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Those Were The Days (Boxset) [Best of, Box set]

Cream Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 37.81
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Product Description

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Cream was the first of three supergroups spawned by the Yardbirds' three stellar axmen (they preceded the original Jeff Beck Group by a year and Jimmy Page's Led Zeppelin by two). The trio of guitarist Eric Clapton, bassist Jack Bruce, and drummer extraordinaire (and band founder) Ginger Baker earned a reputation for fiery live performances rife with improvised blues-based jams (epitomized by Willie Dixon's "Spoonful") that could last half an hour. Two of this set's four discs are devoted to live Cream, showcasing prowess and interplay so powerful as to overshadow its occasional lapses into self-indulgence. Clapton admirers more familiar with his latter-day laid-back persona may be shocked at the incendiary musician showcased on these live cuts. Cream progressed over the course of its three and a half studio records (included here in their entirety). Electric blues evolution was their forte, but they also captured sounds that were moody and acoustic-tinged ("As You Said," "Passing the Time"), music-hall-influenced ("Mother's Lament," "Wrapping Paper"), and progressively poetic ("Deserted Cities of the Heart," "Pressed Rat and Warthog"). --Jerry McCulley

Product Description

Specially repackaged 2008 edition of this four CD box set consisting of 63 tracks that divide Cream's short but immensely influential career into two halves. The first two discs feature every studio track the group ever released, plus a handful of unreleased tracks, alternate takes and rarities. The other two discs are devoted to restored live material, which bring to life some of Cream's finest eclectic moments in concert such as Live At Winterland in San Francisco 1968. The power trio of guitarist Eric Clapton, bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker were visionary with their distinctive sound, a unique collision of Blues, Jazz, Folk and Psychedelic Rock that not only defined the band's identity but captured the thrilling heady atmosphere of the late 1960s and set the ground work for rock bands that followed in the 1970s. This remarkably comprehensive collection comes complete with an extensive booklet, rare photographs and digitally remastered recordings. Universal.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All 6 Cream albums plus some extras April 5 2002
Format:Audio CD
This is a 4 CD boxset that contains all the tracks from the 6 Cream albums (with one slight difference), Fresh Cream, Disraeli Gears, Wheels Of Fire, Goodbye, Live Cream and Live Vol 2. It also has 8 extra studio tracks. It comes in one of those 5 by 10 inch folding cases with a nice booklet inside. (The picture shown here is elongated to make the cover look square).
All the studio tracks have been put together on the first 2 CD's and the live tracks have been grouped together on the other two CD's. For the studio tracks, they have been kept in the same order as they appeared on the original albums.
The first album, Fresh Cream, was released in the early days of stereo, when records were released in both mono and stereo versions. There were rumors that mixing the mono and stereo records and record players could damage the album or your needle. In the early days of stereo, there was a lot of experimentation. The stereo separation on Fresh Cream was severe. Certain vocals or instruments are all on one side. The original stereo sound was faithfully duplicated on the CD. With today's sound systems, the stereo separation just sounds wierd. But, the songs are excellent.
The additional 8 studio tracks are of little value. Some of them, like Wrapping Paper, are not very good. There is a Falstaff beer commercial that is interesting to hear once (Jefferson Airplane had Levi's commercials). If you already own the 6 Cream albums, these additional studio tracks aren't enough to justify buying this boxset. But, it you already own all 6 Cream albums, you are probably such a Cream fanatic, you will buy this boxset anyway.
The live tracks are put in a new order. The versions of Toad and NSU are longer than the original versions that appeared on the LP's.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for any Cream Fan March 13 2004
Format:Audio CD
Cream. These guys have become known as gods of rock over the years, and with good reason. Their music puts that of this or any other decade to shame. Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce, and Eric Clapton were musical geniuses, and it was about time they put all of their albums together in one place. The Cream Box Set has finally arrived. Read on for my review.
PROS:
-Every last one of Cream's studio albums can be found in this compilation.
-You will also find rare tracks unavailable elsewhere in this box set.
-In addition to the studio albums, you get a good deal of live material.
-You save money by purchasing this set. If you were to buy all of Cream's albums separately, you would end up spending more than you would for this box set. The price looks steep at first glance, but in actuality, it's a great deal.
CONS:
-I have only a single complaint with this set - the band's BBC session recordings can't be found here.
OVERALL:
One of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time has put together all of their master works, and at long last, you can get all of these works together in one convenient set. Sure, the set isn't quite perfect, but it doesn't have to be - the quality of the band's music more than makes up for it. If you're a rock and roll fan, and this set isn't in your collection, what the hell are you waiting for?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the Holy Grail boxed set it could have been. Oct. 30 2002
Format:Audio CD
This is a very good boxed set, especially for those who don't have any Cream CD's, as it has all the albums, plus a little bit more. The reason it doesn't have a whole lot of unreleased tracks is that the Atlantic tape library burned down in the early 70's, and that included all the acts who recorded for the label up until 1969, and so all that remains for a lot of Atlantic/Atco bands (including Cream) are just mixed-down master tapes for LP's and singles. Any unreleased cuts from, say, "Wheels Of Fire" or other live shows recorded for the live albums are gone.
The "Disraeli Gears" rehearsals are fascinating, though, but it would have been equally wonderful to have some outtakes from the "Fresh Cream" sessions (which are out on bootleg, and have excellent sound quality). I have to say, the live version of "N.S.U." on here is no match for the version found on "Live Cream", and it sounds like some of the live cuts from "Goodbye" that appear here have different mixes. I like how the live tracks all seem to flow together, like one whole show.
For some of the live cuts that aren't on here, like "We're Going Wrong", check out the "Fresh Live Cream" video, as it's excellent. A mono vinyl pressing of "Fresh Cream" is also well worth looking for, as it's a little thicker sounding, and a lot less echoey than the stereo mix that we all know and grind our teeth at.
So, all in all, the boxed set is very good, but don't expect a whole lot of surprises, though it's not without a few of them.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Gallons of Cream Aug. 15 2002
Format:Audio CD
It would be hard to identify another band that accomplished as much in as little time as Cream did. This 4 CD box set does perfect justice to them because it contains almost everything of value that they ever recorded. Disc 1 has the complete albums FRESH CREAM (1966) and DISRAELI GEARS (1967) plus the non-LP single "Wrapping Paper" and one demo track. Disc 2 contains all of the studio tracks from WHEELS OF FIRE (1968) and GOODBYE (1969) plus the non-LP single "Anyone for Tennis" and a slew of rare or previously unreleased tracks.
Anyone with an interest in this set is probably aware of the band's history and biggest songs. It might be best to call attention to the oddities or curiosities contained hererin. Their debut album FRESH CREAM has most of their least heralded music. Its best songs tend to be covers of American blues classics like "Spoonful," "Rollin' and Tumblin'," and "Cat's Squirrel." Their cover of Robert Johnson's "From Four Until Late" is a bit of a shock, because in retrospect it sounds more like a track from one of Eric Clapton's 1970s albums. "I Feel Free," written by Jack Bruce with guest lyricist Pete Brown, is probably the best of that album's original songs. (Belinda Carlisle did a fantastic cover version of that song in 1987.)
Cream achieved their biggest commercial and critical successes with DISRAELI GEARS and WHEELS OF FIRE, both of which formed the core of their repertoire. A favorite of mine is "Pressed Rat and Wart Hog," on which Ginger Baker achieves heights of surrealism that Syd Barrett would envy. Of the three studio tracks from GOODBYE, "Badge" is by far the best. George Harrison co-wrote the song and played rhythm guitar to pay Clapton back for playing lead guitar on the Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Songs Poor Sound
This a great box set, but the songs are not remaster well or even at all. If you want great sound buy the remastered CDs.
Published on April 12 2004 by Ruby
5.0 out of 5 stars CREAM!!!
Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why Eric Clapton was inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame three times? Or why Clapton has at least 4 box sets dedicated to his music? Read more
Published on Feb. 19 2002 by jbembe
5.0 out of 5 stars Keep it Live
I can see how some find the sound to be not as crips, unless it were vinyl, that some folks would like. Read more
Published on Feb. 4 2002 by Eric E. Weinraub
5.0 out of 5 stars All you need to Own
If you are a serious classic rock collector this set must be part of your personal collection. Cream short career of three years was one of the most influencias in rock history by... Read more
Published on Dec 21 2001 by Luis C. Diaz
5.0 out of 5 stars A Complete Anthology of a Most Influential Band.
It is difficult to overestimate the importance of this band. It is often pointed out that Cream was the first and strongest of the Power Trios that would become musical fixtures... Read more
Published on Dec 19 2001 by R. dolce
5.0 out of 5 stars Clapton is God but Baker and Bruce aren't too shabby either!
"Those Were The Days" is a Cream box set containing 2 disks of their complete studio recordings with some unissued tracks and alternate takes, and 2 disks of live... Read more
Published on Nov. 21 2001 by J. E FELL
5.0 out of 5 stars Complete Cream
Simply put, the best part of this set is that you get everything. You get all 4 of Cream's studio albums: "Fresh Cream," "Disraeli Gears," "Wheels of... Read more
Published on Sept. 22 2001 by mark
4.0 out of 5 stars One Glaring Ommission
It's everything ever released by Cream, with one glaring exception. The superior, searing live version of NSU on Live Cream has been superseded on this collection by a new,... Read more
Published on June 26 2000 by John Simley
5.0 out of 5 stars long overdue career retrospective
Cream was one of those bands whose recorded output fits perfectly into the box set format. For years I had wondered why Poly didn't take all the studio recordings and all the live... Read more
Published on April 29 2000 by Kevin Rathert
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