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The Cream never really played that much blues. I think we aimed to start a revolution in musical thought. We set out to change the world, to upset people, and to shock them... Our aim was to get so far away from the original line that you're playing something that's never been heard before.—Eric Clapton
Cream was an extremely influential English band active from 1966 to 1969, reuniting a few times since. Cream was made up of Eric Clapton (guitar), Ginger Baker (drums), and Jack Bruce (bass). All three musicians were already well known in the English rock scene at the time, thus making Cream one of the first supergroups and the first to be referred as such. During their three years of existence, they released four albums, all of which reached the top 6 of the UK Albums Chart.
invented popularized and helped codify psychedelic rock and brought blues-rock into the mainstream with songs based on both traditional blues (such as "Crossroads" and "Spoonful") and modern blues. Cream also popularized the use of the wah-wah pedal.
The band was also known for its live performances. The members often incorporated jams into their songs, with some reaching to 16 minutes (such as "Spoonful" and "Toad"); this made them favorites around the world. They were at their time the number one biggest live act. Clapton's guitar solos were (and are) considered some of the best ever.
Fresh Cream, the band's first album, consisted of mostly cover versions of blues standards. Cream's sophomore effort Disraeli Gears is considered the album that defined the band's style of mixed rock and blues; some of Cream's biggest hits, such as "Sunshine of Your Love" and "Strange Brew," appeared on the album. Disraeli Gears is also noted for its psychedelic cover art.
Wheels of Fire was Cream's third album and their first double album, the first disc with studio tracks and the second with live tracks performed in San Francisco. It topped the American charts and became the world's first platinum-selling double album. With this album, the band shifted from blues to progressive rock, using classical instruments and rare time signatures.
Shortly before Wheels of Fire was finished, the members of Cream wanted to go their separate ways. The already-present animosity between Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce reached a high point, and Clapton had to act as peacekeeper. Soon, all three members did not listen to each other much while performing. Clapton was also influenced to break up the band after a scathing review in Rolling Stone. Cream made an official announcement in July 1968 that they would break up soon after another tour and album. The band did a farewell tour in late 1968, and their final album, Goodbye, was released in 1969.
Upon the demise of Cream, Eric Clapton had stints with other bands before embarking on an extremely successful solo career; the other two members have been successful, but less so.
Cream's influence has extended far, from progressive rock bands such as Rush to jam bands such as the Grateful Dead to heavy metal bands such as Black Sabbath. VH-1 and Rolling Stone have both called Cream one of the best bands of all time. Most of all, one of their number one fans was of course Jimi Hendrix, who came to England in hope of meeting Eric Clapton, his idol.
- Creative Differences: Averted, as Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker's fights were well known and the main reason they quit.
- Cool Old Guy: All the members (now).
- Cover Version: Almost the entirety of Fresh Cream and parts of the other albums. Worth noting is they would often rearrange them.
- Distinct Double Album: Wheels of Fire.
- Dream Team: The first super-group.
- Epic Rocking: These were the guys who started it! To Ending Fatigue levels, in fact.
- Which was due to a severe Gone Horribly Right: at their first concerts, they didn't have a big repertoire so they'd stretch out by jamming. Pretty soon the only reason people came to their shows was to hear their jamming.
- Gratuitous Panning: In most songs on Fresh Cream and Disraeli Gears, all the drums were on the right channel. In "I Feel Free," all the main instruments were on the right channel, the tambourine was on the left, and the vocals were in the middle. In "Mother's Lament," the reverb on the vocals was only on the right channel.
- Greek Mythology: They recorded a song called "Tales of Brave Ulysses" based on The Odyssey.
- Import Filter: Both ways. Cream had many American influences like Robert Johnson and Howlin' Wolf (in fact, they were much more into these people than Americans). And Cream were VERY popular in America.
- Non-Appearing Title: "Badge."
- Rearrange the Song: "Crossroads", from Robert Johnson's "Cross Road Blues". Those awesome guitar solos? Clapton's additions.
- Rock Trio
- Word Salad Lyrics: "Doing That Scrapyard Thing".