp and full as is imaginable. The clarity is astounding, and even if you think you know every note of this album, you will be pleasantly surprised by what you hear on this new version. Songs like Winwood's ''Can't Find My Way Home'' and ''Sea of Joy,'' and Clapton's ''Presence of the Lord'' have aged very well and sound better than ever. The outtakes are a mixed lot. A couple have appeared on Clapton and Winwood's anthologies, and several others have circulated for years on bootlegs, albeit with inferior sound. These tracks are interesting but not essential. The jams, alas, are largely a waste. Playing riffs for ten or fifteen minutes while waiting for a musical idea that's worth keeping is not my idea of fun for the listener. These tracks are not even built around a reliable and basic format like 12-bar blues. There are some fiery moments - how could there not be with these musicians - but, like the three CD ''Layla'' box a decade ago, most of the unreleased material is disappointing. Still, fans of Clapton, Winwood and their various bands will probably want to own this set. The remastered ''Blind Faith'' is a gem, and stakes a viable claim for the album as one of the best of its era.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago