Category: cream

On this day in music history: July 16, 1966 – The legendary rock band Cream officially forms in London, UK. Drummer Ginger Baker asks guitarist Eric Clapton to join his new group after seeing him play with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. Clapton agrees to join only if Baker hires his former band mate bassist Jack Bruce. Baker and Bruce were known to have had a very volatile relationship, having had on stage fist fights (in their previous band Powerhouse) with Baker even pulling a knife on Bruce, which drives him out of that band. The two put their differences aside when they realize the immediate chemistry between the three when they play together. The band play their first gig thirteen days later at The Twisted Wheel in Manchester. Within a couple of weeks, Cream enter the recording studio to begin work on their debut album “Fresh Cream” which is released in December of 1966 in the UK, and January of 1967 in the US.

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On this day in music history: December 9, 1966 – “Fresh Cream”, the debut album by Cream is released. Produced by Robert Stigwood, it is recorded at Rayrik Studios and Ryemuse Studios in London from July – October 1966. The first release by the British rock super group is the first release on manager/producer Stigwood’s newly formed Reaction Records in the UK, and will be released by Atlantic Records subsidiary Atco in the US. Featuring a mixture of covers and original material, it includes some of the bands’ signature songs including their first single “I Feel Free” and the blues standards “I’m So Glad”, “Spoonful” and “Rollin’ And Tumblin’”. The US version of the album differs from its UK counterpart by deleting “Spoonful”, replacing it with “I Feel Free” and moving the latter to the start of the first side. When the album is reissued by RSO Records in 1977, it is restored to its original UK track listing. A later LP reissue in 1985 reinstates “I Feel Free” to the track listing, with all subsequent CD releases containing both songs. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the album’s original release, it is releases a three CD + Blu-ray audio disc box set in January of 2017. The first three CD’s feature remastered versions of the original mono and stereo mixes of the album, single versions, alternate takes, and BBC radio broadcast recordings. The Blu-ray disc features high definition audio (24 bit/96k) of the mono stereo mixes, B-sides. It is also issued as a limited edition six LP vinyl set. “Fresh Cream” peaks at number six on the UK album chart,  number thirty nine on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: November 9, 1991 – “Cream” by Prince & The New Power Generation hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks. Written and produced by Prince, it is the fifth US number one pop single for the Minneapolis born artist. Issued as the second single from “Diamonds And Pearls” in early September of 1991, Prince later claims he wrote the song while standing in front of a mirror. The track is recorded at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, MN circa late 1990 – early 1991 with New Power Generation members Michael B. (drums), Sonny T. (bass), Levi Seacer, Jr. (rhythm guitar), Tommy Barbarella (keyboards), and Rosie Gaines (vocals and keyboards). Interestingly enough, the single does not chart on the R&B singles chart as black radio is serviced with the track “Insatiable” instead. “Cream” is backed with the non LP B-side “Horny Pony” which was originally slated to be on the album but is instead replaced by “Gett Off”. Entering the Hot 100 at #46 on September 28, 1991, it quickly rises to the top of the chart just seven weeks later. “Cream” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: November 2, 1967 – “Disraeli Gears”, the second album by Cream is released. Produced by Felix Pappalardi, it is recorded at Atlantic Studios in New York City in May 1967. The albums title is inspired by a conversation that drummer Ginger Baker has with Eric Clapton and one of the bands’ roadies about Clapton wanting to buy a racing bicycle. The roadie named Mick Turner comments, “it’s got them Disraeli Gears”, meaning to say “derailleur gears” instead. The title is a pun on the aforementioned “derailleur gears” and 19th century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. Recorded in just three and a half days, it spins off the classics “Sunshine Of Your Love” (#5 Pop), “Strange Brew” and “Tale Of Brave Ulysses”, and today is regarded as one of the best rock albums of the era. Though it is released in late  1967, “Disraeli Gears” is slow to take off. The singles “Strange Brew” b/w “Tale Of Brave Ulysses” and “Spoonful”, both released ahead of the album, only make a minor dent in the charts. Though it enters the Billboard pop album chart in early December of 1967, it literally takes months for it to gain momentum. Atlantic Records releases “Sunshine Of Your Love” the same month (with some early copies listing the band as “The Cream”), but intially stalls at #36 on the Hot 100 on March 2, 1968 before doing an about face and falling off the chart. It is only after the release of Cream’s next album, the epic double LP “Wheels Of Fire” does “Sunshine” come roaring back to life. It re-enters the chart at #52 on July 6, 1968 and begins its final climb into the top five, over eight months after its initial release. The single is belatedly issued in the UK in October of 1968, peaking at #25. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 1998, followed by a double CD Deluxe Edition in 2004 featuring the original stereo and mono versions of the album with demos and outtakes included as bonus tracks. In and out of print on vinyl since the late 80’s, it is most recently remastered and reissued as a 180 gram LP in 2015. The mono version is reissued as a limited edition half speed mastered LP in 2016. Regarded as one of the landmark albums of the 60’s, it is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1999.“Disraeli Gears” peaks at number four on the Billboard Top 200, is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: July 16, 1966 – The legendary rock band Cream officially forms in London, UK. Drummer Ginger Baker asks guitarist Eric Clapton to join his new group after seeing him play with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. Clapton agrees to join only if Baker hires his former band mate bassist Jack Bruce. Baker and Bruce were known to have had a very volatile relationship, having had on stage fist fights (in their previous band Powerhouse) with Baker even pulling a knife on Bruce, which drives him out of that band. The two put their differences aside when they realize the immediate chemistry between the three when they play together. The band play their first gig thirteen days later at The Twisted Wheel in Manchester. Within a couple of weeks, Cream enter the recording studio to begin work on their debut album “Fresh Cream” which is released in December of 1966 in the UK, and January of 1967 in the US.

On this day in music history: February 5, 1969 – “Goodbye”, the fourth album by Cream is released. Produced by Felix Pappalardi, it is recorded at The Forum in Los Angeles, CA on October 19, 1968 and IBC Studios in London in October 1968. After barely two and a half years together and recording three successful and highly influential albums, the members of the British blues/rock supergroup decide to call it quits. Marred from the beginning by interpersonal tensions and egos, mainly between bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker, leads guitarist Eric Clapton, weary of being in the middle of the conflict wanting to move on to other musical horizons. The band announce that they are breaking up in July 1968 after performing a farewell tour of the US, topped off by the now legendary “farewell” concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Before embarking on the tour, the band record three new songs in a London recording studio. The tour kicks off at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, CA on October 4, 1968, performing a total of twenty-two shows in the US in nineteen cities. The original plan for their final album is to release a double album similar to their previous release “Wheels Of Fire”, with half of the material being live performances from the tour, and the other half studio recordings. The idea is scrapped when Cream are unable to come up with more new material to fill out two sides of a full album. Also, much of the live material is scrapped when the band feel that it is not up to par with the new studio recordings. The decision is made to take three songs from their concert at The Forum in Los Angeles on October 19, 1968 (“I’m So Glad”, “Politician” and “Sitting On Top Of The World”), along with the new studio songs filling it out. Though it receives mixed reviews from critics upon its release, the album is very well received by fans and is a major success. It spins off the single “Badge” (#60 Pop) which is co-written by Clapton and his close friend George Harrison. Originally packaged in a gatefold sleeve, original pressings of the album come with a poster featuring a blow up of the back cover photo, with the legend “Goodbye From The Cream” printed on the bottom. 80’s re-pressings on RSO Records change the LP jacket to a single pocket sleeve and dispense with the poster. First issued on CD in the mid 80’s, the 1991 release of the album includes the stand alone single “Anyone For Tennis” added as an additional bonus track. When it is remastered again in 1997, it reverts back to the original six song track listing. “Goodbye” peaks at number two on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: December 9, 1966 – “Fresh Cream”, the debut album by Cream is released. Produced by Robert Stigwood, it is recorded at Rayrik Studios and Ryemuse Studios in London from July – October 1966. The first release by the British rock super group is the first release on manager/producer Stigwood’s newly formed Reaction Records in the UK, and will be released by Atlantic Records subsidiary Atco in the US. Featuring a mixture of covers and original material, it includes some of the bands’ signature songs including their first single “I Feel Free” and the blues standards “I’m So Glad”, “Spoonful” and “Rollin’ And Tumblin’”. The US version of the album differs from its UK counterpart by deleting “Spoonful”, replacing it with “I Feel Free” and moving the latter to the start of the first side. When the album is reissued by RSO Records in 1977, it is restored to its original UK track listing. A later LP reissue in 1985 reinstates “I Feel Free” to the track listing, with all subsequent CD releases containing both songs. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the album’s original release, it is releases a three CD + Blu-ray audio disc box set in January of 2017. The first three CD’s feature remastered versions of the original mono and stereo mixes of the album, single versions, alternate takes, and BBC radio broadcast recordings. The Blu-ray disc features high definition audio (24 bit/96k) of the mono stereo mixes, B-sides. It is also issued as a limited edition six LP vinyl set. “Fresh Cream” peaks at number six on the UK album chart,  number thirty nine on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: November 9, 1991 – “Cream” by Prince & The New Power Generation hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks. Written and produced by Prince, it is the fifth US number one pop single for the Minneapolis born artist. Issued as the second single from “Diamonds And Pearls” in early September of 1991, Prince later claims he wrote the song while standing in front of a mirror. The track is recorded at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, MN circa late 1990 – early 1991 with New Power Generation members Michael B. (drums), Sonny T. (bass), Levi Seacer, Jr. (rhythm guitar), Tommy Barbarella (keyboards), and Rosie Gaines (vocals and keyboards). Interestingly enough, the single does not chart on the R&B singles chart as black radio is serviced with the track “Insatiable” instead. “Cream” is backed with the non LP B-side “Horny Pony” which was originally slated to be on the album but is instead replaced by “Gett Off”. Entering the Hot 100 at #46 on September 28, 1991, it quickly rises to the top of the chart just seven weeks later. “Cream” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

Brian Jones, Yoko Ono, Julian Lennon, John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, Keith Moon, Charlie Watts

and

Bill Wyman during rehearsals for the Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus at Internel television studio in London on December 10,1968. 

On this day in music history: November 2, 1967 – “Disraeli Gears”, the second album by Cream is released. Produced by Felix Pappalardi, it is recorded at Atlantic Studios in New York City in May 1967. The albums title is inspired by a conversation that drummer Ginger Baker has with Eric Clapton and one of the bands’ roadies about Clapton wanting to buy a racing bicycle. The roadie named Mick Turner comments, “it’s got them Disraeli Gears”, meaning to say “derailleur gears” instead. The title is a pun on the aforementioned “derailleur gears” and 19th century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. Recorded in just three and a half days, it spins off the classics “Sunshine Of Your Love” (#5 Pop), “Strange Brew” and “Tale Of Brave Ulysses”, and today is regarded as one of the best rock albums of the era. Though it is released in late  1967, “Disraeli Gears” is slow to take off. The singles “Strange Brew” b/w “Tale Of Brave Ulysses” and “Spoonful”, both released ahead of the album, only make a minor dent in the charts. Though it enters the Billboard pop album chart in early December of 1967, it literally takes months for it to gain momentum. Atlantic Records releases “Sunshine Of Your Love” the same month (with some early copies listing the band as “The Cream”), but intially stalls at #36 on the Hot 100 on March 2, 1968 before doing an about face and falling off the chart. It is only after the release of Cream’s next album, the epic double LP “Wheels Of Fire” does “Sunshine” come roaring back to life. It re-enters the chart at #52 on July 6, 1968 and begins its final climb into the top five, over eight months after its initial release. The single is belatedly issued in the UK in October of 1968, peaking at #25. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 1998, followed by a double CD Deluxe Edition in 2004 featuring the original stereo and mono versions of the album with demos and outtakes included as bonus tracks. “Disraeli Gears” peaks at number four on the Billboard Top 200, is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA, and is also inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1999.