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Royal Albert Hall May 2005


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Oct. 4 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Warner Bros
  • ASIN: B000AYEIZY
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #11,024 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. I'm So Glad
2. Spoonful
3. Outside Woman Blues
4. Pressed Rat & Warthog
5. Sleepy Time Time
6. N.S.U.
7. Badge
8. Politician
9. Sweet Wine
10. Rollin' & Tumblin'
11. Stormy Monday
12. Deserted Cities of the Heart
13. Born Under A Bad Sign
14. We're Going Wrong
15. Crossroads
16. Sitting On Top of the World
17. White Room
18. Toad
19. Sunshine of Your Love

Product Description

Cream, the legendary band of Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton, performed for the first time in 37 years in May 2005. One of the most highly anticipated reunions in rock, the concert at London's Royal Albert Hall-where the band played its farewell show November 26, 1968-returned to the stage the trio that forever changed rock 'n' roll. Now the best of those historic peformances are available on Royal Albert Hall London May 2-3-5-6 2005. Reprise. 2005.

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Audio CD
This is the best live album I've heard in years. Yes, Jack Bruce's voice is not as strong as it once was, but the whole package is fabulous. I've seen Eric Clapton a few times, and this is the tightest and busiest that I've ever heard him. (Watch the DVD to see how he really gets into it.) Jack Bruce is one of the most underrated bass players in rock, and Ginger Baker is still one of the more entertaining drummers, in any era.

If they decided to take it on the road, I'd be the first in line to buy tickets.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on Oct. 19 2005
Format: Audio CD
The editorial review for this album is absolute horse puckey! I haven't actually heard the album but I have the DVD, and if they're the same music, this is the best Cream album yet. Sure, they're older and (maybe) a bit slower but they are also tighter, more focused, and less prone to enter into pissing contests. This is what music is all about when three seasoned professionals with nothing to prove to anyone but themselves, get together. They may not be as rocking as the Stones (they never were), but neither are they as hackneyed. And, unlike the Stones, who have become a pastiche of themselves, Cream's stuff is as good as, or better than, it was 35 years ago. Buy this album now!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 138 reviews
119 of 141 people found the following review helpful
LESS CLOTTED CREAM.... Oct. 7 2005
By o dubhthaigh - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
... than before. Cream was always one of those shizoid bands: studio efforts overdubbed, well produced psychedelia, live shows a tsunami of three soloists having a go at it simultaneously on an Anglo-blues catalogue. Here, for the first time I can remember hearing, they play more like a BAND. There is a locked in cohesion to this show that was never present before, as you can clearly hear when you compare this to the farewell show from '69. These three coined the cliche "supergroup" and were known for playing with a ferocity fueled by their competitive egos. Perhaps as age has slowed them all down and as time has taken its toll on them and their colleagues, the notion of working more in step with each other brings more significant rewards.

It certainly does to the material. Their take here on Willie Dixon, Booker T Jones, Skip James and T-Bone have all the swagger of the masters and less of the youthful unrestrained testosterone of the late 60's. "Born Under a Bad Sign" and "Spoonful" would make their authors proud. "Badge" suffers from Clapton having so thoroughly redefined it with his band that it seems nothing but perfunctory here. However, Baker's bizarre reading of "... Wart..." is so weird that it seems to have gained in its spooky evocation of something both Dickensian and psychedelic. In the case of each of the musicians, they are clearly listening to each other and playing better as a unit than you would ever have any right to expect. There is a supple pwer and subtlety to how integrated they are in each other's rhythms that is inspiring. Given the mediocrity of Clapton's BACK HOME, this is a delightful return to form. He isn't the GOD that he was on Cream's first surfacing, but that was just another way of clotting the music from flowing. All the years have served each of them well. They have not just not missed a beat (still with me?), they're actually a much better band.

The DVD is spectacularly shot. It is the kind of rock film Martin Scorcese would shave his bushy eyebrows for. Miraculously, Baker has survived well. Bruce looks almost as old as Steve Howe, and Clapton is amazing. It is a joy to watch their technique as they play. This really was a brilliant coda that eclipses the original legend. There is much to celebrate on both CD and DVD here. Enjoy!
50 of 59 people found the following review helpful
Cream Is Back Oct. 7 2005
By P Magnum - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The original power rock trio Cream reunited for the first time in thirty-seven years for a string of concerts at the place they played their last shows, Royal Albert Hall. Anyone expecting the band to be as fierce and experimental as they were then is just unfair. Most acts mellow with age and lose their youthful aggression. Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce & Ginger Baker are no different. Despite this, the band is quite tight on the album. There aren't the lengthy jams of the old days, but that is made up for by sharper and more focused playing. Mr. Bruce's bass is still quite heavy and although he can't hit all the high notes, his voice is still fluid. Mr. Clapton doesn't cut loose as much, but his phrasing and styling is impeccable. Mr. Baker's drumming is less erratic and adds a more solid backbeat. All the favorites like "Crossroads", "White Room", "Sunshine Of Your Love", "I'm So Glad" and "Spoonful" are included as well as some nuggets like "Pressed Rat & Warthog", "Deserted Cities Of The Heart" and "Badge".
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Best Classic Rock DVD EVER! April 8 2007
By Roger E - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
A review I read about the Live CD's of Cream in the 1960's not inspiring, well I can say to you, "Cream's reunion 2005 DVD". I can not stop watching this performance, it is so outstanding. Eric Clapton's fantastic guitar work during this reunion is inspirational, and is essential listening to any Cream or Eric Clapton fan.

Eric, with original members Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker performing like the superstars of old, rock the Albert Hall to the delight of thousands who were fortunate enough to be there. For us, the unlucky, this great 2 DVD Set can be ordered, and when played on a surround sound/ big screen system, this show comes alive. With outstanding editing, a high quality soundtrack, excellant near HD quality picture, this concert is at the top of my top ten list. This DVD sets the standard for outstanding music DVD videos.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Cream Is Back, and It's About Time March 15 2006
By Tony Howard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
When this band formed in the mid-1960s, Eric Clapton envisioned Cream as a blues trio. As history has shown, things didn't quite turn out that way. Forty years later, Slowhand finally got his wish. There are blues numbers here in abundance from the likes of Willie Dixon, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, T-Bone Walker, Albert King, and Skip James. Recorded 37 years after their final proper concert at this same venue in 1968, time may have ravaged their looks, but definitely not their playing. As another reviewer has stated in these pages, Cream acts like a band this time around rather than as a group of egotistical soloists going for the jugular night after night as they did "back in the day." The jams for which Cream are renowned are kept to a tolerable length. Most songs on this collection clock in around 5-6 minutes. Those that do go long (Stormy Monday, Spoonful, We're Going Wrong, Sunshine, Toad) do not suffer as a result.

As it was back in their heyday, each member is afforded his own showcase. For Jack Bruce, it's "Rollin' And Tumblin'." On this number Jack, accompanied by his harmonica (no bass), Eric playing the slide, and Ginger Baker on the drums, stuns and amazes the crowd with an energy that belies the fact that the man nearly died in 2003. Eric Clapton's showcase is the T-Bone Walker classic "Stormy Monday." This is a new song for Cream as it was never on an official Cream release until this collection came out. Slowhand demonstrates that when he wants to, he is the master of the blues guitar. The man was simply on fire the night they recorded this song. Ginger Baker's showcase was, of course, the drum solo "Toad." By and large, drum solos are usually excuses to head to the bathroom or the concession stand. Not so here. "Toad" is simply compelling. It's isn't boring - it's Ginger Baker demonstrating that yes, the drum IS a musical instrument. By the time the solo ends you don't realize it had gone on for over seven minutes. It's that good!

The big surprise of this whole collection is Ginger's song "Pressed Rat and Warthog" from "Wheels of Fire." On the DVD that visually documented this reunion, Ginger told the interviewer that he was "threatened with execution" by his family if he didn't play this song. At a little over three minutes, this is the only hint of psychedelia that Cream shows throughout the set. Slowhand plays it straight - not a wah-wah pedal to be heard, and frankly it isn't missed (much). Jack Bruce is in fine voice throughout. Of interest is the band's different take on White Room. Instead of Jack Bruce singing the entire song as he has done since he wrote it, Jack sings the first two verses, Eric takes the refrain of those two verses, then the two swap roles for the third verse and refrain. Eric's song "Badge" had never been played live by Cream as it was recorded at the end of their 1960s run, and here Jack Bruce proves once and for all to hear that if you took his bass lines away from the song, there would be no song.

There are lots of plusses on this collection. The jamming is kept to a tolerable length, hence more songs to enjoy. The volume is lower than in their heyday, so the musicians can hear each other, and the interplay between the musicians makes for some outstanding music. One need look no further for proof of this than Cream's take on "We're Going Wrong". Thirty-seven years ago this band was full volume pedal to the metal jamming. Today this band plays like adults - it swings! Credit that to Ginger Baker, who plays more like a jazzer these days (when he does play). There is one minus - no "Tales of Brave Ulysses" (they fixed this oversight when they played MSG in October 2005). Other than that, this collection is a worthy addition to Cream's legacy. Buy it now!
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
OK, everybody, it's own-up time Jan. 22 2006
By Mr. Thomas Thatcher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
First, I know that Amazon doesn't encourage too many personal comments but in this case I just have to offer some background. In 1966 and 1967 I had a power trio with Mike Wedgwood, later with Kiki Dee, Curved Air, Caravan and so on, and George Hart, who wrote much of the legendary "Death may be your Santa Claus" by Secondhand (see Amazon.co.uk). We loved the Beatles, the Kinks, the Who and the Stones as encapsulating harmony, melody, humour, whimsy, rhythmn and almost heart-stopping musical ability: and so we played tons of their songs. But we also loved Eric Clapton and the blues, and along came Cream. So we played the whole of "Fresh Cream" except for Toad - don't ask. I loved the band so much that I followed them around, and some of my souvenirs and memories are in Chris Welch's superb book "Cream", for review see Amazon.co.uk - and if you like/liked Cream, get Chris' beautifully produced book. So mad- keen was I that I hitch-hiked from Salisbury to London to see Cream at the Saville Theatre in London (now long-closed) on the chance of getting a ticket - I did, and the only surviving programme is in Chris' book. They were on with the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, believe it or not, and The Action.

Well, memory is a strange and deceptive mistress. I have a 19 year old son who s a demon sax player, and I am afraid that I have skewed his view of music by the "in my day..." nostalgia, although I don't regret introducing him to old school friend (yes, the same school!)Andy Sheppard on sax, because Andy is the best soprano player in the world: but I am aware that young kids can miss out on a lot of the good new stuff because "Dad thinks it's rubbish" - dangerous territory.

But then, out of the blue, along comes a chance to see if all those old memories are just rose-tinted or actually quite accurate, with the announcement that Cream were reforming for 4 gigs only. So, after virtually remortgaging the house, I bought two tickets for the Thursday night and off son and I went.

When the three old boys walked on stage, the ovation was deafening. There was Jack, fresh from a liver transplant, the type of which poor old Rory Gallagher did not survive: there was Ginger, riddled with arthritis and in his sixties: and there was Eric, after a life of hard times, addiction problems and mixed musical fortunes.

And off they went. My God, and off they went. Several things I had forgotten: they can all sing and the harmonies were exceptional: Ginger's drum sound is the most exciting thing you could ever hear: Jack has the voice of an angel with a range denied to all but a very few: and Eric can play anything.

I know that it sounds unbelievable to those who were not there, but they were just about note-perfect from start to finish - and now we have this fantastic DVD to prove it. On a personal note, the "Stormy Monday" and "Toad" were both recorded the night we were there and both are just brilliantly played - what's that about the band jamming, everybody? After Toad, my son said that this was the best ten minutes of his musical life, having seen Jeff Beck, Stevie Winwood, Meatloaf, Eric and Andy Sheppard in the same 12 months. Other high spots are "We're going wrong" "Sunshine" (of course) "Rollin and a tumblin" and "Crossroads" (although the Wheels of Fire version is definitive).

The whole DVD is a joy to watch and the playing is mind-bending. It's not just three old mates having a good time, it's three absolutely faultless musicians having a good time. For once, son and I could compare notes and agree that perhaps' Dad's memory was not too bad after all. If you have not bought this DVD you should: the Stormy Monday alone is worth the price of admission on its own.

A few weeks ago, my wife was waitressing at a shoot on the downs (hills) near us. Eric was there and signed two programmes - one from 1967 and one from 2005. Same line-up, same music, same magic. He also signed a mug for my daughter, "To Izzie, Eric 2005". What an incredibly talented, nice and gentle man.

Cream rule. No competition.


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