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Rock - Publicado el 1 de noviembre de 1967 | Polydor Records

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Cream teamed up with producer Felix Pappalardi for their second album, Disraeli Gears, a move that helped push the power trio toward psychedelia and also helped give the album a thematic coherence missing from the debut. This, of course, means that Cream get further away from the pure blues improvisatory troupe they were intended to be, but it does get them to be who they truly are: a massive, innovative power trio. The blues still courses throughout Disraeli Gears -- the swirling kaleidoscopic "Strange Brew" is built upon a riff lifted from Albert King -- but it's filtered into saturated colors, as it is on "Sunshine of Your Love," or it's slowed down and blurred out, as it is on the ominous murk of "Tales of Brave Ulysses." It's a pure psychedelic move that's spurred along by Jack Bruce's flourishing collaboration with Pete Brown. Together, this pair steers the album away from recycled blues-rock and toward its eccentric British core, for with the fuzzy freakout "Swlabr," the music hall flourishes of "Dance the Night Away," the swinging "Take It Back," and of course, the old music hall song "Mother's Lament," this is a very British record. Even so, this crossed the ocean and also became a major hit in America, because regardless of how whimsical certain segments are, Cream are still a heavy rock trio and Disraeli Gears is a quintessential heavy rock album of the '60s. Yes, its psychedelic trappings tie it forever to 1967, but the imagination of the arrangements, the strength of the compositions, and especially the force of the musicianship make this album transcend its time as well. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Publicado el 1 de agosto de 1968 | Polydor Records

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Rock - Publicado el 9 de diciembre de 1966 | Polydor Records

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Fresh Cream represents so many different firsts, it's difficult to keep count. Cream, of course, was the first supergroup, but their first album not only gave birth to the power trio, it also was instrumental in the birth of heavy metal and the birth of jam rock. That's a lot of weight for one record and, like a lot of pioneering records, Fresh Cream doesn't seem quite as mighty as what would come later, both from the group and its acolytes. In retrospect, the moments on the LP that are a bit unformed -- in particular, the halting waltz of "Dreaming" never achieves the sweet ethereal atmosphere it aspires to -- stand out more than the innovations, which have been so thoroughly assimilated into the vocabulary of rock & roll, but Fresh Cream was a remarkable shift forward in rock upon its 1966 release and it remains quite potent. Certainly at this early stage the trio was still grounded heavily in blues, only fitting given guitarist Eric Clapton's stint in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, which is where he first played with bassist Jack Bruce, but Cream never had the purist bent of Mayall, and not just because they dabbled heavily in psychedelia. The rhythm section of Bruce and Ginger Baker had a distinct jazzy bent to their beat; this isn't hard and pure, it's spongy and elastic, giving the musicians plenty of room to roam. This fluidity is most apparent on the blues covers that take up nearly half the record, especially on "Spoonful," where the swirling instrumental interplay, echo, fuzz tones, and overwhelming volume constitute true psychedelic music, and also points strongly toward the guitar worship of heavy metal. Almost all the second side of Fresh Cream is devoted to this, closing with Baker's showcase "Toad," but for as hard and restless as this half of the album is, there is some lightness on the first portion of the record where Bruce reveals himself as an inventive psychedelic pop songwriter with the tense, colorful "N.S.U." and the hook- and harmony-laden "I Feel Free." Cream shows as much force and mastery on these tighter, poppier tunes as they do on the free-flowing jams, yet they show a clear bias toward the long-form blues numbers, which makes sense: they formed to be able to pursue this freedom, which they do so without restraint. If at times that does make the album indulgent or lopsided, this is nevertheless where Cream was feeling their way forward, creating their heavy psychedelic jazz-blues and, in the process, opening the door to all kinds of serious rock music that may have happened without Fresh Cream, but it just would not have happened in the same fashion as it did with this record as precedent. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Publicado el 1 de enero de 1969 | Polydor Records

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After a mere three albums in just under three years, Cream called it quits in 1969. Being proper gentlemen, they said their formal goodbyes with a tour and a farewell album called -- what else? -- Goodbye. As a slim, six-song single LP, it's far shorter than the rambling, out-of-control Wheels of Fire, but it boasts the same structure, evenly dividing its time between tracks cut on-stage and in the studio. While the live side contains nothing as indelible as "Crossroads," the live music on the whole is better than that on Wheels of Fire, capturing the trio at an empathetic peak as a band. It's hard, heavy rock, with Cream digging deep into their original "Politician" with the same intensity as they do on "Sitting on Top of the World," but it's the rampaging "I'm So Glad" that illustrates how far they've come; compare it to the original studio version on Fresh Cream and it's easy to see just how much further they're stretching their improvisation. The studio side also finds them at something of a peak. Boasting a song apiece from each member, it opens with the majestic classic "Badge," co-written by Eric Clapton and George Harrison and ranking among both of their best work. It's followed by Jack Bruce's "Doing That Scrapyard Thing," an overstuffed near-masterpiece filled with wonderful, imaginative eccentricities, and finally, there's Ginger Baker's tense, dramatic "What a Bringdown," easily the best original he contributed to the group. Like all of Cream's albums outside Disraeli Gears, Goodbye is an album of moments, not a tight cohesive work, but those moments are all quite strong on their own terms, making this a good and appropriate final bow. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Publicado el 30 de septiembre de 2005 | Reprise

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Rock - Publicado el 1 de enero de 1995 | Polydor Records

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Rock - Publicado el 6 de marzo de 2020 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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Rock - Publicado el 1 de abril de 1970 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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Mirándolo desde la distancia temporal, Cream no fue gran cosa en la historia del rock. Dos años y medio de carrera, cuatro álbumes de estudio, unas 40 canciones. Entonces, ¿por qué tanto alboroto? Parte de la respuesta se encuentra en este Live Cream, la primera parte de un “best of” que se lanzó... catorce meses después del último álbum de la banda, Goodbye (publicado en febrero del 69). Pero la aventura no se prolongó.Calificado como “el primer supergrupo de rock”, el trío compuesto por el cantante/bajista Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton en la guitarra y el baterista de rock/jazz/fusión Ginger Baker tenía un seductor valor de mercado, especialmente por sus actuaciones en vivo, que atraían a los fans del virtuosismo instrumental, como muestran los cuatro temas en vivo de esta reedición.Clapton dijo que había mucha apariencia en los conciertos de Cream, y se llevó su parte con dos grandes minutos a solo en Sleepy Time Time. También comentó que los músicos del trío no se escuchaban demasiado entre sí, algo que efectivamente se nota un poco en el túnel instrumental final del tema. También encontramos en el tracklisting el tema Sweet Wine, por el lado de la fusión, y Rollin' and Tumblin', un clásico de Delta conocido por la grabación de Muddy Waters, una canción uptempo que pasa de 140 a 158 BPM y en la que Ginger Baker despliega toda su energía. La única toma de estudio del disco, Lawdy Mama, es una versión de Hey Lawdy Mama, publicada en 1965 por Junior Wells con Buddy Guy (originalmente Buddy Moss en 1934). El arreglo es diferente a la versión de Wells, y unos meses después, Cream también cambiaría la letra de lo que se convertirá en Strange Brew, una canción mucho más pop que sería uno de sus grandes éxitos. © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz
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Rock - Publicado el 8 de diciembre de 1972 | Polydor Records

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An oft-overlooked curio, Live Cream, Vol. 2 appeared at a very odd time, with very little warning, almost two years after its predecessor -- and at virtually the same time as the related (though not overlapping) History of Eric Clapton. And both showed up, not coincidentally, at a point when Clapton, unbeknownst to most of the public, was sidelined with a crippling heroin addiction -- this album helped keep him in the public eye, as a singer as well as a guitarist. On its face, Live Cream, Vol. 2 is a more ambitious album that its predecessor, offering more songs and including concert versions of two of the group's AM radio hits (as opposed to the album tracks that comprised the repertory on Live Cream, Vol. 1). And it is just about essential listening for anyone who wants to understand what Cream was about, which was live performance. Utilizing -- for the time -- state-of-the-art mobile recording equipment, it was a significant achievement at the time in capturing the genuine sound of a high-wattage power trio on-stage, playing away at full volume, and the overall sonic excellence here must surely be credited to engineers Tom Dowd and Bill Halverson. The feeling that you are in the front row is very much in evidence, and this is largely due to their ability to capture the band's live fury with clarity and intimacy, down to every nuance of Ginger Baker's playing. As for the performances, this record does capture the band at their peak, though perhaps not at the very best moments of that peak -- the group made their reputation as a live act with epic, lengthy jams that verged on jazz, but the repertory represented here (as opposed to that on Live Cream, Vol. 1) is more focused on their pop/rock efforts, such as "White Room," "Sunshine of Your Love," "Tales of Brave Ulysses," etc., which don't lend themselves as easily (or at all) to opening out in extended jams, in the manner of, say, "N.S.U." or "Sweet Wine," or the legendary "Spoonful"; additionally, numbers such as "Sunshine of Your Love" and, in particular, "White Room," require more vocal dexterity than Clapton and bassist/singer Jack Bruce could muster in this kind of concert setting -- their singing, especially on "White Room" comes close to breaking down ("Sunshine of Your Love" fares better), whereas their playing holds together, almost better than perfect at times. "Deserted Cities of the Heart" -- which opens the album -- comes off exceptionally well as a concert piece, the bass and guitar actually combining to overcome the absences of swooping cellos, acoustic guitars, and other accompanying instruments from the studio rendition. And there is one priceless example of Cream in a full-tilt jam, on the 13-plus-minute closing cut "Steppin' Out" -- the band's sheer energy overcomes what minor deficiencies there are in the overall sound quality. And coupled with the compact, four- to five-minute versions of "Deserted Cities of the Heart" and "Tales of Brave Ulysses," among others, the album is a vital, intense, and enjoyable listen that is ultimately rewarding. © Matthew Greenwald & Bruce Eder /TiVo
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Rock - Publicado el 28 de septiembre de 2004 | Universal Records

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Rock - Publicado el 1 de noviembre de 1967 | Polydor Records

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Cream teamed up with producer Felix Pappalardi for their second album, Disraeli Gears, a move that helped push the power trio toward psychedelia and also helped give the album a thematic coherence missing from the debut. This, of course, means that Cream get further away from the pure blues improvisatory troupe they were intended to be, but it does get them to be who they truly are: a massive, innovative power trio. The blues still courses throughout Disraeli Gears -- the swirling kaleidoscopic "Strange Brew" is built upon a riff lifted from Albert King -- but it's filtered into saturated colors, as it is on "Sunshine of Your Love," or it's slowed down and blurred out, as it is on the ominous murk of "Tales of Brave Ulysses." It's a pure psychedelic move that's spurred along by Jack Bruce's flourishing collaboration with Pete Brown. Together, this pair steers the album away from recycled blues-rock and toward its eccentric British core, for with the fuzzy freakout "Swlabr," the music hall flourishes of "Dance the Night Away," the swinging "Take It Back," and of course, the old music hall song "Mother's Lament," this is a very British record. Even so, this crossed the ocean and also became a major hit in America, because regardless of how whimsical certain segments are, Cream are still a heavy rock trio and Disraeli Gears is a quintessential heavy rock album of the '60s. Yes, its psychedelic trappings tie it forever to 1967, but the imagination of the arrangements, the strength of the compositions, and especially the force of the musicianship make this album transcend its time as well. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Publicado el 1 de agosto de 1968 | Polydor Records

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Rock - Publicado el 9 de diciembre de 1966 | Polydor Records

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Fresh Cream represents so many different firsts, it's difficult to keep count. Cream, of course, was the first supergroup, but their first album not only gave birth to the power trio, it also was instrumental in the birth of heavy metal and the birth of jam rock. That's a lot of weight for one record and, like a lot of pioneering records, Fresh Cream doesn't seem quite as mighty as what would come later, both from the group and its acolytes. In retrospect, the moments on the LP that are a bit unformed -- in particular, the halting waltz of "Dreaming" never achieves the sweet ethereal atmosphere it aspires to -- stand out more than the innovations, which have been so thoroughly assimilated into the vocabulary of rock & roll, but Fresh Cream was a remarkable shift forward in rock upon its 1966 release and it remains quite potent. Certainly at this early stage the trio was still grounded heavily in blues, only fitting given guitarist Eric Clapton's stint in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, which is where he first played with bassist Jack Bruce, but Cream never had the purist bent of Mayall, and not just because they dabbled heavily in psychedelia. The rhythm section of Bruce and Ginger Baker had a distinct jazzy bent to their beat; this isn't hard and pure, it's spongy and elastic, giving the musicians plenty of room to roam. This fluidity is most apparent on the blues covers that take up nearly half the record, especially on "Spoonful," where the swirling instrumental interplay, echo, fuzz tones, and overwhelming volume constitute true psychedelic music, and also points strongly toward the guitar worship of heavy metal. Almost all the second side of Fresh Cream is devoted to this, closing with Baker's showcase "Toad," but for as hard and restless as this half of the album is, there is some lightness on the first portion of the record where Bruce reveals himself as an inventive psychedelic pop songwriter with the tense, colorful "N.S.U." and the hook- and harmony-laden "I Feel Free." Cream shows as much force and mastery on these tighter, poppier tunes as they do on the free-flowing jams, yet they show a clear bias toward the long-form blues numbers, which makes sense: they formed to be able to pursue this freedom, which they do so without restraint. If at times that does make the album indulgent or lopsided, this is nevertheless where Cream was feeling their way forward, creating their heavy psychedelic jazz-blues and, in the process, opening the door to all kinds of serious rock music that may have happened without Fresh Cream, but it just would not have happened in the same fashion as it did with this record as precedent. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Publicado el 1 de enero de 2005 | Polydor

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Rock - Publicado el 1 de enero de 2003 | Polydor Records

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Rock - Publicado el 1 de enero de 1968 | Polydor Records

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Hard Rock - Publicado el 28 de marzo de 2019 | Play Music

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Dance - Publicado el 27 de marzo de 2020 | Big Beat Records

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Dance - Publicado el 23 de octubre de 2020 | Big Beat Records

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Rock - Publicado el 1 de abril de 1970 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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Mirándolo desde la distancia temporal, Cream no fue gran cosa en la historia del rock. Dos años y medio de carrera, cuatro álbumes de estudio, unas 40 canciones. Entonces, ¿por qué tanto alboroto? Parte de la respuesta se encuentra en este Live Cream, la primera parte de un “best of” que se lanzó... catorce meses después del último álbum de la banda, Goodbye (publicado en febrero del 69). Pero la aventura no se prolongó.Calificado como “el primer supergrupo de rock”, el trío compuesto por el cantante/bajista Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton en la guitarra y el baterista de rock/jazz/fusión Ginger Baker tenía un seductor valor de mercado, especialmente por sus actuaciones en vivo, que atraían a los fans del virtuosismo instrumental, como muestran los cuatro temas en vivo de esta reedición.Clapton dijo que había mucha apariencia en los conciertos de Cream, y se llevó su parte con dos grandes minutos a solo en Sleepy Time Time. También comentó que los músicos del trío no se escuchaban demasiado entre sí, algo que efectivamente se nota un poco en el túnel instrumental final del tema. También encontramos en el tracklisting el tema Sweet Wine, por el lado de la fusión, y Rollin' and Tumblin', un clásico de Delta conocido por la grabación de Muddy Waters, una canción uptempo que pasa de 140 a 158 BPM y en la que Ginger Baker despliega toda su energía. La única toma de estudio del disco, Lawdy Mama, es una versión de Hey Lawdy Mama, publicada en 1965 por Junior Wells con Buddy Guy (originalmente Buddy Moss en 1934). El arreglo es diferente a la versión de Wells, y unos meses después, Cream también cambiaría la letra de lo que se convertirá en Strange Brew, una canción mucho más pop que sería uno de sus grandes éxitos. © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz