1810-2 Fresh Cream
Produced by Robert Stigwood Organisation
Released on December 9, 1966
UK CHART POSITION #6 . . . US CHART POSITION #39
. . . GOLD RECORD
Find it at GEMM
1810-2 cover
[high resolution scan]

K ronomyth 1.0: HALF AND HALF. When Fresh Cream spilled out of the speakers, there was no cleaning up the mess it made. The stain of psychedelic blues rock would remain for the rest of the decade as it was ground into the carpet of our collective conscious by Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Traffic, Santana. By decade’s end, the green fuzz of prog rock (ELP, King Crimson, etc.) had even formed on top of it. So the first Cream record is an historically important document (though perhaps no more important than the early Yardbirds records). I mention that because, nowadays, it’s easy to hear this album without appreciating just how groundbreaking it really was, since so many other bands have tread over the same ground. Fresh Cream is really two halves in one: paisley and blues. The psychedelic rock songs represent the better half in my book: “I Feel Free,” “N.S.U.,” “Dreaming.” They showcase the songwriting of Jack Bruce, who would have been the center of attention in any other band, but somehow manages to get upstaged here by Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker. Clapton is occasionally brilliant, and singlehandedly rescues “Sleepy Time Time” from being a snooze. Baker is the best drummer this side of the Moon and helped pave the way for countless rock drums solos (for better or worse) with the lithe and lumpy “Toad.” The blues half is less impressive, if only because it added little to what Bruce and Clapton had already accomplished with John Mayall. “Spoonful” is a great song, and a paisley remake of “I’m So Glad” is pretty good too. Disraeli Gears was a quantum leap forward, but step back into Fresh Cream and you’ll hear the beginning of something big.

TRACK LISTING

  1. (Not on original UK elpee:) I FEEL FREE    (Jack Bruce/Pete Brown)    2:51
  2. N.S.U.    (Jack Bruce)    2:43
  3. SLEEPY TIME TIME    (Janet Godfrey/Jack Bruce)    4:20
  4. DREAMING    (Jack Bruce)    1:58
  5. SWEET WINE    (Janet Godfrey/Ginger Baker)    3:17
  6. (Not on original US elpee:) SPOONFUL    (Willie Dixon)    6:30
  7. CAT'S SQUIRREL    (traditional arr. by S. Splurge)    3:04
  8. FOUR UNTIL LATE    (Robert Johnson, arr. by Eric Clapton)    2:07
  9. ROLLIN' AND TUMBLIN'    (Muddy Waters)    4:42
  10. I'M SO GLAD    (Skip James)    3:58
  11. TOAD    (Ginger Baker)    5:09

    Later reissue as CREAM
  12. N.S.U.
  13. SLEEPY TIME TIME
  14. DREAMING
  15. SWEET WINE
  16. SPOONFUL
  17. WRAPPING PAPER
  18. CAT'S SQUIRREL
  19. FOUR UNTIL LATE
  20. THE COFFEE SONG
  21. ROLLIN' AND TUMBLIN'
  22. I'M SO GLAD
  23. TOAD

CREDITS

GINGER BAKER -- drums, vocals
JACK BRUCE -- bass guitar, harmonica, vocals
ERIC CLAPTON -- guitar, vocals
John Timperley -- engineer
Paragon Publicity and Public Relations Ltd. -- cover design

return to CREAM discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK December 9, 1966 Reaction LP 593001 mono wo. track 1
US January 1967 Atco LP SD33-206 wo. track 6
AUSL 1967 Reaction LP LPHM-593001 mono wo. track 1
UK October 1970 Polydor LP 2447 010 repackaged as FULL CREAM
JPN 1972 Polydor LP MP-2253 repackaged as CREAM
UK 1975 Polydor LP 2384 067 repackaged as CREAM
JPN 1976 R.S.O. LP MWF-1014 wo. track 1
US April 7, 1998 Polydor CDX 1810-2 digital remaster
JPN 2006 Universal CDX UICY-9150 digital remaster
JPN 2008 Universal CDX UICY-90748 SHMCD remaster

 

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