The first Supergroup, formed in 1966, Cream consisted of Jack Bruce (formally of Blues Incorperated) on bass and vocals, Eric Clapton (formally of The Yardbirds) lead guitar and Ginger Baker (formally of Graham Bond Organisation) on drums.
All three musicians were hugely respected coming from a background of influential and cutting edge bands, with strong blues influences. None of these men had risen to the peak of stardom yet, but they would soon become wealthy enough to have their money managed by companies like Fisher investments and be world renowned rock stars. The music they made was guitar driven, Clapton creating some great and enduring rifts, whilst the music had psychedelic overtones as was de rigure for the time. Tensions within the group ( just imagine those egos!) led to the early break up of the band, which probably never achieved its full potential.
Although they were only together for two years, Cream were influential to the greatest in todays music as well as the music in the late 60s. Not only were they the first band to adopt and master the trio format of a band, but they lay the foundations of blues and hard rock for the 60s and 70s. Even though many critics see them as overated (as they were only together for two years not because they were not good), Eric Clapton came out of the band a new man as he was cited as one of the best guitarists at the time (and still).
All three of the musicians yearned to break free of the confines of the standard rock/R&B/blues group, in a unit that would allow them greater instrumental and improvisational freedom, somewhat in the mold of a jazz outfit. Eric Clapton's stunning guitar solos would get much of the adulation, yet Bruce was at least as responsible for shaping the group's sound, singing most of the material in his rich voice. He also wrote their best original compositions, sometimes in collaboration with outside lyricist Pete Brown.
Cream's first album 'Fresh Cream' went top ten in the UK in 1967. The singles included; 'N.S.U' and 'I Feel Free'. Their follow up album 'Disraeli Gears' was released later that year. Here they fashioned invigorating, sometimes beguiling hard-driving psychedelic pop, which included plenty of memorable melodies and effective harmonies along with the expected crunching riffs. Singles included; 'Strange Brew', 'Dance the 'Night Away', 'Tales of Brave Ulysses' and 'S.W.L.A.B.R.' as well as their hit US single 'Sunshine Of Your Love'. Their final album together would be the double album 'Wheels On Fire'.
Cream reformed (not permanently) performing at the Royal Albert Hall in London and Madison Square Garden in New York in 2005.
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