‘Blind Faith’: The Ultimate Supergroup’s Transatlantic Triumph

September 20, 1969 marked a transatlantic triumph for the short-lived but fondly-remembered quartet.

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'Blind Faith' artwork - Courtesy: UMG
'Blind Faith' artwork - Courtesy: UMG

They were formed from the top division of British rock talent of the late 1960s and lasted for precisely one album. But September 20, 1969 was the date of perhaps the ultimate supergroup’s transatlantic triumph. The solitary, self-titled album by Blind Faith went to the top of the charts in both the UK and US, for two weeks.

The band was, of course, formed by artists who already had a remarkable track record. Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker arrived from Cream, Steve Winwood from Traffic (to whom he would return), and Ric Grech from another of the great experimental rock bands of the time, Family. The new band could hardly have made their debut in a higher-profile setting, as they arrived on stage at a free festival at London’s Hyde Park in June 1969, a few weeks before the Rolling Stones’ famous concert there.

New songs plus Buddy Holly

An American debut soon followed at Madison Square Garden, followed by a US tour, and then the Blind Faith album was unveiled by Polydor in the UK, and Atco in the US, in August. With new compositions by Winwood, Clapton, and Baker, as well as a cover of Buddy Holly’s “Well All Right,” it was an instant success – and a controversial one, with its cover image of a pubescent girl. So much so, in fact, that Atco declined to use it, featuring a band photograph on the cover instead.

Listen to uDiscover Music’s Blind Faith Best Of playlist for more songs from a true supergroup.

Winwood dominated the album’s songwriting, with “Had To Cry Today,” the flagship acoustic piece “Can’t Find My Way Home” (later covered by Clapton among others) and “Sea Of Joy.” But Eric added his own “Presence Of The Lord” and Baker had the extended closing track “Do What You Like.” That heady brew took the album to the top of the UK charts, replacing Jethro Tull’s Stand Up for a fortnight before The BeatlesAbbey Road began an 11-week reign.

But even before the completion of the American tour, the members of Blind Faith had realised that their coming together was not the dream combination they might have hoped for. By the autumn, they were effectively no more. One of the most short-lived successes in rock was already passing into history, but with a record that’s still fondly remembered today.

Buy or stream Blind Faith.


1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. John Buchanan

    September 20, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    Atco didn’t decline to release the album cover – they offered the nude cover as an order only alternative (A version) to the band photo version (B). The nude cover appears to have been far less common, for obvious reasons to stock controllers.

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