5 Career-Defining Songs Of Cream
Cream live in 1968 - baosao51 / Youtube
Eric Clapton was already a big name by the mid-sixties thanks to his high-profile stints with the Yardbirds and John Mayall and his Bluesbreakers. Thus, it was only fitting for him to move onto his next musical endeavor with a group that had well-established members to boot. Getting together with esteemed musicians Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce was the right choice – even if it only meant two years at most. Here are some of the best cuts from the British super trio during their brief run in the industry.
“Strange Brew” – Disraeli Gears (1967)
Eric Clapton takes the frontman duties for 1967’s “Strange Brew” instead of Jack Bruce as it opens the album Disraeli Gears. The track dishes out some of the band’s most psychedelic work in an ironically no-nonsense fashion that would mark the milder spectrum of the genre.
“Crossroads” – Wheels of Fire (1968)
Borrowing from the legendary Robert Johnson’s original, “Crossroads” was reimagined by the band and was injected with a then-current feel that took the song to even greater heights. It eventually became a Clapton staple over the passing of time.
“White Room” – Wheels of Fire (1968)
This particular cut was supposed to be on Disraeli Gears but due to thematic conflicts with “Tales of Brave Ulysses”, it was moved over to Wheels of Fire. The steady backbeat and rhythm are augmented by a great wah-wah infused tone that would be the envy of succeeding acts in the following years.
“I’m So Glad” – Fresh Cream (1966)
Cream pride themselves in injecting new life into standard blues cuts like “I’m So Glad” of Skip James in 1931. The trio reinvented it with a scathing, tight arrangement that introduced the blues standard to a new crowd with relative ease.
“Sunshine of Your Love” – Disraeli Gears (1967)
While there was no doubt of the group’s live abilities, Cream remained to be an album act due to the lack of a propelling force that would serve as a show staple. Then “Sunshine of Your Love” came with its signature riff and rowdy blues arrangement that basically blew everybody’s minds at the time and served as the pedestal for Cream to showcase their talents on.