Blind Faith

Can't Find My Way Home

Composed by Steve Winwood

Song Review by

Mirroring Led Zeppelin and other British hard rock bands' forays into Celtic folk music, short-lived supergroup Blind Faith merges Steve Winwood's soul-man vocals with a Bert Jansch/Nick Drake-like moody acoustic guitar groove. British blues-rock acts in the late '60s seemed to discover a similarity between American blues and soul music and the folk traditions of their own United Kingdom, and merged the two forms; in addition to Zeppelin's fusions, Van Morrison, the Rolling Stones, and others, after interpreting the American roots of rock & roll, went back even further to the Celtic sources of American country and folk music. Blind Faith, a band who released only one record before imploding, consisted of Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker -- from the ashes of another supergroup, Cream -- Steve Winwood of Traffic and the Spencer Davis Group, and Rik Grech from Family and later, Traffic. Winwood, who was blessed with amazingly soulful vocal abilities and an innate sense of American roots music, offers "Can't Find My Way Home" for the self-titled 1969 LP. It is a striking, dreamy piece, fading in with Clapton's and Winwood's delicately picked classical-acoustic guitars, and Baker playing a shuffling, jazzy beat on the drums, every once in a while hitting a sizzling ride cymbal. Grech places subtle bass notes on just the root notes. The dense production, guided by the legendary Jimmy Miller, is atmospheric and swampy, a dark, rainy, late-night soup that matches the mental state of the song's narrator: "Come down on your own and leave your body at home/Somebody must change/You are the reason I've been waiting all these years/Somebody holds the key/Well, I'm near the end and I just ain't got the time/Well, I'm wasted and I can't find my way home." Winwood, in a dreamy falsetto, sings a lyric that on first glance seems to be a simple love song, but in actuality might be intended to reflect a spiritual journey of some kind. The changing and leaving of the body, the not being able to find one's way home, all suggest a spiritual quest. And the music is almost chant-like, ethereal, a droning wall of sound.

Alana Davis recorded an excellent cover of the song on the soundtrack for the film Mod Squad (1999), which begins by adhering to the guitar parts before a great drum groove, loops, and Davis' sensitive and soulful vocals enter. In lieu of the murky atmospherics of the original, the production instead increasingly layers neo-psychedelic effects. Ellen McIlwaine gives the song a bluesier Joni Mitchell-like reading on her 1972 Honky Tonk Angel. Swans recorded a druggy version on Burning World (1989) that successfully straddles a new age, "Dear Prudence"-like vibe.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Blind Faith 1969 Def Jam / Island / Polydor / Universal 3:16
1969 [Original Soundtrack] 1988
Original Soundtrack
Polygram 3:15
Classic Rock: Rock Renaissance, Vol. 2 1990
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:15
No Image 1994
Original Soundtrack
Cabin Fever Music
Around the Fire 2000
Various Artists
Liquid City Records 3:15
London Hyde Park 1969 2006 Sanctuary
blue highlight denotes editor's pick