Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
87 of 90 people found the following review helpful
An absolute must for Blind Faith fansJuly 24 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
If it is true that Sanctuary is not releasing this DVD in the United States due to contractual problems, that is very unfortunate for Blind Faith fans. This is probably the only footage one will ever see of this group, so if you're a fan, you will want to see this DVD. Amazon UK sells this DVD but you must have a DVD player that plays PAL. So do yourself a favor, buy a DVD player that can play both NTSC and PAL, not just to play this DVD, but for so many other DVDs that are only available in the PAL format because they aren't released in the U.S. for whatever reason. Various electronic companies on the Internet sell these type of machines, so get one now, open yourself up to the world of PAL DVDs!
Now to the DVD itself. Blind Faith probably should have waited until they had more songs in their repertoire before they started touring because they really didn't have many of their own songs under their belt yet. So their actual set for this concert is only about 40 minutes or so. Before we actually see the concert, there is an introduction that discusses the musical climate of the time and the background of the members of Blind Faith. The footage is crisp and the colors are beautiful. The editing of the concert footage is fine, luckily we really don't get that horrible MTV style with the super quick edits that makes one want to vomit.
I felt that the group played very well considering this was their first concert. Winwood and Baker were outstanding, they seemed to be really into it. Clapton and Grech looked like zombies but they played well. Grech was an excellent bass player who probably doesn't get enough recognition nowadays.
The high points of the concert were Sea of Joy (eventhough I miss Grech not playing the violin on this), Can't Find My Way Home, In the Presence of the Lord, and Had to Cry Today (excellent bass by Grech makes this song memorable). I also enjoyed the crowd scenes, I love seeing people do those crazy, acid influenced dances and also seeing those colorful outfits, far out!
The bonus material could have been better on this DVD. Traffic, Spencer Davis Group, and Cream each get only one clip while Family (Grech's original group) doesn't get any representation.
It is a shame this group only put out one album, I would have loved to have seen where they would have went with their music. At least now we have this DVD.
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Keep the technical aspects in perspectiveFeb. 9 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
I understand the technical complaints made by some here, and wish the footage was shot differently. But it is what it is, and the perspective I have mentioned is this was a shortlived band but an incredibly talented one, with this being the only available video material. I think the music holds up extremely well, and the differences from the album they put out make this that much more interesting, particularly the different, electric version of Can't Find My Way Home, plus the tracks not on the album, including a rousing rendition of Stevie's Means to an End, the blues Sleeping in the Ground (Winwood had a great voice for the blues - it is too bad he didn't sing blues more often), and a great version of the Stones' Under My Thumb.
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.
37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Lower Your ExpectationsSept. 24 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
The film is disappointing, with terrible, twitchy camera work and editing. (I thought perhaps I was just getting stodgy in my old age, but a clip from an earlier Cream concert included among the DVD extras assured me that even in those long-ago days, there WERE people who knew how to shoot a concert video.)
By contrast, the audio quality during the concert is good. The DVD cover says the sound is stereo. It sounded like mono to me.
The concert itself is frustrating. This show is a precious memory to those where were there, a legend to those who were not, unheard for almost 40 years, and... well, it's not that great. These are all solid professional musicians, but the performances here seem tentative and uninspired. They certainly don't hold a candle to the performances on the album.
Nothing I say will dissuade real Blind Faith devotees from getting this DVD. Nothing I've said would have dissuaded me. Just don't get your expectations too high, and you can enjoy this.
Track list: Well All Right Sea of Joy Sleeping in the Ground Under My Thumb Can't Find My Way Home Do What You Like Presence of the Lord Means to an End Had to Cry Today
DVD extras: 3 promo videos, photo gallery I'm a Man - Spencer Davis Group Hole in My Shoe - Traffic I'm So Glad - Cream
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
BLIND FAITH IN THE PARKAug. 14 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
I'll say from the outset that, if you are a Clapton or Baker or Winwood fan, this DVD is a treasure to own. It's a great treat to see the band up close and the songs have stood the test of time well. The bands sound good save for a few flat notes from Winwood's singing, but overall they do a good job and it's great to see them perform. The DVD quality is not up to current standards but it's amazing that the concert footage survived all these years. Although strange for their first concert, it is nonetheless cool that someone had the intelligence to film the band back then. You'll be dissappointed, certainly, if you expect it to be perfect. It's got the usual 60's psychotic-maniac production-the film crew taping everything but the band half the time. You see the park, trees, a plane, the waterway, people walking, people dizzed out of their minds either sitting and staring aimlessly or dancing around as if someone had dropped a hungry scorpion down their pants. The cameramen love to zoom in and out of hands, arms, faces, just for the thrill I guess, so be prepared to ignore the wild photography and cheap affects and then you will enjoy the video. Gosh, if only they had used ALL of the cameras that day to focus in on the band, especially Eric and Ginger...sigh! The thing I like is that it's daylight and you can actually see the band, the equipment, the stage, the facial expressions, all without the psychodelic images that usually plague the old concerts. The sound quality is good for something this old. You might ask yourself, "What does a Telecaster guitar with a beat up Strat neck-attached sound like"? I wondered about this too. Well, it sounds like, ah, a Stato-Tele-caster thing. I guess Eric didn't quite plan on 100,000 possessed fans to show up, not to mention the film crew. He looks fairly introverted throughout the whole thing. The band seemed unnervingly surrounded on all sides by the throngs of fans. In all fairness to the band, a debut concert in this environment must have been totally whack and overwhelming. I've been waiting axiously for this DVD to be released in the USA but gave up and had to go elsewhere to get it. Amazingly, although in PAL version, it plays 100% on my American Philips PET710 DVD player! As a side note, I was fortunate enough to see Blind Faith during their brief American tour, in NYC at MSG. It was wonderful. Clapton was wearing an all white suit and the crowd went beserk all night every time he played a lead, especially when he used his wah-wah during Presence Of The Lord. Ginger was powerful and awesome. The band sounded excellent. At the end, the crowd was so frenzied that they mobbed the band as they tried to exit from their revolving center stage, which had provided terrific views of the band that night but proved to be very bad for security. After an encore, Ginger pleaded for his life over the microphone that night as the crowd, at the end, was truly frightening. He barely escaped to the dressing room. I loved the band back then and still do now but I suppose it was all too much for them, especially Eric. I'm glad I was able to get a copy of this DVD and I truly recommend it to anyone who is a fan or just curious. It's worth it! I also recently contacted the company who distributes this DVD and they wrote to me saying that it looks doubtful it will ever be released in the USA at this point in time.
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
very rewarding for the blind faith fanApril 24 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
I have seen several bootleg versions of this monumental event over the years, however this production is outstanding. The audio is very clear and well mixed, and for being 1969 the visual appearence is great. i would reccomend this dvd to anyone who is cream or traffic fan. this dvd captures the first true supergroup in great form. it was well worth the 37 year wait.