Career-spanning Cream box set due out in November

Cream Band

Hard rock supergroup  trio Cream Band

 

Cream were a 1960s British rock supergroup power trio consisting of bassist/singer Jack Bruce, drummer Ginger Baker, and guitarist/singer Eric Clapton. Their sound was characterised by a hybrid of blues rock, hard rock and psychedelic rock, combining psychedelia-themed lyrics, Clapton’s blues guitar playing, Bruce’s operatic voice and prominent bass playing and Baker’s jazz-influenced drumming. The group’s third album, Wheels of Fire, was the world’s first platinum-selling double album. Cream are widely regarded as being the world’s first successful supergroup. In their career, they sold over 15 million albums worldwide. Cream’s music included songs based on traditional blues such as “Crossroads” and “Spoonful”, and modern blues such as “Born Under a Bad Sign”, as well as more eccentric songs such as “Strange Brew”, “Tales of Brave Ulysses” and “Toad”.

 

 

Cream’s biggest hits were “I Feel Free” (UK, number 11), “Sunshine of Your Love” (US, number 5), “White Room” (US, number 6), “Crossroads” (US, number 28), and “Badge” (UK, number 18). Cream made a significant impact on the popular music of the time, and, along with Jimi Hendrix, and Terry Kath of Chicago, popularised the use of the wah-wah pedal. They provided a heavy yet technically proficient musical theme that foreshadowed and influenced the emergence of British bands such as Led Zeppelin, The Jeff Beck Group and Black Sabbath in the late 1960s and the early 1970s. The band’s live performances influenced progressive rock acts such as Rush. Cream were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. They were included in both Rolling Stone and VH1’s lists of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time,” at number 67 and 61 respectively. They were also ranked number 16 on VH1’s “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock”.

On November 24th, Universal Music Enterprises is set to release a box set featuring Cream’s entire original discography: four studio and two live albums.

According to a press release, each LP within the Cream: 1966-1972 set is pressed on 180-gram heavyweight vinyl. The collection comes housed within a rigid slipcase box and includes exact reproductions of each LP’s original artwork.

Formed in 1966, the legendary British rock supergroup was comprised of guitarist/singer Eric Clapton, bassist/singer Jack Bruce, and drummer Ginger Baker. Throughout their career, the trio dabbled in blues rock and psychedelic rock and delivered classics such as “Sunshine Of Your Love”, “White Room”, and “Crossroads”. In 1993, Cream were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2006, received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Pre-orders for the box set are ongoing.

Below, check out a picture of the box set and the full tracklist, followed by a few of Cream’s classic songs.

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Cream: 1966-1972 Tracklist:

LP1: Fresh Cream (1966) Tracklist:
A1 N.S.U.
A2 Sleepy Time Time
A3 Dreaming
A4 Sweet Wine
A5 Spoonful
B1 Cat’s Squirrel
B2 Four Until Late
B3 Rollin’ And Tumblin’
B4 I’m So Glad
B5 Toad

LP2: Disraeli Gears (1967) Tracklist:
A1 Strange Brew
A2 Sunshine Of Your Love
A3 World Of Pain
A4 Dance The Night Away
A5 Blue Condition
B1 Tales Of Brave Ulysses
B2 SWLABR
B3 We’re Going Wrong
B4 Outside Woman Blues
B5 Take It Back
B6 Mother’s Lament

LP3: Wheels Of Fire (1968) Tracklist:
A1 White Room
A2 Sitting On Top Of The World
A3 Passing The Time
A4 As You Said
B1 Pressed Rat And Warthog
B2 Politician
B3 Those Were The Days
B4 Born Under A Bad Sign
B5 Deserted Cities Of The Heart
C1 Crossroads – Live At The Fillmore
C2 Spoonful – Live At The Fillmore
D1 Traintime – Live At The Fillmore
D2 Toad – Live At The Fillmore

LP4: Goodbye (1969) Tracklist:
A1 I’m So Glad
A2 Politician
B1 Sitting On Top Of The World
B2 Badge
B3 Doing That Scrapyard Thing
B4 What A Bringdown

LP5: Live Cream (1970) Tracklist:
A1 N.S.U.
A2 Sleepy Time Time
A3 Lawdy Mama
B1 Sweet Wine
B2 Rollin’ And Tumblin’

LP6: Live Cream Volume II (1972) Tracklist:
A1 Deserted Cities Of The Heart
A2 White Room
A3 Politician
A4 Tales Of Brave Ulysses
B1 Sunshine Of Your Love
B2 Steppin’ Out (Mislisted as Hideaway on original LP pressings)

Flashback: The Clash Rock Against Racism in 1978

The Clash – White Riot Live (1978 Victoria Park London)

Taken from the film Rude Boy

 

In August 1976 a heavily intoxicated Eric Clapton blurted out some very unfortunate remarks onstage at the Birmingham Odeon in England. “England is overcrowded,” he said. “I think we should send them all back.” He went on to add that England was in danger of becoming a “black colony.” Around the same time, David Bowie caused an even greater uproar when he shared some surprising political beliefs. “I believe very strongly in fascism,” he told Playboy. “The only way we can speed up the sort of liberalism that’s hanging foul in the air. . .is a right-wing totally dictatorial tyranny. . .Rock stars are fascists, too. Adolf Hitler was one of the first rock stars.”

The Genius Of The Band’s Richard Manuel

Richard Manuel

Richard Manuel

On the anniversary of his death, we look back at The Band’s wounded soul on film.

“I always felt very comfortable with Richard in The Band. I knew nobody else had a better singer. Richard’s policy was to hold up his glass and say, ‘spend it all!’ – which is a pretty good policy when you think about it.” – Levon Helm, 1997

RICHARD MANUEL, who died 28 years ago today, was The Band’s secret weapon. Possessed of a scorched baritone that was able to propel Ray Charles-esque R&B (The Shape I’m In, King Harvest (Has Surely Come)) and add spine-tingling melancholy to heartbroken ballads (In A Station, Whispering Pines), he was the fragile figure whose immersion in gospel music helped ignite the group’s emotional core.

Like most members of The Band, Manuel was a skilled multi-instrumentalist and would move from piano to drums when Levon Helm took on mandolin duties – see Evangeline and Rag Mama Rag for key examples of The Band’s second configuration. He was also responsible for co-writing some of their hidden gems, among them the dreamy When You Awake and the spirited country-soul of Jawbone.

“There was something of the holy madman about Richard. He was raw.” – Eric Clapton

Although his later years were plagued by alcoholism, his natural charisma remained undimmed. “I was madly in love with Richard… At the time, [1975] we had the same troubles,” said his good friend Eric Clapton. “I felt insecure and he was clearly insecure, and yet he was so incredibly gifted….For me he [Richard] was the true light of the Band. The other guys were fantastic talents, of course, but there was something of the holy madman about Richard. He was raw. When he sang in that high falsetto the hair on my neck would stand on end. Not many people can do that.”

Here are four videos that shine a light on his genius, beginning with arguably the ultimate Band clip recorded during the sessions for The Band at Sammy Davis Jr.’s L.A. pool house in 1969: