Saturday, September 27, 2008

Blind Faith - (self titled) (Polydor, 1969)

This was one of rock 'n' roll's first super-groups, consisting of guitarist and singer Eric Clapton, keyboardist and singer Steve Winwood, bassist Rich Grech and drummer Ginger Baker. The group grew out of an informal series of jam sessions Clapton and Winwood held together, which eventually grew into this short lived group and their only album. Nearly forty years on, the music still hangs together quite well, with only the album ending jam "Do What You Like," which makes up most of side two of the original LP and incorporating a massive drum solo devolving into anything approaching self indulgent wankery. The first side of the album is very consistent, leading off with a couple of Winwood compositions, the strongly improvisational "Had to Cry Today" with some superbly focused instrumental playing and the delicate and acoustic "Can't Find My Way Home." Covering Buddy Holly's "Well, All Right" makes for a happy go lucky uptempo jam, while the first side ends with the majestic gospel of Clapton's "Presence of the Lord." Overall, this is one sixties artifact that remains a powerful listening experience, maintaining a sense of innocence and hope that wasn't long to last.

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