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Monday, April 6, 2015

Cream, Part 1

OK, let me start out by saying that while I love a LOT of the music of Cream, I think they were a slight bitoverrated..... why? well, let me attempt to explain what is sure to be an unpopular position (and don't make too much out of it, I do love a lot of their work)....OK, to me, Cream were the first band that we REALLY separated their studio work from their live shows...... we do that often NOW, but back then? Cream's studio work, although they were capable of some brilliant shit (they had some tremendous singles, and the "Best of Cream" is a fine disc that should be in nearly ANYONE'S collection), and while they were a legendary live act, often, the endless jamming got to be a bit much to listen to on record, if you get what I'm saying......I just don't think they were as "great" as maybe some people might have thought they were, but, nonetheless, they DID make some incredible music for us, and were a VERY transcendental band. They incorporated the hard rock "pop-singles" format, as well as psychedelia and blues, into their act, and were an EXTREMELY important act in rock n roll history......Eric Clapton, IMO, was never better, Jack Bruce contributed wonderful bass playing and fine vocals (and, I might add, HORRENDOUS harmonica playing), and of course, Ginger Baker manned the skins, enough said there.....a good band, just maybe remembered a BIT more fondly than is necessary.

OK, let's start tonight with their studio efforts, perhaps you might see what I am saying......the first album "Fresh Cream" (which is presented here in the CD version with a few "bonus cuts") has some good shit on it...."NSU", "Sleepy Time Time" and the drum showcase "Toad" would become live staples, they are OK as studio tracks, but, IMO, not really MORE than "OK"'s what I'd call a 2-star album, although there is some good material here, and the bonus discs certainly help the cause ("Spoonful").

Farily obviously, thier best studio effort was "Disraeli Gears"......and it's got GREAT shit all over it, "Sunshine of Your Love"...."Tales of Brave Ulysses"...."SWLABR" (if you don't know, it stands for: "She Was Like a Bearded Rainbow, you're welcome)....and this fine extended CD is off the charts, with soe demo versions and stuff (including a fine demo of the aforementioned "SWLABR")....a TRULY great album, perhaps the only REALLY great one they had in them, and if you acquire THIS one, you get the whole album twice, the second time in the "monaural mix" version/////for what more could you POSSIBLY ask me?

"Wheels of Fire" was a double disc set, half studio/half live, a lot of people love it, I can't (really) argue....after all it DOES contain "White Room", "Born Under a Bad Sign", and "Politician" on the studio disc, certainly it is essential.....the "live" disc"?  Well, this is where the problems begin, at least for repeated listenings.....four tracks, which seem to go on forever, "Crossroads" is great of course, but "Traintime" and "Toad" seem to literally NEVER end.

And the final studio album they created was "Goodbye Cream" my math that makes but four.......and it does include the tremendous "Badge" (one of Clapton's most incredible solos) as well as "I'm So Glad", it's certainly not "bad", nor is it "great"......

And that is about it for their studio work, not exactly a bone crushing amount.......we will get to their overwhelming live stuff tomorrow, as well as maybe some rarities and other stuff (haven't decided if this is gonna take 2 days or 3 yet)

hey man, I LOVE Cream.....I just think that historically, they have been just a SLIGHT BIT over-appreciated/over-rated, I sure as hell wish I'd have SEEN one of the live shows I will present later, but I didn't, so what we have is what we have.

A great and important band, if you don't have all these discs, likely you should.

FRESH CREAM-01 I feel Free/02 NSU/03 Sleepy Time Time/04 Dreaming/05 Sweet Wine/06 Cat's
Squirrel/07 Four Until Late/08 Rollin' and Tumblin'/09 I'm So Glad/10 Toad/11 Spoonful (Bonus)/12 Wrapping Paper (Bonus)/13 The Coffee Song (Bonus)

DISRAELI GEARS-01 Strange Brew/02 Sunshine of Your Love/03 World of Pain/04 Dance the Night Away/05 Blue Condition/06 Tales of Brave Ulysses/07 SWLABR/08 We're Going Wrong/09 Outside Woman Blues/10 Take It Back/11 Mother's Lament/12 Strange Brew (monaraul mix)/13 Sunshine of Your Love (monoraul mix)/14 World of Pain (monoraul mix)/15 Dance the Night Away (monoraul mix)/16 Blue Condition (monoraul mix)/17 Tales of Brave Ulysses (monoraul mix/18 SWLABR (monoraul mix)/19 We're Going Wrong (monoraul mix)/20 Outside Woman Blues (monoraul mix)/21 Take it Back (monoraul mix)/22 Mothers lament (monoraul mix)

WHEELS OF FIRE DISC 1-01 White Room/02 Sitting on Top of the World/03 Passing the Time/04 As You Said/05 Pressed Rat and Warthog/06 Politician/07 Those Were the Days/08 Born Under a Bad Sign/09 Deserted Cities of the Heart/10 Anyone For Tennis (Bonus)

WHEELS OF FIRE DISC 2-01 Crossroads/02 Spoonful/03 Traintime/04 Toad

GOODBYE CREAM-01 I'm So Glad/02 Politician/03 Sitting On Top of the World/04 Badge/05 Doing That Scrapyard Thing/06 What a Bringdown

OK, if you are going to write that I have somehow "diss'ed" Cream, or I am a "hater" or some such nonsense, please go fuck yourself.....I am going to do a 2 or 3 day post on them, I just happen to think that maybe they weren't quite as great as some people think they were and THAT IS ALL.......nothing more. I think Cream made some great music and THAT is why they are here.

With the Tourney finale on tonight I MAY not get the links up till morning, we'll see, just wanted you to see you're in for a multi-part Cream Epic this week!







  6. Agree completely with your assessment of Cream. At times astounding, at times okay.

  7. WHEELS D1/P1

  8. WHEELS D1/PT2

  9. WHEELS D2/P2

  10. WHEELS D2/P2

  11. Thank you, some great stuff here!