Blind Faith : London Hyde Park 1969
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Le premier concert de BLIND FAITH eut lieu devant un public de 100 000 personnes un beau jour de 1969 à Hyde Park à Londres. Un groupe si extraordinaire qu'il captivait déjà l'attention de tous sans qu'aucun concert n'ait été donné. Depuis, personne n'a pu revoir ce concert intégralement. Ce DVD offre l'opportunité de découvrir ce concert historique, donné devant un public abasourdi. En mélangeant le blues psychédélique d'ERIC CLAPTON avec les claviers et la voix soul de STEVE WINWOOD, avec RICH GRECH à la basse et le phénoménal GINGER BAKER à la batterie, BLIND FAITH devint, en six mois d'existence et à travers un unique album éponyme, un groupe aussi culte et important dans l'histoire du Rock que pût l'être CREAM (dont CLAPTON et BAKER faisaient partie), THE BAND, ou même JIMI HENDRIX. Avec les classiques incontournables : Presence Of The Lord, Sleeping In The Ground et la reprise des ROLLING STONES Under My Thumb
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That said, it's the only video document we have of Blind Faith, and so its historical importance is worth an extra star. The concert itself shows a band that plays tentatively at times. They seem very unsure of themselves, and it's Steve Winwood's vocals that keep them on track.
Eric Clapton is clearly in transition here, both in sound and in approach. This marks the beginning of his move from the fatter Gibson sound to the grittier Fender. He also seems so intent on disappearing into the band that he stands behind everyone else and takes no vocals (not even backups). His playing is terse, as if he purposely chose not to cut loose even when the opportunity was there.
The paucity of original material caused them to cover the Rolling Stones ("Under My Thumb", an odd choice). Two of the three best numbers were ones they never released on a Blind Faith record, "Sleeping In the Ground" (which eventually appeared in the "Crossroads" box), and "Means To an End", a Winwood tune from Traffic's second album. "Had To Cry Today" was the highlight, if only because of the catchy riff and that it forced Clapton to get in gear a bit on the solo.
Casual fans may not much care for this film, but for anyone interested in this pivotal period in the careers of Clapton or Winwood, it's worth a look. It's the only visual document of Blind Faith we're likely ever to have.
Looking back at Blind Faith, I feel particularly nostalgic and regretful about it. I was and remain a huge fan of Cream and the Traffic both before and after Blind Faith, but feel that Clapton got off track when he left England to go with Delaney and Bonnie and eventually the Dominoes, as that period coincided with his decline into drug use, which began before he left. Clapton never played with a vocalist who equaled Winwood, and it is wonderful watching him focus on the accompanist role as he does here. Baker is more restrained, tasteful and effective than in Cream here, and that is no knock on his Cream performances. Traffic was great, but Winwood never had the quality of bandmates for live performance he had here. It really was a shame Blind Faith did not stay together, and I am not sure I understand why they did not. Seeing this video makes me wish again they had, with all the great music that definitely would have brought.
I disagree with those who have criticized Winwood's vocal performance here. This is not a studio performance, and Stevie would take chances at times. It was part of his appeal as a performer.
I have greatly enjoyed this disc, and despite the technical limitations it has quickly become one of my very favorite ones. I have watched it a number of times and enjoy it more and more. I have recommended it to friends who have given it near universal raves as well.
In addition to the songs mentioned above, Sea of Joy is great, as the soloing on the studio recording of Grech playing violin or viola is covered by Clapton and Winwood switching off. Clapton does not use the wah wah during the solo on Presence of the Lord, and in general there is less of the two songs in one feel that you have in the studio version. Had to Cry Today closes the concert, and unlike the double tracked guitars in the studio version, this version has Winwood on keys. Do What You Like was truncated and rather sloppily so, but it is the exception in that regard.
In fact it is fascinating the way the band was able to get the range of expressiveness they did with very little use of different instrumentation or effects. It is a lesson to all casual performers who overuse effects as a crutch.
In short, I highly recommend this.
This 16mm film transfer is a definitive moment in music history which should be added to any classic rock collection. The documentary only adds context to the players--displaying their 1960's superstardom.