George Starostin's Reviews



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Stephen Legg <> (28.01.2004)

BLIND FAITH played a free concert in Hyde Park in the summer of 1969 which by all accounts was not too hot due to under rehersal time.

duncan youngerman <> (25.11.2005)

Blind Faith was arguably the best rock band ever. The sound chemistry between Winwood, Clapton and Baker was absolutely magical. Their playing, of course, but also their compositions, (including Baker's unjustly maligned "Do What you Like") The various added bonus jams, live songs and outtakes that one gets now on cd reissues don't count for me. They're lousy and were never meant to be heard on recordings. Only the studio album produced by Jimmy Miller is what Blind Faith is about. It's a very sad thing that they ended after recording this one masterpiece. That Clapton would abruptly give up this musical goldmine for playing around with good ol' folks Delaney and Bonney always seemed to me a real lack of gratitude and taste on his part. A sign of conservatism and conformism (The Band's "back to the roots" approach was "in") since then all too amply confirmed. Blind Faith had a unique poetry, imagination, power, and could soar in any direction: folk, jazz, metal, rock'n roll, blues, while transcending them all.

But you want to know what my ultimate fantasy band would have been (and very plausibly too, as all these guys knew and admired each other)?:

.Steve Winwood, vocals and keyboards .Jimi Hendrix, guitar (don't laugh: did you know he wanted Winwood to be a member of Band of Gypsies?) .Jack Bruce, bass .Ginger Baker, drums .Jim Capaldi, percussion

What great songs, mind-blowing sounds, jams to die for...


Bryan B. <> (24.03.99)

Okay, you explained your '10' rating of this album...but I still don't buy it! A lot of bands must have recorded single albums that weren't very good so they ended up recording no more; you wouldn't give all those a 10 too would you, simply because it's their only album? Now, the album isn't awful, but it's much closer to a 7 or 8 than a 10 in my opinion. I don't much care of Stevie Winwood's manner of playing the keyboard (It puzzles me why he was so revered during this period of time. Everyone wanted to jam with him, even Hendrix.) Winwood is, much like Tony Banks, a "good" keyboardist, but rather dull. There, I said it. Eric Clapton wouldn't begin to slump for years yet, and Ginger Baker is one of the more innovative rock drummers ever heard, so that's fine. The trouble is Winwood is the dominant force in the band. I don't think this is a vital recording except for the fanatics. If you're a fan of Stevie Winwood, you'll absolutely love it.'s your call.

[Special author note: the general band rating of 1 is what reduces the album to its deserved status. See the general ratings page].

Glenn Wiener <> (13.08.99)

Truthfully this record should have been in your Odds and Sods section. If Ringo Starr's only solo record was Sentimental Journey, would you still give that record a 10 and as an artist a one resulting in a grand total of 11 out of 15 points putting it in the Very Good category. This record by no means is very good. I bought the cassette several years ago for four or five dollars and thats about all its worth. This recording consists of merely six songs and the Ginger Baker number long overstays its welcome. Even 'Had To Cry Today' becomes tiresome after hearing the same riff for nine minutes. 'Presence Of The Lord' is one beautiful piece of music most notably Eric's guitar solo but the lyrics, vocals, and mix between the instruments are top notch as well. 'Can't Find My Way Home' is also very good and the other two numbers are better than average but not outstanding. This collection is nice for Stevie Windwood fans or those who would want to hear want a supergroup sounds like at a bargain price. On your 15 point scale this rates about an 8 in my book.

[Special author note: If Ringo Starr's only solo record was Sentimental Journey, I would never have reviewed him AT ALL because his band/artist rating would have been lower than 1. You are mistaken to think that a band/artist rating of 1 is the lowest on my scale - it still represents a fairly interesting entity. The Spice Girls, for instance, would have earned a -4 or -5 rating on this scale, and so would Ringo, if he'd only recorded Sentimental Journey (luckily it was just a toss-off which he recognizes himself). Blind Faith with its one album was unarguably a band of much more merit than a potential Ringo Starr with just one album, and the overall rating of 11 is what I feel is right for this record. If you feel that the record is worse, that's another matter. My ratings work!]

Ted Goodwin <> (24.07.2000)

Thoughts (in no particular order) on this album:

(1) I've often seen this album in record stores filed under "Clapton". Why is this, when Winwood is so clearly the dominant force here?

(2) It's interesting to hear Winwood's own lyrics on 3 songs here because his lyrical credits for all of Traffic's music amount to about half a song (literally). His lyrics sound more airheaded, and yet more graceful, than those of Traffic lyricist Capaldi. My only complaint about them is that the hippie/druggie connotation of "I'm wasted" mars the almost-deserving-of-its-classic-status "Can't Find".

(3) I don't have any particular favorites or least favorites on this album -- it sounds rather even to me.

(4) Thoughts on "Do What You Like": Your description of it as "15 minutes of standing on your head" is appropriate -- the whole thing is in 5/4 time, right down to the background shouts. I like Winwood's solo best, wish Grech's wasn't obscured by the shouting, and would like Baker's to be shorter (and I usually LIKE drum solos). The lyrics are oh so childish yet, embarrassingly, they're deeper than those of "Presence Of The Lord".

(5) A lot of people call this album's cover "the greatest album cover ever". I don't find it particularly offensive (the way most conservative types like me would), but it always struck me as not fitting the music. It looks to me like it belongs on some complex yet sensitive art-rock something-or-other. The original U.S. "alternate" cover design (which later appears on the LP's back cover & the CD's inside cover), showing the guys sitting & standing around a bunch of equipment, fits the music much better.

Kip Walters <> (26.12.2000)

Reading the reviews of Blind Fath really makes me sick. It's reviewed in todays perspective.

However, being a 14 year old in 1969 and hearing my 18 year old brother's Blind Faith album was a turning point in my life. I loved it then as I do today. I would listen to that album for hours and hours. It was magic to my ears. It was an expression of everything that was going on at the time or soon to come. (woodstock, kent State, Viet Nam) It was not meant in my opinion to be a flowery expression of any of the 4 members, but a compilation of all the 4 members with all their rage and love at that moment in time.

It is poppycock when you review something 30 years later and review it on current attitudes. Blind Faith was a sign of the time, not to be judged from any perspective but that time in life.

It was and is a great piece of artwork. It is better appreciated now, I am sure, because I appreciated it then.

I do agree, the cover that shows the four bandmembers is by far the most valid for me, because that is the one I had access to. I don't think the music would have meant the same with the other cover.

I am grateful for Blind Faith. It is too bad though that many of the members had to suffer through identity crisis to get to the point they are at now. Most importantly Eric Clapton.

There is so much music from that era that just wouldn't cut it today, but it was great stuff then and continues today.

Another example of a great set then would be Chicago's Carnigie Hall. Today, it would be ripped, but then, it was an expression of the time.

[Special author note: Mr Walters certainly brings up a good point. However, I would like to ask Mr Walters a question: do we judge and evaluate, say, Shakespeare's Hamlet on the attitudes of early XVIIth century? Hardly. Blind Faith certainly means more for Mr Walters and people of his generation than for me or people of my generation just because he lived through that album and all of its environment. But Mr Walters and people of his generation are not immortal. Mr Walters will die and there will be no one to review Blind Faith on the attitudes of 1969. Would that mean that Blind Faith will have to go into the grave together with Mr Walters? I wouldn't want to think so. So you see, Mr Walters, by writing such 'poppycock' I actually do the album a favour, trying to extol its virtues that are still actual, in the year 2000 or so. Stop acting so egotistic, Mr Walters. Blind Faith belongs to anybody who is willing to listen to it and give it a chance, not just exclusively to you.]

mello <> (15.01.2001)

This is just an OK album (but it’s good to remember that what’s OK for these guys is better than the best material from other bands!). Nothing earthshaking here, with 3 exceptions, and considering that we have two-thirds of Cream and Steve Winwood in the same band, this album is kind of a downer. According to Eric Clapton, he and Winwood were not in much of a hurry to get anything going, but that Ginger insisted they record as soon as possible. If that is true, then that explains why this album only has 6 songs! ‘Can’t Find My Way Home’ is exquisite, “pretty” but not wimpy because of the great acoustic guitar work, and even Winwood’s high, whiny voice seems to fit this song. ‘Well All Right’ is an interesting version of Holly ’s song, but even though this is a good version, I much rather prefer Santana’s, which is identical but has more ‘soul’. ‘Presence of the Lord’ has that monster solo; just listen to Clapton’s agility in handling the chord changes, absolutely awesome! (I’m still debating whether Paul McCartney had ‘Presence’ in mind when he composed ‘Let it Be’, or was it the other way around). ‘Had to Cry Today’ and ‘Do What You Like’ (or as I call it, ‘Toad II’) just don’t do it for me, too long and pointless. ‘Sea of Joy ’ has a nice riff, but goes nowhere with it. Maybe if they’d had time to jell, Blind Faith would have come up with a truly classic album; as it is, it’s a good album deserving of an 8…

Gary Gomes <> (25.07.2001)

Considering the level of talent here, and considering the bands these guys came from, this album was a huge disappointment when it came out and continues to be a huge disappointment. I was a fan of Cream and Traffic and wanted a pioneering fusion of sounds with passion and fire. Didn't get it...

By the way, "Had to Cry Today" and "Can't Find My Way Home" feature Clapton AND Winwood on guitar.(Traffic's "Pearly Queen" and parts of "Mr. Fantasy" is WINWOOD on guitar, not Mason.) Realizing this, one can perhaps understand all the buzz about him at that time. I saw Traffic live when John Barleycorn was out, and they were incredibly tight and talented for a three piece. They must have been better live than this snorefest.

The only good thing about this lp was that it made me listen to Family more carefully-and I became (and remained) an avid fan of Family thereafter.

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