Blind Faith (Blind Faith album)
|Studio album by Blind Faith|
|Recorded||20 February – 24 June 1969
Olympic & Morgan Studios, London, England
|Genre||British blues, psychedelic rock, hard rock, folk rock, progressive rock|
|Label||Polydor UK/Canada, Atco US|
|Eric Clapton chronology|
Blind Faith is the self-titled album by the English supergroup Blind Faith, which consisted of Eric Clapton (The Yardbirds, Cream), Ginger Baker (Graham Bond Organisation, Cream), Steve Winwood (Spencer Davis Group, Traffic) and Ric Grech (Family).
There was an intense buzz about the band and its debut album Blind Faith, which on release topped Billboard's Pop Albums chart in America (as it did the UK and Canadian charts) and peaked at No. 40 on the Black Albums chart, an impressive feat for an English rock quartet. In addition, Rolling Stone published three reviews of the album in their 6 September 1969 issue, which were written by Ed Leimbacher, Lester Bangs, and John Morthland.
They began to work out songs early in 1969, and in February and March the group was in London at Morgan Studios, preparing for the beginnings of basic tracks for their album, although the first few almost finished songs didn't show up until they were at Olympic Studios in April and May under the direction of producer Jimmy Miller. The music community was already aware of the linkup, despite Clapton's claim that he was cutting an album of his own on which Winwood would play. The promoters and record companies got involved, pushing those concerned for an album and a tour.
The recording of their album was interrupted by a tour of Scandinavia, then a US tour from 11 July (Newport) to 24 August (Hawaii), supported by Free, Taste and Delaney & Bonnie and Friends. Although a chart topper the LP was recorded hurriedly and side two consisted of just two songs, one of them a 15-minute jam entitled "Do What You Like." Nevertheless the band was able to produce two hits, Winwood's "Can't Find My Way Home" and Clapton's "Presence of the Lord".
An expanded, deluxe edition of the album was released in 2001, with previously unreleased tracks and 'jams' included. Two live tracks from the Hyde Park concert, Sleeping in the Ground by Sam Myers and the Rolling Stones song "Under My Thumb" are also available on Winwood's four-CD retrospective The Finer Things.
Album cover controversy
The release of the album provoked controversy because the cover featured a topless pubescent girl, holding in her hands a silver winged object, which some perceived as phallic. The US record company issued it with an alternative cover (which showed a photograph of the band on the front) as well as the original cover.
The cover art was created by photographer Bob Seidemann, a personal friend and former flatmate of Clapton's who is primarily known for his photos of Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead. In the mid-1990s, in an advertising circular intended to help sell lithographic reprints of the famous album cover, he explained his thinking behind the image.
I could not get my hands on the image until out of the mist a concept began to emerge. To symbolize the achievement of human creativity and its expression through technology a space ship was the material object. To carry this new spore into the universe, innocence would be the ideal bearer, a young girl, a girl as young as Shakespeare's Juliet. The space ship would be the fruit of the tree of knowledge and the girl, the fruit of the tree of life.
The space ship could be made by Mick Milligan, a jeweller at the Royal College or Art [sic]. The girl was another matter. If she were too old it would be cheesecake, too young and it would be nothing. The beginning of the transition from girl to woman, that is what I was after. That temporal point, that singular flare of radiant innocence. Where is that girl?
Seidemann wrote that he approached a girl reported to be 14 years old on the London Tube about modelling for the cover, and eventually met with her parents, but that she proved too old for the effect he wanted. Instead, the model he used was her younger sister Mariora Goschen, who was reported to be 11 years old. Mariora initially requested a horse as a fee but was instead paid £40.
Bizarre rumours both surfaced and were fuelled by the controversy, including that the girl was Baker's daughter or was a groupie kept as a slave by the band. The image, titled "Blind Faith" by Seidemann, became the inspiration for the name of the band itself, which had been unnamed when the artwork was commissioned. According to Seidemann, "It was Eric who elected to not print the name of the band on the cover. The name was instead printed on the wrapper, when the wrapper came off, so did the type." In fact, this had been done previously for The Rolling Stones' 1964 debut album, Traffic's self-titled 1968 album, and The Beatles' albums Rubber Soul (1965) and Revolver (1966).
- On the original Polydor CD release from 1986, two previously unreleased tracks were added, "Exchange and Mart" and "Spending All My Days". These were originally recorded for a never released Ric Grech solo album, and there is no proof that any other members of Blind Faith took part in the recording sessions.
- "Presence of the Lord" has the same riff as "I am Free" from the Kinks 1965 album "The Kink Kontroversy" as written by Dave Davies and "Backsliding Fearlessly" from the Mott the Hoople 1969 album as written by Ian Hunter.
|1.||"Had to Cry Today" (Steve Winwood)||8:48|
|2.||"Can't Find My Way Home" (Winwood)||3:16|
|3.||"Well All Right" (Norman Petty, Buddy Holly, Jerry Allison, Joe B. Mauldin)||4:27|
|4.||"Presence of the Lord" (Eric Clapton)||4:50|
|5.||"Sea of Joy" (Winwood)||5:22|
|6.||"Do What You Like" (Ginger Baker)||15:20|
Tracks 7–11 on disc one and 1–4 on disc two were previously unreleased. "Sleeping in the Ground" appears in Eric Clapton's Crossroads box set.
|1.||"Had to Cry Today"||8:48|
|2.||"Can't Find My Way Home"||3:16|
|3.||"Well All Right"||4:27|
|4.||"Presence of the Lord"||4:50|
|5.||"Sea of Joy"||5:22|
|6.||"Do What You Like"||15:20|
|7.||"Sleeping in the Ground" (Sam Myers)||2:49|
|8.||"Can't Find My Way Home (Electric Version)"||5:40|
|11.||"Sleeping in the Ground (Slow Blues Version)"||4:44|
|1.||"Jam No.1: Very Long & Good Jam"||14:01|
|2.||"Jam No.2: Slow Jam No. 1"||15:06|
|3.||"Jam No.3: Change of Address Jam"||12:06|
|4.||"Jam No.4: Slow Jam No. 2"||16:06|
|UK Albums Chart||1969||1|
|Billboard Pop Albums|
- Steve Winwood – organ, piano, guitar, bass, lead vocals
- Eric Clapton – guitar, vocals
- Ric Grech – bass guitar, violin, vocals
- Ginger Baker – drums, percussion
Personnel on deluxe edition disc 2
- Producer: Jimmy Miller
- Engineers: George Chkiantz, Keith Harwood, Andy Johns, Alan O'Duffy
- Mixing: Andy Johns, Jimmy Miller
- Remastering: Suha Gur
- Production co-ordination: Margaret Goldfarb
- Arranger: Chris Blackwell, Robert Stigwood
- Reissue supervisor: Bill Levenson
- Art direction: Vartan
- Cover design: Stanley Miller, Bob Seidemann
- Cover art: Stanley Miller
- Cover photo: Bob Seidmannn
- Photography: Bob Seidemann
- Blind Faith (Blind Faith album) at AllMusic
- Robert Christgau review
- Scaruffi, Piero (1999). "Traffic". pieroscaruffi.com. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
- Doggett, Peter (2008). There's a Riot Going On: Revolutionaries, Rock Stars, and the Rise and Fall of the '60s. Canongate Books. pp. 280–281. ISBN 1-84767-180-2.
- Larkin, Colin (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music. p. 268. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
- "She's older than she looks...". Badcat Records. Archived from the original on 25 October 2009. Retrieved 9 May 2008.
- Thorgerson, Storm; Powell,Aubrey (1999). 100 Best Album Covers: The Stories Behind the Sleeves. Dorling Kindersley. p. 29. ISBN 0-7513-0706-8.
- Barrell, Tony, "I want to tell you a cover story", Sunday Times (November 11, 2007)
- Steve Winwood Fans' Site: Collaborations & Sessions: Collaborations
- "Chart Stats – Blind Faith – Blind Faith". chartstats.com. Archived from the original on 21 July 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
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