Cream (2)

Although Cream were only together for a little more than two years, their influence was immense, both during their late-'60s peak and in the years following their breakup. Cream were the first top group to truly exploit the power trio format, in the process laying the foundation for much blues-rock and hard rock of the 1960s and 1970s. It was with Cream, too, that guitarist Eric Clapton truly became an international superstar. Critical revisionists have tagged the band as overrated, citing the musicians' emphasis upon flash, virtuosity, and showmanship at the expense of taste and focus. This was sometimes true of their live shows in particular, but in reality the best of their studio recordings were excellent fusions of blues, pop, and psychedelia, with concise original material outnumbering the bloated blues jams and overlong solos.

Cream could be viewed as the first rock supergroup to become superstars, although none of the three members were that well-known when the band formed in mid-1966. Eric Clapton had the biggest reputation, having established himself as a guitar hero first with the Yardbirds, and then in a more blues-intensive environment with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. (In the States, however, he was all but unknown, having left the Yardbirds before "For Your Love" made the American Top Ten.) Bassist/singer Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker had both been in the Graham Bond Organisation, an underrated British R&B combo that drew extensively upon the jazz backgrounds of the musicians. Bruce had also been, very briefly, a member of the Bluesbreakers along with Clapton, and also briefly a member of Manfred Mann when he became especially eager to pay the rent.

All three of the musicians yearned to break free of the confines of the standard rock/R&B/blues group, in a unit that would allow them greater instrumental and improvisational freedom, somewhat in the mold of a jazz outfit. Eric Clapton's stunning guitar solos would get much of the adulation, yet Bruce was at least as responsible for shaping the group's sound, singing most of the material in his rich voice. He also wrote their best original compositions, sometimes in collaboration with outside lyricist Pete Brown.

At first Cream's focus was electrified and amped-up traditional blues, which dominated their first album, Fresh Cream, which made the British Top Ten in early 1967. Originals like "N.S.U." and "I Feel Free" gave notice that Cream were capable of moving beyond the blues, and they truly found their voice on Disraeli Gears in late 1967, which consisted mostly of group-penned songs. Here they fashioned invigorating, sometimes beguiling hard-driving psychedelic pop, which included plenty of memorable melodies and effective harmonies along with the expected crunching riffs. "Strange Brew," "Dance the Night Away," "Tales of Brave Ulysses," and "S.W.L.A.B.R." are all among their best tracks, and the album broke the band big-time in the States, reaching the Top Five. It also generated their first big U.S. hit single, "Sunshine of Your Love," which was based around one of the most popular hard rock riffs of the '60s.

With the double album Wheels of Fire, Cream topped the American charts in 1968, establishing themselves alongside the Beatles and Hendrix as one of the biggest rock acts in the world. The record itself was a more erratic affair than Disraeli Gears, perhaps dogged by the decision to present separate discs of studio and live material; the concert tracks in particular did much to establish their reputation, for good or ill, for stretching songs way past the ten-minute mark on-stage. The majestically doomy "White Room" gave Cream another huge American single, and the group was firmly established as one of the biggest live draws of any kind. Their decision to disband in late 1968 -- at a time when they were seemingly on top of the world -- came as a shock to most of the rock audience.

Cream's short lifespan, however, was in hindsight unsurprising given the considerable talents, ambitions, and egos of each of the bandmembers. Clapton in particular was tired of blowing away listeners with sheer power, and wanted to explore more subtle directions. After a farewell tour of the States, the band broke up in November 1968. In 1969, however, they were in a sense bigger than ever; a posthumous album featuring both studio and live material, Goodbye, made number two, highlighted by the haunting Eric Clapton-George Harrison composition "Badge," which remains one of Cream's most beloved tracks.

Clapton and Baker would quickly resurface in 1969 as half of another short-lived supergroup, Blind Faith, and Clapton of course went on to one of the longest and most successful careers of anyone in the rock business. Bruce and Baker never attained profiles nearly as high after leaving Cream, but both kept busy in the ensuing decades with various interesting projects in the fields of rock, jazz, and experimental music. Cream reunited for a handful of live shows in 2005 at London's Royal Albert Hall and New York City's Madison Square Gardens, but no further reunions were forthcoming, and Bruce died of liver disease in Suffolk, England in October 2014.

Eric Clapton: guitar, vocals
Jack Bruce: bass guitar, acoustic guitar, harmonica, vocals, cello, piano, organ
Ginger Baker: drums, percussion, vocals

Inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 (Performer).


594001, 594 001 Cream (2) - Fresh Cream album art Cream (2) Fresh Cream (Album, Comp) Reaction 594001, 594 001 UK 1966 Sell This Version
594 003 Cream (2) - Disraeli Gears album art Cream (2) Disraeli Gears (Album, Comp) Reaction, Reaction 594 003 Australia 1967 Sell This Version
184 168 Cream (2) - Wheels Of Fire - Live At The Fillmore album art Cream (2) Wheels Of Fire - Live At The Fillmore (Album) Polydor 184 168 Germany 1968 Sell This Version
583 033 Cream (2) - Wheels Of Fire - In The Studio album art Cream (2) Wheels Of Fire - In The Studio (Album) Polydor, Polydor 583 033 UK 1968 Sell This Version
SD 2-700 Cream (2) - Wheels Of Fire album art Cream (2) Wheels Of Fire (Album) Polydor SD 2-700 US 1968 Sell This Version
ATM 87001 Cream (2) - Goodbye album art Cream (2) Goodbye (Album) Polydor, Polydor ATM 87001 US 1969 Sell This Version
2383 016 Cream (2) - Live Cream album art Cream (2) Live Cream (Album) Polydor 2383 016 UK 1970 Sell This Version
2383 119 Cream (2) - Live Cream Volume II album art Cream (2) Live Cream Volume II (Album) Polydor 2383 119 Israel 1972 Sell This Version
88-44 Cream (2) - Legends Of Rock 1988 album art Cream (2) Legends Of Rock 1988(2xLP) Westwood One Companies 88-44 US 1988 Sell This Version
238 Cream (2) - In The Studio - Disraeli Gears / Wheels Of Fire album art Cream (2) In The Studio - Disraeli Gears / Wheels Of Fire(CD, Promo, Transcription) The Album Network 238 US 1993 Sell This Version
UICY-1167 Cream (2) - BBC Sessions album art Cream (2) BBC Sessions (Album, Comp) Polydor, Chronicles UICY-1167 Japan 2003 Sell This Version
9362-49416-2 Cream (2) - Royal Albert Hall - London - May 2-3-5-6 05 album art Cream (2) Royal Albert Hall - London - May 2-3-5-6 05 (Album) Reprise Records 9362-49416-2 Europe 2005 Sell This Version
UICY-79060/3 Cream (2) - Goodbye Tour (Live 1968) album art Cream (2) Goodbye Tour (Live 1968) (Album) Polydor, UMC UICY-79060/3 Japan 2020 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

421059 Cream (2) - Wrapping Paper album art Cream (2) Wrapping Paper (Single) Reaction 421059 New Zealand 1966 Sell This Version
NH 59058 Cream (2) - I Feel Free album art Cream (2) I Feel Free (Single) Reaction NH 59058 New Zealand 1966 Sell This Version
27791 Cream (2) - Wrapping Paper album art Cream (2) Wrapping Paper(7", EP) International Polydor Production 27791 France 1966 Sell This Version
27 798 Cream (2) - I Feel Free album art Cream (2) I Feel Free(7", EP) International Polydor Production 27 798 France 1966 Sell This Version
NH-59135 Cream (2) - Spoonful album art The Cream* Spoonful (Single) ATCO Records NH-59135 Australia 1967 Sell This Version
EPH 60034 Cream (2) - Strange Brew album art Cream (2) Strange Brew (EP) Polydor EPH 60034 Australia 1967 Sell This Version
59165 Cream (2) - Sunshine Of Your Love album art Cream (2) Sunshine Of Your Love (Single) Polydor 59165 Germany 1967 Sell This Version
59106 Cream (2) - Strange Brew album art Cream (2) Strange Brew (Single) Reaction 59106 Germany 1967 Sell This Version
60 015 Cream (2) - Sunshine Of Your Love album art Cream (2) Sunshine Of Your Love (Single) Polydor 60 015 Spain 1968 Sell This Version
EPH 60038, EPH 600 38 Cream (2) - Cream...Cream album art Cream (2) Cream...Cream (EP) International Polydor Production, International Polydor Production EPH 60038, EPH 600 38 Australia 1968 Sell This Version
56258 Cream (2) - Anyone For Tennis (The Savage Seven Theme) album art Cream (2) Anyone For Tennis (The Savage Seven Theme) (Single) Polydor 56258 UK 1968 Sell This Version
45-6617 Cream (2) - White Room / Those Were The Days album art Cream (2) White Room / Those Were The Days (Single) Polydor 45-6617 US 1968 Sell This Version

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December 10, 2019
You see this..
Ever hear the sound on it ... Universal is going to make a box out of it.


April 2, 2018
Hey, from '66 to '68 they [Cream] made a lot of freakin' noise !!!! They were over worked & over toured [i.e. ,played for 1 month in just Calif. alone in early '68 !] but before all the greedy promoters got their hands on them & they were still having fun [Detroit Oct. '67 ] it shows just how FUCKIN' SMOKIN' They really were ! # 1 three man band in rock history & in my book also !! [James Gang w/ J. Walsh # two in my opinion]. 'Nuff said !


June 13, 2016
The first.....and probably one and only....SUPERGROUP! Live and on record!


May 3, 2015
How white guys mimicking blues stylings is equal to rock "growing up" I'll never know. I'm sure it was exciting to hear the blues played louder than ever before, but listening to Cream live these days, it gets very tiring hearing Clapton bashing away at his collection of blues tropes, while Bruce and Baker thunder away underneath. Of the three, by far the most progressive was Baker, who seemingly pioneered rock drumming and perfected it by himself, endlessly inventive and free in a way that Bruce and Clapton could never be, tied to regurgitating the riffs and patterns they'd learned off their blues records.
1966 was a year of frantic acid invention - The Beatles released Revolver, Pink Floyd releeased their debut, it was an exciting time of invention and revolution. Cream were a powerful new force combined of the best bits of the British blues scene.
Sadly, it would be this tired and dogged belief in "authenticity" and "grass roots" that eliminated the freshness of the times, during the 70's the market became saturated with worthy white guys playing their interpretations of "real" blues music. Yawn. Far from "growing up", rock music got old and boring.
Contrary to the prior poster, Clapton didn't really knock Lennon and Jagger off their perches, he was only ever a guitar hero to guitar nerds, and he was soon royally dumped on his arse by Hendrix, who took pointers from Cream but surpassed them effortlessly.
The strictures of the new rock classicism were so rigid that few groups were able to stretch them in entertaining new directions, Led Zep and Black Sabbath spring to mind, what a shame the revolution of the mid 60's scene turned into the turgid yawnathon of late 60's and early 70's blues rock - meanwhile the same was happening in the States, where psychedelic bands traded in their indian / acid influences for banjoes and hoedowns. What a comedown!


December 8, 2010
This "Cream" is without any doubt more popoular than the other "Cream". Why on heart should this be "Cream (2)"?


October 18, 2009
Cream was the first of the superbluesgroups. Born of the musician's perennial dream of bringing together the cream of the current muscial crop into one mind-boggling all-star group, Cream brought together Ginger baker, master drummer, Eric Clapton, king of the English blues guitarists, and Jack Bruce, superbass. This was early 1967, when those who had outgrown early Beatles and early Beatles imitators were ready to get their teeth into some adult and substantial music, so their timing was perfect.
With Cream rock finally grew up, and Eric Clapton became the all-time rock hero, edging Lennon and Jagger from their pedestals. Although there's been plenty of blues playing around, it took Cream to fully tune a whole new generation in to that kind of muisc. Cream was almost entirely responsible for the blues revival of 1968 and for the great interest in the roots of the new blues-rock. Clapton and Mike Bloomfield (of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and the Electric Flag) continually gave credit where it was due, talking of roots and sources, bringing up the names of blues originals like B. B. King, Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. It worked two ways for them, for once some of the more astute heard the originals they were less impressed by what Cream and the Bloomfield bands were doing. But that was irrelevant because Cream conquered like no other band did, so that by the end of 1968, when they called it quits, they were able to sell out New York's enormous Madison Square Garden weeks before their "farewell" concert.
To hear them was to be left stoned and stunned. No one had quite seen anything like the way Cream worked-not as an uninspired background for a brilliant soloist, but three major musicians giving it everything from start to finsih. In spite of Clapton, there were no stars, just the music. There had been several seasons of delicate imagery, Donovan and the other poets; Cream gave it out hot and heavy and very physical, which is not to say there was no delicate imagery. Martin Sharp's lyrics for <i>Tales Of The Brave Ulysses</i> are among the most beautiful in the new rock. Clapton's guitar (you knew he had listened and played with every blues record ever made, all the way back to the Mississippi Delta) was as lean and melancholy as his face. Jack Bruce-who could believe he had played on Manfred Mann's <i>Pretty Flamingo</i>-was the embodiment of music: instrumentalistist, vocalist and composer. Ginger Baker was the devil with drumsticks. Each gave the others a run for their money, frantically competing for attention, though never at the cost of what they were playing. In any case, all of them were always winning, which was what made the music so heavy and rich.
Cream's music was essentially interpretative blues and rock, with all kinds of personal versatility but very little cheap flash, and no help from musical friends, except on their last album, in which they did use sidemen. The group always came off live better than on album, and when "Wheels Of Fire" was made, as a two-record set, one record was live. There were criticisms of the albums (after all, the standards set by Cream were high) and there were personal problems (Clapton, particularly, seemed unable to cope with the lack of time and thinking space), but all the same, it came as a great shock, just when they could be said to be the number one group in America, to hear their announcement that they would disband. The only possible consolation at that time was the thought that out of the break could come, after some cunning contractual reshuffling in other circles, not one supergroup like Cream, but three, with Bruce, Baker and Clapton each heading one.
And where was Cream when all the other English groups were happening, from 1964 on? Bruce, who started off singing Scots folk sóngs, was in the Graham Bond Organization, an organ group with jazz and blues influences with which jazz-orientated Ginger Baker also played. Bruce also played with the highly commercial Manfred Mann group for a while, and with the blues-orientated John Mayall Blues Breakers, the group Eric Clapton went to after starting with the Yardbirds. You can hear echoes of all of these groups in a Cream performance, for they all had a lot to teach a young musician, but the format had always been to rigid. Cream represented unheard-of freedom for the three, at first anyway.

When the band was finished, its legacy was everywhere. Until Cream, few groups thought of having solos; then even Ginger Baker's drum solo <i>Toad</i> was widely imitated. Other groups, seeing Cream's huge success with albums rather than "commercial" singles, finally dared to move out of pop back into music-and record companies approved. There is a lot to thank Cream for: the new enthusiasm for blues, the new enthusiasm for rock generally.

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