Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Rock > Blind Faith (Deluxe Edition CD Set)

Blind Faith    (Deluxe Edition CD)


Sound: B     Music: B+     Extras: B+



How about being in a Supergroup for an entire year?  Sounds like a really awful idea or another sickening “reality” show, but that is more or less the idea of the first band that was ever dubbed a Supergroup.  Eric Clapton had already made a name for himself in bands like John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and The Yardbirds, but really hit it big in Cream.  However, it was his least favorite experience, and despite the commercial benefits, brought the band to an end by 1968.  Later that year, he would form another band and the result would be Blind Faith.


So stunned Cream was gone, the only way the press could deal with this was to dub the new band a Supergroup, though the first high ticket prices for their concerts only added to that idea.  Steve Winwood had already established himself as one of Rock’s most uncompromised (at the time) voices in bands like Traffic and the Spencer Davis Group.  Drummer Ginger Baker also happened to be a Cream alumnus, and landed up joining in, though it would bring Clapton back to what made him unhappy about Cream in the end to begin with.  Bassist Rick Grech was the final addition and the band was off.


Blind Faith offered a controversial cover of a topless young girl holding a then-advanced-looking warplane, a perfect provocation of the Vietnam fiasco.  The music content of the vinyl release would be a mere six tracks, but the final one would exceed 15 minutes.  However, that was more than enough for it to be a huge #1 million-seller, but few knew at the time that this would be a one-shot gig.  You have to remember that many bands were being launched that year, like Led Zeppelin, so anything could happen and was possible.


There is a sense of two things with this album, extended jams and abstracted Blues, combined in a free-style that feels like it is taking off from the groundswell of a height where Rock was at the time.  It could have only come out of that atmosphere.  That Buddy Holly’s Well All Right would make the set of otherwise original tunes like Had To Cry, Can’t Find My Way Home, and Do What You Like seems most appropriate.  This is an album worth of the beginnings of Rock music, because it is an original.


The PCM CD Stereo tracks sound good for their age, with the only limit here being the 16bit/44.1kHz signal of the CD format itself.  The five extras tracks on CD 1 and 4 mega-tracks on CD 2 also sound really good.  Winwood’s vocals are relatively clean, and the instrumentals are nicely spaced for a format at this level.  An SACD or DVD-Audio should yield even more detail; while this set shows how good a shape the masters are in.  The set also comes with the usually well-written and illustrated booklet that Universal keeps producing for these fine sets, which are archival even if the discs are CDs.


So, commerce killed what could have been one of the 1970s most important bands, even if they only lasted during the early part of the decade.  The critical and commercial success of its alumni bear that out, expect that the now-tired and played out Supergroup concept is a dead giveaway that the press and fans had extremely high expectations of all of them to begin with.  This makes Blind Faith a one-of-a-kind gem that many might miss the point of, but those who know much better are going to want this set before it goes out of print.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com