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If you loved Blind Faith then read on...

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  • If you loved Blind Faith then read on...

    Short-lived supergroup Blind Faith's live debut will be chronicled on the DVD "London Hyde Park 1969," due April 10 in Europe and the following month in North America via Sanctuary.

    The DVD features renditions of all six tracks from the group's lone self-titled studio album, which had not even been released at the time of the show.

    "Beautiful summer afternoon, loads of people -- well over 100,000," drummer Ginger Baker recalled in an interview with "Happy, relaxed, laid back gig -- not loud on stage. Just pleasant volume unlike (the) preceding band I played with."

    Blind Faith rose out of the ashes of Cream, when Baker and Eric Clapton united with ex-Spencer Davis and Traffic singer/keyboardist Steve Winwood and Family bassist Rick Grech. Although Clapton's main inspiration for forming the group was to move away from Cream's endless live soloing, "London Hyde Park 1969" has its fair share of jamming, including the drum solo showcase "Do What You Like."

    Also featured are covers of the Rolling Stones' "Under My Thumb," Traffic's "Means to an End" and the blues standard "Sleeping in the Ground." Vintage performances from Spencer Davis Group, Traffic and Cream round out the package.

    The majority of the tracks still hold up well for Baker after all these years. "My favourite tracks are 'Sea of Joy', 'Can't Find My Way Home,' 'Presence of the Lord' and 'Had to Cry Today' -- all four are classics," Baker says. "If Blind Faith had not been such a brief thing, would probably all have been released as singles. Great shame."

    After their live debut at Hyde Park, Blind Faith soldiered on for a U.S. tour of arenas, which was met with riots and clashes between fans and police on several occasions. The group quietly disbanded afterwards, with its members going on to other projects.

    Despite the release of DVD, Baker rules out any chance of a Blind Faith reunion. "Rick Grech died many years ago (in 1990)," he notes. "I just come out of retirement for short periods. I'm pretty much crippled with arthritis -- playing is a very painful experience for me."

  • #2
    You would never have guessed that Mr Peter Edward Baker had arthritis if you saw him perform at the cream reunion concerts.

    By the way he spends a lot of time near Durban South Africa and we bump into him sometimes when he can be seen with his horses - he doesn't look like a wheelchar case just yetr!


    • #3
      caleb, the Cream reunion concert ("Royal Albert Hall") is by far the best music DVD I have ever seen. Over the past 12 months I have watched a lot of music DVD's (just a phase you know), and that DVD is the best one by a long, long way. Ginger Baker's playing is superb. I presume he had a cortisone shot in his back each evening to overcome the pain? When you bump into him next time you might like to ask him. You can also tell him that he's right about 'Sea of Joy', 'Can't Find My Way Home,' and 'Presence of the Lord'. Three exceptional songs. My muso friends are awaiting the Blind Faith DVD with eager anticipation. I just hope the SQ is good.

      By the way, have you watched the interviews on the Cream DVD? Worth a listen if you haven't.


      • #4
        I can only agree with you 100% on that one bigburner.

        When I got the reunion DVD - i was worried that the laser would burn through it I played it so often.

        I was in my late teens at University in England when they were playing originally and so we went to see them as often as we could.

        Yes - the interviews at the end are also quite enjoyable.

        IMHO Cream played better at the reunion concert than they ever did originally - a combination of maturity - and the fact that they were'nt all stoned this time ! !

        Pity that we are unlikely to see many (if any) repeats of this brilliant combination.


        • #5
          Hey, cool!!!

          Thanks for bringing this up. No way I'd have known otherwise.

          I saw Blind Faith once, and Cream 3-4 times. My memory may be failing me as I thought I went to Blind Faith at the Santa Monica Civic, but it could have been the more arena-like Forum or Anaheim Convention Center. Was going to concerts all the time those days, hence the venue confusion. A great concert, though, with Ginger Baker getting very upset over people crowding the stage and throwing drumsticks at the crowd over and over. Wish he'd thrown one at me. Would have kept it forever.

          What amazing talent in that group. Too bad they were too rushed and hyped to allow themselves time to breathe and develop. There certainly were glimpses of phenominal potential there. Beautiful music on the first album and I still have the original cover with the topless, probably 12 year old girl, on the cover.


          • #6
            The USA release date for the DVD is 6 June.

            The DVD was released in Europe on 10 April.

            What the press say…

            Music Week — 30.04.05

            “Audio and visuals are both excellent and the performances are superb”

            “Legendary and shortlived supergroup”

   — 08.02.06

            “The concert has been beautifully filmed and the sound is excellent”

            “A wonderful performance”

            Jazzwise — March 2006

            “Stunning colour footage”

            “It is certainly one you'll want to visit again and again”

            DVD Review — April 2006

            “A fascinating, if rose–tinted, glimpse of a bygone era.”

            “Star–studded ‘supergroup’” **** — 4 Stars


            “Blind Faith Live in Hyde Park perfectly captures a piece of English music history and the birth of the very first ‘super–group’”.


            “Historically important find”

            “The sound is excellent”

            “Wonderful restoration job”

            Classic Rock

            “A fantastic DVD. Well worth the 37–year wait” — Paul Henderson, Classic Rock

            Guitarist — March 2006

            “Transport yourself back to this mythical gig..”

            Guitarist — April 2006

            “Stellar line–up...”

            “...ambitious and soulful...”

            Dorset Echo — 11th March

            “Riveting footage...”

            “Fascinating artefact”

            “Valuable social document”


            • #7
              Well, guys, it looks like it might not be released in the U.S. whatsoever due to contractual problems. It's available in Europe, but, unless you have a DVD player that handles the different format, you're out of luck as well.

              Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. I'll still hold out hope that the contractual stuff might be resolved.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Danbry39
                Well, guys, it looks like it might not be released in the U.S. whatsoever due to contractual problems.
                A friend has just received his copy, ordered from Amazon in the U.S.


                • #9
                  I watched “Blind Faith - London Hyde Park 1969” for the first time last night. I approached the viewing with modest expectations given the number of poor reviews that the DVD has received – mainly around Steve Winwood missing too many high notes and Eric Clapton’s general lack of interest. My main objective was to view an event of historical significance, namely the first time that Blind Faith played, knowing also that many audio/video recordings from as far back as 1969 are crap.

                  Well I’m pleased to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the DVD. The PQ and the SQ and the music are all very good. There are possibly too many shots of spaced-out hippies, but it all adds to the interest and they might have been short of band footage. If you’re lucky enough to have tone controls on your preamp then turn the bass up a couple of notches because it’s a little lacking in that department, but I digress…

                  The DVD starts with a 7 or 8 minute documentary reminding us who Blind Faith were. For those of you who don’t know them, Blind Faith were Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker who had just quit super-group Cream, plus Steve Winwood who was well known for his playing with Traffic and the Spencer Davis Group, plus lesser-known bass player Rick Grech.

                  The first thing that I noticed when the concert footage eventually started was the surprised look on Rick Grech’s face when he realised that he was standing in front of 100,000 people! The second thing I noticed was that Clapton is playing a Telecaster. Since when has Eric played a Telecaster?

                  They kick off with “Well All Right”, followed by “Sea of Joy”, both of which are very good. Song number 4 arrives, and blow me down if Eric doesn’t announce that they they’re going to play the Rolling Stones number “Under My Thumb”. What?? It’s a great song and they do it justice, no argument, but why a Rolling Stones song? OK, no big deal.

                  During another song (which I can’t remember) Ginger launches into a drum solo that you know is going to be 15 minutes long but it’s been skilfully edited down to 2 minutes. They should have put the whole solo on the DVD an as extra. They then do “Can't Find My Way Home” and “Presence of the Lord”, both of which are also very good. Next we have a very forgettable song “Means to an End” sung by Winwood. It must be forgettable because it hasn’t been played by anyone since. The concert finishes with “Had to Cry Today” which again is very good.

                  So was Clapton disinterested? Maybe, but I just think he wanted to be part of this particular band rather than be the front man as he was in Cream. Perhaps that’s why he was playing the Telecaster?

                  Did Winwood sing poorly? No, not at all. He missed a few high notes and “Means to an End” was pretty ordinary, but the guy is a musical genius who wrote and sang most of the Blind Faith songs, played keyboards beautifully at this concert, and was only 20 years old at the time. Grech’s bass playing is excellent and Ginger is as solid as ever.

                  The whole concert is only about 40 minutes long, but they are 40 very enjoyable minutes.

                  If you loved Blind Faith then don’t hesitate to get this DVD.


                  PS If I’ve forgotten any key points it’s because I was in party mode following cocktails and dinner, not in reviewer mode with pencil and notepad!
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