Live In Hyde Park (Mid Valley MVR 319/320)
Hyde Park, London, U.K. – June 7th, 1969
Disc 1: Soundboard source; Introduction, 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
Disc 2: Audience source; 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
Right on the heals of Paddington’s Compensation For Betrayal, Mid Valley comes forth with an almost perfectly mixed soundboard from Blind Faith’s debut show at London’s Hyde Park. This show was professionally recorded and filmed and the board tape sounds so good it’s probably from the master reels. The soundboard is unfortunately incomplete due to a large cut in “Do What You Like”. What is strange here is that Mid Valley only mixes in about 20 seconds of the audience recording at the cut. This track is not cut in the audience tape and their reason for only using this small segment is puzzling. The audience tape is very good sounding with only faint comments, some clapping, and the occasional overhead airplane being heard.
The band members themselves have been quoted saying they were very nervous for this debut performance. By the time they took the stage the crowd had grown to 100,000. Their performance is not without faults. Winwood’s voice starts to sound a little rough about halfway through the show and the band still sound unsure of some of the changes in their new material. That being said, the performance is still very enjoyable with some standout Clapton solos particularly in “Sleeping In The Ground” and “Can’t Find My Way Home”.
On the soundboard portion, starting with “Under My Thumb” there is a tape speed issue with the recording running very slow. Had this been corrected, Mid Valley would have had themselves a definitive release, and with the virtually complete audience source, too. Too bad, because the packaging for this title is excellent, including two folding inserts with short essays and pictures from the event, four mini photo cards reminiscent of the Beatles White Album, and a thick photo booklet that looks like it could be a reproduction of a tour program, although no dates are listed. This is a very nice package and will be the definitive release until somebody releases it at the proper speed. (This show has since been released officially on DVD by Sanctuary Records Group in 2006.)If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)