Cream Cream: 1966 - 1972 on 180g 7LP Box Set w/ Download
British Rock Trio’s Studio and Live Recordings Collected for the First Time!
Universal Music Enterprises is proud to present Cream: 1966 – 1972, Cream’s six studio and live LPs - Fresh Cream (1966), Disraeli Gears (1967), Wheels Of Fire (1968), Goodbye (1969), Live Cream (1970) and Live Cream Volume II (1972) - brought together in a boxed set for the first time. Each LP will have exact reproductions of original artwork to retain authenticity, and will be pressed 180 gram heavyweight audiophile vinyl and contained in a rigid slipcase box.
The British rock supergroup was formed in 1966, and consisted of bassist/singer Jack Bruce, drummer Ginger Baker, and guitarist/singer Eric Clapton. Their sound was characterized by a hybrid of blues rock, hard rock and burgeoning psychedelic rock, combining imaginative lyrics, often written by poet Pete Brown, Clapton’s innovative blues guitar playing, Bruce’s operatic voice and fluid bass playing, and Baker’s jazz-influenced drumming.
The group soon evolved further creating a trademark approach built around each musician’s virtuoso playing. Their live performances soon became renowned for lengthy improvisational pieces based on traditional blues structures such as "Crossroads" and "Spoonful," modern blues such as "Born Under A Bad Sign," and their own songs such as "White Room" and Baker’s powerhouse showcase "Toad."
Following their first pop hit single "I Feel Free" in January 1967, Cream’s debut, Fresh Cream, set the tone for group’s inventive mix of blues standards and more eccentric original material and reached No. 6 in the UK album charts. It offered a unique blend of blues - Robert Johnson’s "Four Until Late" and Skip James’ "I’m So Glad" - inventive originals such as "Dreaming" and the showcase, near-instrumental "Cat’s Squirrel."
Before the end of the year, Cream released the follow-up Disraeli Gears, its distinctive Day-Glo psychedelic cover designed by underground illustrator Martin Sharp. Recorded in May in New York during their first American tour, it includes landmark songs such as "Strange Brew," the melodic but heavy-riffing "Sunshine Of Your Love" and more surrealistic, wah-wah drenched "Tales Of Brave Ulysses"; in all a brilliant, textured, multi-dubbed sound that went beyond blues.
Non-stop touring soon saw Cream break through in America where Wheels of Fire, released in August 1968, topped the US charts for a month and was the world’s first platinum-selling double album. It comprised one album ‘in the studio’ - including the Bruce and Brown penned classics "White Room" and "Politician" - while the other side was recorded at the Fillmore West in San Francisco, highlighted by expansive readings of "Crossroads" and "Spoonful."
By the end of 1968, however, Cream had disbanded after less than two and a half years during which time they set new standards in rock musicianship and generally raised the bar for rock music as a credible and critical form. Cream bowed out with dates at Madison Square Gardens in New York and at the Royal Albert Hall in London in November 1968.
The group’s post-breakup farewell album, Goodbye, released the following March, again mixed live and studio recordings including the single "Badge" written by Clapton and George Harrison, who played rhythm guitar under the name L’Angelo Misterioso.
Two further live albums Live Cream and Live Cream Volume 2 followed in 1970 and 1972, both recorded on tour in America during 1967 and 1968. Live Cream also included the unreleased studio cut "Lawdy Mama" recorded in May 1967 during the Disraeli Gears sessions.
In 2006, Cream received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of their contribution to, and influence, on, modern music, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. Their worldwide album sales are estimated at 17 million.