Blind Faith (Blind Faith album)
|Studio album by Blind Faith|
|Recorded||20 February – 24 June 1969|
|Studio||Olympic Studios and Morgan Studios, London, England|
|Label||Polydor UK/Canada, Atco US|
|Eric Clapton chronology|
Blind Faith is the self-titled and only studio album by the English supergroup Blind Faith, originally released in 1969 on Polydor Records in the United Kingdom and Europe and on Atlantic Records in the United States. It topped the album charts in the UK and Canada as well as the Billboard 200, even peaking at #40 on the Billboard Soul Albums chart, an impressive feat for an English rock quartet. It has been certified platinum by the RIAA. 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.
A buzz built about the band, since it contained two-thirds of the immensely popular power trio Cream in Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton working in collaboration with British star Steve Winwood, who was still not as famous in North America as the other two. 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."
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 of 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, The Beatles' albums Rubber Soul in 1965 and Revolver in 1966, and Traffic's self-titled 1968 album.
On the original Polydor release for compact disc in 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.
An expanded, deluxe edition of the album was released on January 9, 2001, with previously unreleased tracks and 'jams' included. The studio electric version of "Sleeping in the Ground" had previously been released on the four-disc box set for Clapton, Crossroads. The bonus disc of jams does not include bassist Grech, who had yet to join the band. Two live tracks from the 1969 Hyde Park concert not included here, again "Sleeping in the Ground" and a cover of "Under My Thumb" are also available on Winwood's four-disc retrospective The Finer Things.
Norman Petty is listed as a writer for "Well All Right" incorrectly. See biographical article.
|1.||"Had to Cry Today"||Steve Winwood||8:48|
|2.||"Can't Find My Way Home"||Steve Winwood||3:16|
|3.||"Well All Right"||Buddy Holly, Jerry Allison, Joe B. Mauldin||4:27|
|4.||"Presence of the Lord"||Eric Clapton||4:50|
|1.||"Sea of Joy"||Steve Winwood||5:22|
|2.||"Do What You Like"||Ginger Baker||15:20|
|2001 bonus tracks|
|7.||"Sleeping In The Ground"||Sam Myers||2:49|
|8.||"Can't Find My Way Home" (electric version)||Steve Winwood||5:40|
|9.||"Acoustic Jam"||Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, Ric Grech||15:50|
|10.||"Time Winds"||Steve Winwood||3:15|
|11.||"Sleeping In The Ground" (slow blues version)||Sam Myers||4:44|
|2001 bonus disc|
|1.||"Jam No.1: Very Long & Good Jam"||Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker||14:01|
|2.||"Jam No.2: Slow Jam No. 1"||Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker||15:06|
|3.||"Jam No.3: Change of Address Jam"||Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker||12:06|
|4.||"Jam No.4: Slow Jam No. 2"||Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker||16:06|
- Steve Winwood — keyboards, vocals, guitars
- Eric Clapton — guitars, vocals (6)
- Ric Grech — bass guitar, violin, vocals (6)
- Ginger Baker — drums, percussion, vocals (6)
- Jimmy Miller — producer
- George Chkiantz, Keith Harwood, Andy Johns, Alan O'Duffy — engineers
- Andy Johns, Jimmy Miller — mixing
- Stanley Miller, Bob Seidemann — cover design and photography
- Chris Blackwell, Robert Stigwood — executive producers
- Margaret Goldfarb — production co-ordination
- Bill Levenson — reissue supervision
- Suha Gur — remastering
- Vartan — reissue art direction
|UK Albums Chart||1969||1|
|Billboard Pop Albums|
At San Quentin by Johnny Cash
|US Billboard 200 number-one album
20 September – 3 October 1969
Green River by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Stand Up by Jethro Tull
|UK Albums Chart number-one album
20 September 1969 – 4 October 1969
Abbey Road by The Beatles
At San Quentin by Johnny Cash
|Canadian RPM 100 number-one album
4–25 October 1969 (4 weeks)
Abbey Road by The Beatles
- Blind Faith (Blind Faith album) at AllMusic
- Robert Christgau review
- RIAA database retrieved 28 January 2014
- 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, "Cover Stories", Sunday Times (November 11, 2007)
- Steve Winwood Fans' Site: Collaborations & Sessions: Collaborations
- "Chart Stats – Blind Faith – Blind Faith". chartstats.com. Retrieved 6 June 2011.