Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Number 554 - Cream


Number 554


Cream


"Badge"


(1969)

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Genre:Rock
Crowbarred might have no faith in Mankind but I'm not giving up so easy man. Sure music has changed, but the dak hasn't & it doesn't matter how bad it gets, you can always listen to the classics, oh and hey man ... usually for free yanno. Out of all the bands that came out from England in the 60's Cream were truly into psychedelia. Sure you could argue the Beatles "Sgt. Pepper" in 67 and Pink Floyd's "The Piper at The Gates of Dawn" in also in '67 were first out of the blocks, but it was the Cream album "Goodbye" was an album totally to smoke to in psychedelic nirvana.
I know the Beatles freaks like Crowbarred will disagree with me, but i don't care man. I have my pipe, my headphones and Badge to listen to. Turn on, tune in & dropout man ~ Hippy

Although Cream was only together for a little more than two years, their influence was immense, both during their late-'60s peak and in the years following their breakup. Cream was the first top group to truly exploit the power-trio format, in the process laying the foundation for much blues-rock and hard rock of the 1960s and 1970s. It was with Cream, too, that guitarist Eric Clapton truly became an international superstar. Critical revisionists have tagged the band as overrated, citing the musicians' emphasis upon flash, virtuosity, and showmanship at the expense of taste and focus. This was sometimes true of their live shows in particular, but in reality the best of their studio recordings were excellent fusions of blues, pop, and psychedelia, with concise original material outnumbering the bloated blues jams and overlong solos.

Cream could be viewed as the first rock supergroup to become superstars, although none of the three members were that well-known when the band formed in mid-1966. Eric Clapton had the biggest reputation, having established himself as a guitar hero first with the Yardbirds, and then in a more blues-intensive environment with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. (In the States, however, he was all but unknown, having left the Yardbirds before "For Your Love" made the American Top Ten.) Bassist/singer Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker had both been in the Graham Bond Organisation, an underrated British R&B combo that drew extensively upon the jazz backgrounds of the musicians. Bruce had also been, very briefly, a member of the Bluesbreakers along Clapton, and also briefly a member of Manfred Mann when he became especially eager to pay the rent.

Cream's short lifespan, however, was in hindsight unsurprising given the considerable talents, ambitions, and egos of each of its members. Clapton in particular was tired of blowing away listeners with sheer power, and wanted to explore more subtle directions. After a farewell tour of the States, the band broke up in November 1968. In 1969, however, they were in a sense bigger than ever; a posthumous album featuring both studio and live material, Goodbye, made number two, highlighted by the haunting Eric Clapton-George Harrison composition "Badge," which remains one of Cream's most beloved tracks.

Clapton and Baker would quickly resurface in 1969 as half of another short-lived supergroup, Blind Faith, and Clapton of course went on to one of the longest and most successful careers of anyone in the rock business. Bruce and Baker never attained nearly as high a profile after leaving Cream, but both kept busy in the ensuing decades with various interesting projects in the fields of rock, jazz, and experimental music. ~ Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide
For the Beatles see Number 947, 894 & 587
For Pink Floyd visit Mellow Mix Vol 1 #138
For Eric Clapton see Number 537
For George Harrison see Number 806
What does Rolling Stone think about Cream?
"What a Bringdown." The last title of (probably) the final Cream album serves as a capsule summation of Goodbye and, indeed, the whole Cream mess. Certainly Jack, Eric, and Ginger deserved a better fate.
Goodbye is not a very worthwhile album. Critics will probably tear it apart, while even bonafide Cream Freaks will have to be a little disappointed. It's like the once-famous tycoon who dies an anonymous pauper; it's just a bad way to go out. The studio version of "I'm So Glad" from Fresh Cream is far superior to the live one. What melody the song had is lost as Jack and Eric get involved in a shouting match. "Politician" wasn't an overly brilliant song in the first place, and the live recording doesn't improve upon the original version. "Sittin' on Top of the World" is the best of the live cuts; it is dominated by Jack with a convincing vocal and a creaky bass. Eric comes in with a flash of guitar at the end; it all fits together tightly. As for the studio cuts, they are plagued with the same fault which hindered Wheels of Fire.
Cream was best at playing blues; however, none of the stuff they wrote was blues. Hence, whether or not they work depends largely upon the taste of the individual. If you're a fan of pure, simple blues you won't like these; however, if you can appreciate a few studio effects, they'll be quite listenable.A double-tracked vocal helps Eric on "Badge," while a guy named L'Angelo Misterioso adds rhythm guitar. Felix Pappalardi plays piano and mellotron on "Doin' That Scrapyard Thing." And Jack Bruce abandons his bass guitar for piano and organ on "Bringdown."
There's a little nostalgia here; buy the record, listen to it, and hang the poster on your wall. And shed a quiet tear—not for Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, or Ginger Baker, but for Cream.

Goodbye. (RS 30)
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (Whipped Cream) the Album ranked at Number (Like 9 1/2 weeks?)
By The Year 1955 to 2005:
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2 Comments:

Anonymous Tez said...

Hippy, you are one frigged up dude, I love it !!!

10:10 pm  
Blogger crowbarred said...

just don't tell him!

10:14 pm  

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