422-823 636-1 Y-1 Disraeli Gears
Produced by Felix Papallardi
Released on November 1967
UK CHART POSITION #5 . . . US CHART POSITION #4 . . .
GOLD RECORD (5/22/68), PLATINUM (11/10/93)
Find it at GEMM
422-823 636-1 Y-1 cover  

O ne of the great artifacts from the ‘60s, an Aladdin’s lamp with a genie as accommodating as any to issue from the work of Jimi Hendrix or The Doors. As the cover suggests, this was transportative stuff at the time (and still is): Cream serving as the stylish sportscar alongside Hendrix’ hog or The Doors’ diesel truck in the highways of the mind. Part of the album’s appeal (to me anyway) is its inscrutable nature: “SWLABR” has always defied comprehension, “Sunshine of Your Love” and “Tales of Brave Ulysses” likewise are monuments to lost heroes. Cream steps back from the canvas when Jack Bruce steps back from the microphone; “Outside Woman Blues” (featuring Eric Clapton on vocals) and “Blue Condition” (Ginger Baker this time) aren’t artistic expression so much as plain musical expression (ok, so is “Take It Back”). Unfortunately, I don’t own Fresh Cream (yet), so a breakdown of leaps and bounds will have to wait for another day. The songs I have heard from their first album (“Spoonful,” “I’m So Glad,” “Sleepy Time Time”) seem light years removed from the masterful music of “Strange Brew” and “Sunshine of Your Love.” Even the closing “Mother’s Lament,” a playful bit of silliness if ever there was, underscores just how confident Cream was in the studio this time. They are clearly at the top of their game on Disraeli Gears, combining stellar musicianship with high-minded aspirations that literally sought to take popular music to a new level. If you wanted to make the case for Cream as a progressive rock outfit, I’d start with Disraeli Gears. Its influence pervades prog’s formative years and traces of it can be found in the work of King Crimson, Van Der Graaf Generator, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and even The Beatles.

422-823 636-1 Y-1 back cover
422-823 636-1 Y-1 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. STRANGE BREW    (Eric Clapton/Gail Collins/Felix Papallardi)    2:45
  2. SUNSHINE OF YOUR LOVE    (Eric Clapton/Jack Bruce/Peter Brown)    4:10
  3. WORLD OF PAIN    (Gail Collins/Felix Papallardi)    3:00
  4. DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY    (Jack Bruce/Peter Brown)    3:27
  5. BLUE CONDITION    (Ginger Baker)    3:35
  6. TALES OF BRAVE ULYSSES    (Eric Clapton/M. Sharp)    2:48
  7. SWLABR    (Jack Bruce/Peter Brown)    2:31
  8. WE'RE GOING WRONG    (Jack Bruce)    3:21
  9. OUTSIDE WOMAN BLUES    (Reynolds, arr. by Eric Clapton)    2:25
  10. TAKE IT BACK    (Jack Bruce/Peter Brown)    3:05
  11. MOTHER'S LAMENT    (traditional, arr. by P. Baker/Jack Bruce/Eric Clapton)    1:48

CREDITS

GINGER BAKER --
JACK BRUCE --
ERIC CLAPTON --
Tom Dowd -- engineer

return to CREAM discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK November 1967 Reaction LPM/S 593/594 003 mono & stereo versions
US November 1967 Atco LP SD 33-232 yellow label
US   Atco LP SD 33-232 purple/brown label
ARG   Polydor LP 1184105  
CAN   Polydor LP CP 5008  
US November 1977 Polygram/RSO LP/CS 823 636 silver label reissue
GER   Polydor/RSO LP 2479 185  
JPN 1980 RSO LP MWX-4002  
UK   Polydor CD 823 636  
US 1992 Mobile Fidelity CD UDCD-562 original master recording
JPN   Polydor CD UICY-2368  
WW 1998 Polydor CD 531 811 digital remaster
JPN   Polydor CD UICY-9151 ltd. ed. digital remaster

 

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