The British rock supergroup Cream 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.
Cream soon evolved further creating a trademark approach built around each musician’s virtuoso playing. Their live performances 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 hit single "I Feel Free" in January 1967, Cream’s debut, Fresh Cream, set the tone for the 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 like Robert Johnson’s "Four Until Late" and Skip James’ "I’m So Glad" and creative originals such as "Dreaming" and the 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."
Wheels of Fire has been pressed on double 180 gram heavyweight audiophile vinyl and features an exact reproduction of the original artwork to retain authenticity.
1. White Room
2. Sitting On Top Of The World
3. Passing The Time
4. As You Said
5. Pressed Rat And Warthog
7. Those Were The Days
8. Born Under A Bad Sign
9. Deserted Cities Of The Heart
1. Crossroads – Live At The Fillmore
2. Spoonful – Live At The Fillmore
3. Traintime – Live At The Fillmore
4. Toad – Live At The Fillmore