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Rock Hall Anniversary: Blind Faith’s Sole Album

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In 1969, a lot of changes in music had occurred, from Janis Joplin going solo to the Jimi Hendrix Experience disbanding. And among the two changes in music were the dissolution of both Cream and Traffic. But in that year, members of those two bands would come together. By the spring, Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker of Cream, and Steve Winwood of Traffic formed the supergroup Blind Faith, along with bassist Ric Grech of the group Family.

In August of 1969, the band released their debut album. It was produced by Jimmy Miller (who would go on to produce the Rolling Stones, during the band’s creative peak), and it featured two hits; “Can’t Find My Way Home” (written by Winwood), and “Presence of the Lord (written by Clapton). The album itself hit number one in the UK and US albums charts, knocking Jethro Tull and Johnny Cash respectively from the top.

But the biggest news of Blind Faith’s debut album, was the controversy over the album cover. It was created by photographer Bob Seidemann (known for photos of Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead), and it featured a topless girl from the waist up, holding a silver metallic ship. The cover was banned in the U.S., despite actually being nominated for a Grammy Award for best album cover (losing to an album by jazz great Thelonious Monk). Eventually, an alternative cover featuring a picture of the band was issued by Atco Records.

After the self-titled album, Blind Faith was no more by the end of 1969. Members had decided to go their separate, including Winwood reforming Traffic, and Clapton playing with John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band and Delaney & Bonnie, as well going solo. However, Blind Faith’s album would later be remastered in 2001, featuring bonus tracks, and a few jam sessions.

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