Blind Faith (Blind Faith album)

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Blind Faith
BlindFaithBlindFaith.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 1969 (1969-08)
Recorded20 February – 28 June 1969
StudioOlympic Studios & Morgan Studios, London
GenreBlues rock[1]
Length42:12
LabelPolydor
ProducerJimmy Miller
Alternative cover
US cover
US cover

Blind Faith is the self-titled and only 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, Canada and US, and was listed at No. 40 on the US Soul Albums chart. It has been certified platinum by the RIAA.

Background[edit]

The band contained two-thirds of the popular power trio Cream, in Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton, working in collaboration with British star Steve Winwood of the Spencer Davis Group and Traffic, along with Ric Grech of Family. 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.[2]

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".[2][3]

Album cover controversy[edit]

The cover featured a topless pubescent girl holding what appears to be the hood ornament of a Chevrolet Bel Air, which some perceived as phallic.[4][5] The American record company issued it with an alternative cover showing a photograph of the band on the front as well as the original cover.

The cover art was created by photographer Bob Seidemann, a 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 spaceship 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 spaceship would be the fruit of the tree of knowledge and the girl, the fruit of the tree of life.

The spaceship could be made by Mick Milligan, a jeweller at the Royal College of Art. 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?[6]

Seidemann wrote that he approached a girl reported to be 14 years old on the London Underground 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.[7] Mariora initially requested a horse as a fee but was instead paid £40.[7][8]

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." This had been done previously for several other albums.

In America, Atco Records made a cover based on elements from a flyer for the band's Hyde Park concert of 7 June 1969 in London.

Release history[edit]

The album was released on vinyl in 1969 on Polydor Records in the UK and Europe, and on Atco Records in the US. Polydor released a compact disc in 1986, adding two previously unreleased tracks, "Exchange and Mart" and "Spending All My Days", recorded by Ric Grech for an unfinished solo album, supported by George Harrison, Denny Laine, and Trevor Burton.[9]

An expanded edition of the album was released on 9 January 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 boxed set for Clapton, Crossroads (released 1988, recorded 1963–1987, including several previously unreleased live or alternate studio recordings). The bonus disc of jams does not include bassist Grech, who had yet to join the band, but includes a guest percussionist, Guy Warner. Two live tracks from the 1969 Hyde Park concert not included here, "Sleeping in the Ground" and a cover of "Under My Thumb", are also available on Winwood's four-disc retrospective The Finer Things.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[10]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music3/5 stars[10]
The Great Rock Discography7/10[10]
Louder4.5/5 stars[11]
MusicHound Rock3.5/5[10]
Music Story4/5 stars[12]
Q4/5 stars[13]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3.5/5 stars[12]
The Village VoiceB[14]

Commercially, the album charted at number one in both the US[15] and the UK.[16]

Critically, Blind Faith was met with a mixed response. Reviewing in August 1969 for The Village Voice, Robert Christgau found none of the songs exceptional and said, "I'm almost sure that when I'm through writing this I'll put the album away and only play it for guests. Unless I want to hear Clapton — he is at his best here because he is kept in check by the excesses of Winwood, who is rapidly turning into the greatest wasted talent in the music. There. I said it and I'm glad."[14] In Rolling Stone, Ed Leimbacher said of the quality, "not as much as I'd hoped, yet better than I'd expected." His colleagues at the magazine — Lester Bangs and John Morthland — were more impressed, especially Bangs in his appraisal of Clapton: "[With] Blind Faith, Clapton appears to have found his groove at last. Every solo is a model of economy, well- thought-out and well-executed with a good deal more subtlety and reeling than we have come to expect from Clapton."[17]

Retrospective appraisals have been positive. According to Stereo Review in 1988, "for 20 years this has been a cornerstone in any basic rock library."[18] AllMusic's Bruce Eder regarded the album as "one of the jewels of the Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, and Ginger Baker catalogs".[10] In 2016, Blind Faith was ranked 14th on Rolling Stone's list of "The 40 Greatest One Album Wonders", which described "Can't Find My Way Home" and "Presence of the Lord" as "incredible".[19]

Track listing[edit]

Side one[20]
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Had to Cry Today"Steve Winwood8:48
2."Can't Find My Way Home"Winwood3:16
3."Well All Right"Buddy Holly, Jerry Allison, Joe B. Mauldin, Norman Petty4:27
4."Presence of the Lord"Eric Clapton4:50
Side two[20]
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
5."Sea of Joy"Winwood5:22
6."Do What You Like"Ginger Baker15:18

Deluxe edition

2001 bonus tracks
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
7."Sleeping in the Ground"Sam Myers2:49
8."Can't Find My Way Home" (Electric version)Winwood5:40
9."Acoustic Jam"Winwood, Clapton, Baker, Ric Grech15:50
10."Time Winds"Winwood3:15
11."Sleeping in the Ground" (Slow blues version)Myers4:44

All tracks are written by Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker.

2001 bonus disc
No.TitleLength
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

Personnel[edit]

Guest[edit]

  • Guy Warner – percussion on "Jam No. 1–4"

Production personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[38] 3× Platinum 210,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[31] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[39] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[40] Platinum 1,000,000^
Summaries
Worldwide (IFPI) 8,000,000[41]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Top 30 British Blues Rock Albums Of All Time". Classic Rock. Future plc. 23 March 2007. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  2. ^ a b Black, Johnny (June 1996). "Born Under A Bad Sign". Mojo. pp. 47–52.
  3. ^ Welch, Chris (2016). Clapton - Updated Edition: The Ultimate Illustrated History. Voyageur Press. pp. 132–141. ISBN 978-0-760-35019-5.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Larkin, Colin (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music. p. 268. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  6. ^ "She's older than she looks..." Badcat Records. Archived from the original on 27 October 2009. Retrieved 9 May 2008.
  7. ^ a b Thorgerson, Storm; Powell, Aubrey (1999). 100 Best Album Covers: The Stories Behind the Sleeves. Dorling Kindersley. p. 29. ISBN 0-7513-0706-8.
  8. ^ Barrell, Tony, "Cover Stories", Sunday Times (11 November 2007)
  9. ^ Simon Leng (2003). The Music of George Harrison: While My Guitar Gently Weeps. SAF Publishing Ltd. p. 43.
  10. ^ a b c d e "Blind Faith – Blind Faith | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  11. ^ Henderson, Paul (16 August 2018). "Blind Faith: Blind Faith album review". Louder. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  12. ^ a b "Blind Faith". acclaimedmusic.net. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  13. ^ "Blind Faith". Q. April 2001. p. 116.
  14. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (14 August 1969). "Consumer Guide (3)". The Village Voice. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
  15. ^ "Blind Faith – Chart history – Billboard". Billboard.com. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  16. ^ "BLIND FAITH – full Official Chart History – Official Charts Company". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  17. ^ Hjort, Christopher (2007). Strange Brew: Eric Clapton & the British Blues Boom, 1965-1970. Jawbone Press. p. 256. ISBN 1906002002.
  18. ^ "Blind Faith". Stereo Review's Stereo Buyers Guide. CBS Magazines. 1988.
  19. ^ "40 Greatest One-Album Wonders". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  20. ^ a b "Blind Faith". discogs.com.
  21. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. Note: This reference gives Australian albums and singles information. It is used for chart peak positions as early materials were released before ARIA regulated the Australian charts itself (1989).
  22. ^ "Top Albums/CDs – Volume 12, No. 10". RPM Magazine. Library and Archives Canada. 25 October 1969. Archived from the original on 25 October 2017. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  23. ^ "Top Stranih [Top Foreign]" (in Croatian). Top Foreign Albums. Hrvatska diskografska udruga. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  24. ^ "Blind Faith". Hitlisten (in Danish). Danskehitlister.dk. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  25. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Blind Faith – Blind Faith" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  26. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste". Institut français d'opinion publique (in French). InfoDisc.fr. Archived from the original on 7 November 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2015. Note: Select "BLIND FAITH", then press "OK" to see selected charting positions.
  27. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  28. ^ See the Irish Chart Tread 2005 for Reference at UKMIX.org. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  29. ^ "ブラインド・フェイスの売上ランキング | ORICON STYLE". Archived from the original on 29 August 2015. Retrieved 29 August 2015.. (in Japanese). Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  30. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Blind Faith – Blind Faith". Hung Medien. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  31. ^ a b "LISTAS DE AFYVE: 1992 Albumes (1ª parte)". Archived from the original on 29 August 2015. Retrieved 29 August 2015.. (in Spanish). Retrieved 29 August 2015. Note: Search for Spanish album versions only to see the charting positions and selected certification awards.
  32. ^ "Blind Faith | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  33. ^ "Blind Faith – Blind Faith | Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  34. ^ "Blind Faith | Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  35. ^ "Alben 1969 Deutschland | Album-Charts | Top 100 Auswertung". GfK Entertainment (in German). Chartsurfer.de. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  36. ^ "Alben 1969 Norwegen | Album-Charts | Top 40 Auswertung". GfK Entertainment (in German). Chartsurfer.de. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  37. ^ "Alben 1969 UK | Album-Charts | Top 75 Auswertung". GfK Entertainment (in German). Chartsurfer.de. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  38. ^ "Australian Fun Countdowns: Accreditation Awards". Australian Recording Industry Association. Australian Fun Countdowns. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  39. ^ See BPI Certifications list on UKMIX.org for reference. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  40. ^ "American album certifications – Blind Faith – Blind Faith". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 29 August 2015. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  41. ^ Eder, Bruce (2007). "Rovi Corporation". MTV Biographies – Blind Faith. United States: MTV Books. p. 2.