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4.5 out of 5 stars
112
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 31 July 2017
great album
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on 12 May 2017
Good if you're a fan
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on 23 May 2017
Great music by superb musicians.
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on 3 September 2017
Still sounds terrific and puts most of today's music to shame !
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on 1 March 2013
The story of the doomed venture that was Blind Faith has been very well documented. Often described as the first "Supergroup", to some extent the band's only album release reflected the pressures and weight of expectation which existed - and left little time for its members to gel fully as a unit. And although it might not be widely regarded as a classic, the band's self-titled album contains some great material and has a cult following amongst both Clapton and Winwood fans. Of its time, but, somehow, also with a timeless quality to its more classic tracks.

Lead vocals/keyboards/guitar/bass, Steve Winwood also contributed half of the songs on the original album and certainly comes across as the creative driving force behind the band. Eric Clapton's contribution is vastly different from his previous incarnation as guitar god in Cream - here he was searching for a new direction.

Along with Ginger Baker on drums and Rick Grech on bass/violin, this talented group showed in a very short time how brilliantly it could combine elements of blues, jazz, soul, folk and rock & roll in a decidedly rock context - it's a shame the début album would be the band's last.

"Had To Cry Today" opens affairs; a fine song of 'light and shade' and with an interesting guitar duet between Clapton and Winwood. A very un-Cream-like introduction to Blind Faith for Cream fans, despite Baker's unmistakeable drumming.

"Can't Find My Way Home" is a beautiful acoustic number, which would be adopted by Eric and Yvonne Elliman in Clapton's mid 1970's live sets and reprised by him regularly since. It's quite a short song in this guise and I only wish it were longer.

"Well All Right" lightens the mood considerably and avoids sounding like 'filler'(which it might have done). Eric's choice, being a Buddy Holly fan, and featuring great keyboards from Winwood.

"Presence Of The Lord" closed the original lp's Side 1 in fine style. Destined to become a Clapton classic and another staple of his early-mid 1970's live sets, this was his sole song-writing contribution here. Although Steve Winwood sings this it was due to Eric's refusal - perhaps signifying a wider lack of confidence in the project, not just in his vocal ability.

"Sea Of Joy", which opened the lp's Side 2, is a real gem. Opening with a folksy guitar riff (which almost sounds like something by Fairport Convention) it moves into more familiar waters before the folk influence returns with a surprise violin section by Rick Grech, which fits perfectly - an ocean of calm before the storm of the riff returns.

"Do What You Like", which ends the album, could be viewed as either self-indulgent (and disappointing) or experimental (and brave). I'd say it's a bit of both - some parts. of what is in essence a jam featuring each player (hence Baker's song title), work better than others, IMHO.

Minor criticisms only - the production does sound basic at times, perhaps not surprising given the era, and towards the end of Clapton's solo on "Presence ..." his guitar effect sounds a bit iffy, it must be said. This doesn't detract though and you get the sense that they decided to capture the moment as an 'honest' performance and keep it.

The 1986 CD (German pressing) has 2 extra tracks, recorded on 7 October 1969 - "Exchange And Mart" (an instrumental) and "Spending All My Days". Although the credits say the songs were written by all four band members, by then Blind Faith had already folded - they were actually recorded for a Rick Grech solo project which Eric contributed to. The extra tracks sound very 1960's and didn't represent progress, musically. A nice touch is the long pause which separates them from the original album - they are an interesting listen but not essential, unlike the original album.

The Deluxe version is a joy in itself. Disc 1 expands Blind Faith to include two versions of Sam Myers' bitter earthy blues, "Sleeping In The Ground", "Time Winds" (a short instrumental), the original, electric, version of "Can't Find My Way Home" (the acoustic version is more effective but the earlier take has great extended lead guitar and keyboards) and a jazzy acoustic jam. Disc 2 has four more lengthy jams taken from between the two main recording sessions. These include the ultra-rare single "Change Of Address". All topped-off by a great 28 page booklet, with recording details, much better band photos than on the album and an extended essay! An easy 5* for me.
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Oh for the days when a sense of freedom ruled our hearts. Even the cover speaks of a different time. The combination of Clapton, Winwood, Baker and Grech bring such pleasure and, if your hi-fi is up to it, you'll enjoy the excellent re-mastering that adds extra realism to what was already a well-recorded piece of vinyl.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 11 September 2014
Although this may have started out as an Eric Clapton LP, with Steve Winwood on vocals, Ginger Baker filling the drum seat, and Rick Grech on bass, hearing it now it sounds like the presiding spirit is that of a freed-up Winwood, his voice a wayward, wanton wail on all these tracks, backed by Clapton in fine form and the expected dynamic brilliance of Baker, with Grech doing fine too.
What a time the sixties were for young, soulful-voiced singers - not only Winwood, but Van Morrison, Paul Rodgers, Steve Marriott, Jess Roden, etc. How did they manage to sound so full of wizened old-man soul?
Of them all, Winwood (and Van too) sounded the most drenched in a bluesy Ray Charles soulfulness belying their young years. On Blind Faith's sole album, he sounds as if he's singing exactly how and what he wants to. He wrote what are arguably the three best tracks: the terrific opener Had To Cry Today, the wonderful Can't Find My Way Home, and the appropriately titled Sea Of Joy.
There's also a rather stately version of Buddy Holly's Well All Right, which to these ears sounds better than it did back in 1969. The other songs are the powerful Presence Of The Lord by Clapton, and the fifteen-minute free-for-all Do What You Like - credited to Baker - which brings to a close this wanton, joyous one-off from a golden quartet of great musicians.
I liked Blind Faith 45 years ago when I was all of eighteen, but I love it now. It was mainly recorded in the spring of '69, but to me it's a summer record.
It's interesting that, when he's the only singer, and he's given his head, Winwood sings like a delirious banshee, or a genie freed from his bottle. It was true on Traffic's career-best LP John Barleycorn Must Die, and it's true here. This is his album as much if not more that the others', and he makes the most of it.

[NB. My review is of the original "Mastered for CD" issue from Polydor, with the original cover, and with no extra tracks (in fact no extra anything). The latter are not missed, and the mastering is perfectly fine.]

Uplifting music I just want to keep on hearing.
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on 17 August 2017
A fantastic classic album with two faults. Firstly, surely remastering could have improved the ridiculous splash cymbal sound on 'can't find my way home' which nearly ruins the song. Secondly, Ginger Bakers drum solo. Guessing no one had the balls to tell him it was crap.
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on 21 June 2017
Arguably Eric Clapton's most exciting work, this farest of discography is at bargain price!
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on 23 August 2017
The only album from the only true supergroup , a true classic .
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