1969 saw the formation of one of rocks most underrated and under-appreciated supergroups in the form of Blind Faith.
Formed by Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood initially, bassist Ric Grech and drummer Ginger Baker would join a little later and the outcome of this musical melding of minds was their self titled album, Blind Faith, released in August 1969.
The album opens with Had To Cry Today which gives you your first taste of this gorgeous album. Clapton’s guitar playing is immediately infectious but in a different manner to his playing in Cream. The tone is softer, the playing is more delicate and there’s more intimacy between each of the band members. Steve Winwood is sublime on vocals and that’s a trend that continues throughout the whole album.
Can’t Find My Way Home is the second song which is dominated by acoustic guitar. Without taking anything away from the other songs, it’s by far the stand out track on the album. Winwood’s singing is as good as you’ll ever hear him but it’s the guitar that really stands out the most. There are two versions of this song, the acoustic on the album and an electric version which wasn’t officially released until the deluxe edition came out in 2001. Both are superb but the acoustic guitars add a beauty to it that is indescribable.
- Had To Cry Today
- Can’t Find My Way Home
- Well All Right
- Presence Of The Lord
- Sea Of Joy
- Do What You Like
Well All Right is a Buddy Holly cover and the only cover on the album. It’s a fun rendition with the band on top form just like the two previous songs. The piano and guitar playing fit together seamlessly while Baker does his thing on drums as only he could. With this song you really start to understand the direction Blind Faith are going with their music, with each of the songs sounding nothing like anything the band members had done previously in their previous bands.
Presence Of The Lord comes next which is an original Clapton number but Winwood takes lead vocal duties thanks to the insistence of Clapton himself. Clapton would eventually sing the song over a year later with Derek and the Dominos but with Blind Faith it was up to Winwood to do his thing which he does brilliantly. The solo section towards the middle/end of the song is superb, Clapton’s only lead part of the song.
Sea Of Joy and Do What You Like are the final two songs, bringing the relatively short album to a close. Sea Of Joy is a Winwood original and a song that is often under-appreciated on the album as a whole. There’s a wonderful violin section played by bassist Ric Grech which adds another element to the band and their music, a unique aspect which continued in a live setting when they were on tour. There are a few photos of Grech playing violin with the band on their US tour.
Do What You Like is a song written by Ginger Baker and the longest song on the album due to the inclusion of a long drum solo. It’s an extremely pleasing song to listen to though and Clapton’s guitar solo before the drum solo is unlike anything he ever played before. It’s superb.
Overall Blind Faith is a fantastic album and will (sadly) remain under-appreciated compared to other albums from that time period. It doesn’t help that the band are yet to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, something that is well overdue considering the amount of rubbish that manages to get in instead. Hopefully that changes soon and more people become aware of this gem of an album.