- Audio CD (April 1 2003)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Best of
- Label: Universal Music Canada
- ASIN: B00008NER6
- Other Editions: Audio CD
- Average Customer Review: 33 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #10,911 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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BBC Sessions Best of
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22 live-in-the-studio performances by Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce, only two of which have been released before! Includes renditions of then-current singles like I Feel Free , previews of upcoming album tracks like Sunshine of Your Love and versions of concert favorites like Crossroads , all recorded between November 1966 and January 1968. A major find!
Betwixt journeyman stints with the Yardbirds and John Mayall and decades of laurel-resting, guitar god Eric Clapton was but one competitive third of what remains rock's most compelling power trios. Cream's penchant for incendiary live excess was legendary, a fact that makes the release of these 22 live-in-studio recordings for the BBC (which span just over a year of the band's early, brief career) all the more interesting. Powered by Ginger Baker's complex rhythms and the kinetic bass lines and burnished vocals of Jack Bruce, Clapton's playing is focused and intense, with the trio bringing a pop-smart economy to its slate of over-amped blues ("Rollin' and Tumblin'," "Cat's Squirrel") and originals that veered from nascent pop-psychedelia ("Strange Brew," "Sunshine of Your Love") to music-hall kitsch ("Wrapping Paper," "Take It Back"). The tracks here--fully 20 of them previously unreleased--offer extensive contemporary live previews of Disraeli Gears and even more compelling early workouts of material that would appear on Wheels of Fire. Though the collection's four Clapton interview excerpts come at the expense of Baker and Bruce, their musical accomplishments here can't be denied. It's as taught and focused a primer on the oft-overblown world of '60s blues rock as one is likely to find. Cream, indeed. --Jerry McCulley
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are below-par, but it's a miracle some of these were found at all. Anyways, it's great to hear Cream live, but succinct: no 15-minute jams, just 2-4 minute mini-masterpieces. It's also fascinating to hear the band play songs that would not be released until much later in their career: "Wheels Of Fire" tracks like "Crossroads", "Traintime", "Born Under A Bad Sign" and "Politician" are heard in renditions as early as 1966, and they do not sound too bad, either. Clapton's playing is intense and firey right from the beginning, although one wonders why they ever played silly novelty numbers like "Wrapping Paper", "Take It Back" or "Four Until Late" when they were burning it up with heavy classics like "Sweet Wine", "I'm So Glad" (a superb rendition), "Tales Of Brave Ulysses", "Sunshine Of Your Love" and "SWLABR". Any Cream fan will love this collection, which also features a nice booklet with the usual
liners, photos, etc. Now we finally have some officially released examples of Cream's live capabilities in the first stage of their career, which fills an important vacuum; buy this along with the box set and you'll have everything you need.
OK, these are not the best recordings ever, but they are still good when you consider the circumstances under which they were made. There is a lot of "sound" that you hear on a studio recording that's just not here, but that's what happens when its live. Besides, the technology at that time was primitive compared with what's available today.
Since my favorite Cream albums are Disraeli Gears and Wheels of Fire, my favorite songs here come from those albums. The best of those are a driving rendition of Tales of Brave Ulysses, and stand-out performances of Born Under A Bad Sign, Outside Woman Blues, Politician, and SWALBR.
Eric Clapton does the talking on the short interview clips, but it is really Ginger Baker who stands out most here as he punishes his drum kit mercilessly and provides the thundering beat that is a Cream trademark.
If you were and are a fan of Cream, you should own this CD and hear Clapton, Bruce and Baker as they are rising to the top of the late 60s musical world.
Bottom line is ask yourself if buying this new is really worth your cash. If you've got these tracks on a bootl#g cd, definitely save your $$$$$. My advice is to drop no more than an Alexander on used one (remember the punch hole in the bar code has no affect on the sound quality!).
Clapton was at the peak of his game as a heavy blues player and the rest of the band could not have been better. Cream was and intense experience for each of these individuals but as time has shown it was more so for Clapton whose sound matured to the extreme during the period.
As Creams lifetime was a short one the BBC recordins serve as a live document of the band catalog. Therefore presenting a very good example of the band in a performance setting.
The set is a must for fans or record collectors who will be eager to get their hands on "new and fresh" material form the era.
We all know that the sound quality of these old BBC recordings can be spotty, but here the sound is generally a bit inferior to other recent BBC CDs from the same era (Who, Kinks, etc.)... Still, the music is still impressive to hear even after nearly four decades.
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appearances on BBC Radio and incorporates both pop songs
from the famous trio's repertoire, as well as a nice...Read more