Before Led Zeppelin, before AC/DC, before Metallica, there was Cream. The union of Eric Clapton’s guitar, Ginger Baker’s drums and Jack Bruce’s bass were billed as the original supergroup, but the tension that led to their undoing was evident since day one. Cream’s first two albums went smoothly and sealed their reputation as the vanguard of a new type of heavy rock. But by 1968’s Wheels Of Fire however, the relationships between the members had deteriorated. On June 10th, 1968. Clapton announced that the band was breaking up. While the band would limp on for a farewell tour and their Goodbye album, they were barely speaking by then and merely going through the motions.
Let’s take a look at 5 highlights from Cream’s all too brief existence.
Number 5: Crossroads
For many this was the first time they heard Eric Clapton’s voice. Jack Bruce handled most of the vocals for the band but it’s Clapton who gets to shine on this Robert Johnson standard.
Number 4: I Feel Free
From their debut album Fresh Cream. Were they a blues band, a psychedelic rock band? The only way to find out was to listen to more.
Number 3: White Room
This is Cream at their full potential and the peak of their powers. Thundering drums, a killer guitar solo and poetic lyrics. It doesn’t get any better than this.
Number 2: Tales Of Brave Ulysses
Pure 60’s psychedelia. This track was largely written by Clapton and features one of the first uses of the wah-wah pedal on record.
Number 1: Sunshine Of Your Love
That riff!!! This was Cream’s antham and one of the finest moments in rock history. The era of heavy rock and all the bands that followed, began right here.