The Original Vs. The Cover – “Can’t Find My Way Home”

Welcome to the new in yet another series that is called “The Original Vs. The Cover”.  Not a very original title, but it gets the point across.  Each month I will pick a song and compare the original to my favorite cover of the song.

And there is not a better way to kick off this series than with Blind Faith’s song “Can’t Find My Way Home”.  The song was written by Steve Winwood and on Blind Faith’s only album back in 1969.  Blind Faith was one of the earliest super groups as it consisted of Steve Winwood from the bands Traffic & The Spencer Davis Group, Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton from the band Cream and lastly, Ric Grech from Family.  Not a bad set of musicians.

Blind Faith’s “Can’t Find My Way Home” is a slow ballad with Eric Clapton playing acoustic guitar and Steve Winwood singing.  Of course Ginger Baker is playing percussion and Ric Grech is on bass, but the guitar work is of note.  The guitar work is fantastic as expected and it is rare you get Eric Clapton playing acoustic (at least back then).  The vocals have an eerie hollowness to them and I don’t know if that was Winwood’s intention or just the production of the song, but it works.  The overall production is simple and not much too it and I think that is why the song works so well. The overall tone fits the time period which was the end of the 60’s.

House of Lords don’t stray too far from the original at first.  The sound is updated and sounds more modern and though it misses some of the uniqueness of Blind Faith’s version, it packs its own punch and for me is actually my favorite cover of the song.  The song is on their 1990 album called ‘Sahara’.

I think the grittiness of James Christian’s vocals are perfect and give it a deeper edge to it. About half way through the House of Lords version, they kick it up a notch and turn it electric.  They end up rocking the last half and putting their own twist on the song.  Doug Aldrich is on guitar and brings the song up to date.  I think the combination of remaining true to the original for half the song and their own spin added is what I really like about their version.  House of Lords made it their own.

The first version of the song I remember is the House of Lords version which is why it holds a special place in my heart.  I like it equally as good as the original.  I know that is cop out, but they are both amazing versions in their own right.  I like the original for its simplicity and the House of Lord’s version for their unique interpretation of it.  Okay, I guess the version I go to more to listen to is the House of Lords version so  maybe that one is my favorite.  There, I decided.

Once you have listened to them both, let me know what you think of if you have a version of the song you like better.  The song has been covered a few times if you want to check them out.  Thanks to wikipedia, here is a nice very small list of the different versions.  There are only a few…

  • Sound Factory – Sound Factory (1970)
  • Gilberto Gil – Gilberto Gil (Nêga) (1971)
  • Ellen McIlwaine – Honky Tonk Angel (1972)
  • Yvonne Elliman – Yvonne Elliman (1972)
  • Mama Lion – “Preserve Wildlife” (1972)
  • Eric Clapton – E. C. Was Here (1975); Slowhand Special Edition (2012)
  • Bonnie Bramlett – Memories (1978)
  • Torch Song – Ecstasy (1986)
  • Swans – The Burning World (1989)[2]
  • Jarboe – Thirteen Masks
  • House of Lords – Sahara (1990)
  • Joe Cocker – Night Calls (1991) (also Organic (1996))
  • Spin 1ne 2wo – Spin 1ne 2wo (1993)
  • Elkie Brooks – Circles (1995)
  • Yasuko Agawa – Echoes (1996)
  • Don Ross – Loaded, Leather, Moonroof (1997)
  • Alana Davis – The Mod Squad motion picture soundtrack (1999)
  • Electronic – Twisted Tenderness (1999)
  • Pat Green and Cory Morrow – Songs We Wish We’d Written (2001)
  • Alison Krauss – Crossing Jordan television soundtrack (2003)
  • BigBang – Radio Radio TV Sleep (2003)
  • Carl Dixon – One Voice Two Hands (2003)
  • Widespread Panic – Über Cobra (2004)
  • Styx – Big Bang Theory (2005)
  • Mig Ayesa – MiG (2007)
  • Henning Stærk – Old Time Rocker (2009)
  • Black Label Society – The Song Remains Not the Same (2011)
  • Bonnie Raitt – The Lost Broadcast—Philadelphia 1972 (2011, recorded 1972)
  • Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy, and Randy George – Cover to Cover (2006)
  • Sneaker Pimps – Hits and Singles (2010)
  • Nathan East – Nathan East (2014)[3]
  • John Wetton – New York Minute (2015)
  • Giacomo Voli – Il Vento Canterà (2015)
  • Ryan Quinn – The Voice 2016 Blind Audition-Can’t Find My Way Home (2016)
  • Jeff St John’s Copperwine – Joint Effort (1971)

That might have been a little more than a few…sorry.


“Can’t Find My Way Home”

Come down off your throne
and leave your body alone
somebody must change
You are the reason
I’ve been waiting so long
somebody holds the key
Well, I’m near the end
and I just ain’t got the time
And I’m wasted

and I can’t find my way home

Come down on your own

and leave your body alone
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
And I’m wasted
and I can’t find my way home
Written by Steve Winwood





11 thoughts on “The Original Vs. The Cover – “Can’t Find My Way Home”

  1. Great idea and article, thank you.

    Always loved the HOL version. Like you say starts slowly before HOL add their pomptastic keys and guitar solos.

    I have heard the Styx version which is so, so nothing really special. However, the Neal Morse version is well worth a listen.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent idea for a series! I have to admit that I’m not familiar with this track at all, so hard to really offer comment. That said, I think I’d opt for the original!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great idea for a series… As far as covers go, I think this is the “holy grail” . Never heard of HOL before until it was played on a “contemporary rock” station, and the DJ precluded it with what he thought was a “totally remarkable” cover. To me, this version could actually be construed in today’s terminology as a Reboot… I’m an old schooler and I actually hate that term, but I digress. This version, personally, is actually almost better than the original… And I was around for both! Kudos to your new series and HOL’s version.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Enjoyed this! Was looking for versions to decide how to approach this song live when I came across this thread. To me the HOL cover is viable because they are covering a great song that has stood the test of time. That’s why we want to play it. It doesn’t get better than the original to me just different. My mind always takes me back to the original that to me sets the bar

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s