2 of 2 thought this review was well written
Cream- The Very Best of Cream
If average people today actually took the time to listen to Cream other than their famous hit �Sunshine of Your Love�, maybe Cream would be regarded as a rock n roll super-group in the same classification as their younger brother, Led Zeppelin. Without a doubt, Cream is rock n roll�s very first power trio, (yes, even before the Jimi Hendrix Experience!) featuring the likes of Jack Bruce, the blues messiah of guitar, Eric Clapton, and the rolling drums of Ginger Baker. Sure they were not around as long as some of the other bands in that era, lasting only a quick three years (1966-1968) but what they did for rock music certainly made an impact, on listeners AND musicians.
It should be safe to say that this compilation is indeed very good, containing material from every studio, as well as live recordings that Cream ever did. Wheels of Fire, Fresh Cream, and Disraeli Gears all make an impression on this CD, and let me say, it is indeed a very good listen. This is one of, if not the best compilation �Greatest Hits� album, just because it doesn�t lack any of their good material from any album, even their debut.
�I Feel Free� the opening tune, is one of their best, with Jack�s boomy voice skatting at the beginning, to add a dew-wop feel to this timeless blues classic. After a few more tracks, �Spoonful� a six minute, all out blues guitar jam from Clapton, is a genius cover of the Willie Dixon tune. Which leads me to my next remark. Not all of the songs on this CD are originals. After all, who can forget Cream�s jaw dropping live cover of �Crossroads�. The bouncy bass/guitar riff is the perfect fit for Jack�s wonderful voice. The guitar is steady, being wonderful throughout the entire duration of the disc.
The three best songs from �Disraeli Gears� clock in at the halfway mark on the album. �Sunshine of Your Love� is obviously a tad overrated, but still a joy to listen to. And you know you�ve done the trick when your 50 year old mother is singing along and drumming on the steering wheel in the car as she takes you to school. I love it when my mom tells me she likes my taste in music. �Tales of Brave Ulysses� is arguably the best song Cream ever gave us, with the descending bassline and perfect vocal performance. Jack Bruce is a man of many talents, and a very underrated player. �Strange Brew� is another classic song, with the high-pitched melody and dark, yet playful lyrics. �Strange brew, kill what�s inside of you.� �SWLABR� is another rocking song from �Disraeli Gears� and thoroughly enjoyable for blues and rock fans alike. �White Room� is probably the most well known song off of �Wheels of Fire� with it�s opera-like intro and shuffled rhythms. �You said no strings could secure you, at the station.� are choice lyrics to provide a warm prelude to a mind boggling guitar solo. After a few covers, as well as blues jams, we approach the end of the album. The ending song couldn�t have been a more perfect fit. �Badge� featuring George Harrison of the Beatles on rhythm guitar. The thump of the bassline, Jack�s throaty voice, and Eric�s soaring lead guitar work make this song one of Cream�s best songs ever, as well as the epitome of a classic closing song.
Whether or not you have listened to Cream before, I urge you to consider purchasing this album, as for an introduction into Cream�s three year run or if you are a Cream-nut. No matter what kind of fan or potential fan, this album is quite exceptional. For only a three year run, Cream left their mark on rock history with some of the most memorable songs, maybe as influential as the other half of rocks power trios, making a foundation as great as Jimi himself.
Jack Bruce- Bass/Vocals
Eric Clapton- Guitar
Ginger Baker- Drums
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