leejohnson's current selection is:
by Cream

Never a 7" A-side (or B-side) release in the UK - when it was issued in the USA as a single in January 1969 it failed to break the Hot 100 singles chart on Billboard at all (and the same for all their other Stateside 45rpm efforts too).

Here's Eric Clapton, providing a painfully frank account of his days in 'Cream' – psychedelic drugs, 24-hour confrontations and their love of "Pet Sounds" included. From "Uncut" magazine's May 2004 issue (Take 84):


Interview: Nigel Williamson

WILLIAMSON: How heavily did psychedelic drugs impact on the 'Cream' music?

CLAPTON: Very heavily. I don't know how many times we tried to play while using acid, but there were a few. In America we were doing a lot of acid. We'd met Owsley [Stanley, American audio engineer and clandestine chemist], who made the stuff for the 'Acid Tests' and the 'Grateful Dead', and he showed up at all our gigs. It went on after 'Cream' for me, as well. I carried on experimenting.

WILLIAMSON: Looking back, what do you think was the legacy of 'Cream'?

CLAPTON: It's an interesting question because I don't really know. I'm not even sure what we really set out to do. My impression at the time was that we were scraping by. It was always, "What are we going to do now?" So we just jammed. The initial agenda was that 'Cream' was going to be a 'Dada' group. We were going to have all these weird things happening on stage and it was going to be experimental and funny and rebellious. We said at the time it was going to be anti-music. But in the end we got such a kick out of just going to the instrumental part and seeing what would happen, that's what we became known for. By the time we went to America, we'd play half-hour solos in the middle of anything. It wasn't just "Crossroads". We'd do it in any song. We got into a lot of self-indulgence and a lot of easily-pleased people went along with that. It flattered our vanity, and after that I think we stopped trying.

WILLIAMSON: Were 'Cream' the fathers of 'heavy metal'?

CLAPTON: There was a band called 'Blue Cheer', who I think were probably the originators of 'heavy metal' because they didn't really have traditional roots in the 'blues'. They didn't have a mission. It was just about being loud. 'Cream' were very loud too, and we got caught up in having huge banks of Marshall amps just for the hell of it. But we had a really strong foundation in 'blues' and 'jazz'. 'Led Zeppelin' took up our legacy. But then they took it somewhere else that I didn't really have a great deal of admiration for.

WILLIAMSON: Where did the more melodic influences – as on songs like "I Feel Free" – come from?

CLAPTON: Totally from Jack. I'd never known any kind of musical scale, other than the strict 'blues' scale. And I still find it hard to step out of that. Jack brought with him an immense experience of 'classical' and 'jazz' and popular music. Believe it or not, when 'Cream' was evolving its ideology of what we wanted the sound to be, the thing we were listening to most, apart from the blues, was "Pet Sounds". Jack was very interested in Brian Wilson's viewpoint, and saw it as the new Bach.

[ Read more at http://www.uncut.co.uk/features/eric-clapton-on-cream-i-was-in-a-confrontational-situation-24-hours-a-day-27997 ]


Perhaps thankfully, there's no half hour solo in this version of "Crossroads". However, there's some real signature axework going down, both in the lead and bass spheres. And Ginger drives a mean backbeat wagon too. Frustrating and irritating in turn for some of my peers back in 1969/1970, their propensity for solo and combined maestro interludes was a revelation to me. Overwhelming, in fact, which is why, coupled with their annoyingly short life span, I never became a true fanatic of 'Cream'. I usually don't much like anything that the members went on to do invidually after their split, so that was that for me. Love this true "Uncle Robert" 'blues' rework though.
1969 - Polydor / ATCO - United Kingdom - A US single, from Side Three of the double album "Wheels of Fire" (1968).
Posted: 23rd September 2017
Born in 1954, leaving education by 1972, 'glam' was my thing, "Ziggy" Bowie my hero. I was even the only guy in my town with the haircut (though not the carrot red colouring!). Therefore every seventh selection is a Bowie track.
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All leejohnson's selections:
With 3 others
20 Oct 2018
With 8 others
18 - 20 Oct 2018
With 1 other
16 - 18 Oct 2018
With 1 other
14 - 16 Oct 2018