Saturday, May 14, 2011

Psychedelic Pioneers: Cream

Cream were a 1960s British rock supergroup consisting of bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce, guitarist/vocalist Eric Clapton, and drummer Ginger Baker. Their sound was a hybrid of blues rock, hard rock and psychedelic rock, combining the psychedelia-themed lyrics, Eric Clapton's blues guitar playing, Jack Bruce's voice and blues bass playing and Ginger Baker's jazz-influenced drumming. Cream is widely regarded as being the world's first notable and successful supergroup.In over two years, they sold over 35 million albums.

They provided a heavy yet technically proficient musical theme that foreshadowed and influenced the emergence of British bands such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and The Jeff Beck Group in the late 1960s. The band's live performances influenced progressive rock acts such as Rush, jam bands such as The Allman Brothers Band, Grateful Dead, Phish and heavy metal bands such as Black Sabbath.

Clapton met Baker, then the leader of the Graham Bond Organisation, which at one point featured Bruce on bass guitar, harmonica and piano. "I had always liked Ginger", explained Eric Clapton. "Ginger had come to see me play with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. After the gig he drove me back to London he was telling me that he wanted to start a band, and I had been thinking about it too." Each was impressed with the other's playing abilities, prompting Baker to ask Eric Clapton to join his new, then-unnamed group. Clapton immediately agreed, on the condition that Baker hire Bruce as the group's bassist; according to Clapton, Baker was so surprised at the suggestion that he almost crashed the car.

The band was named "Cream", as Clapton, Bruce, and Baker were already considered the "cream of the crop" amongst blues and jazz musicians in the exploding British music scene.

Cream was ranked #16 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock and Rolling Stone named them the sixty-sixth greatest artist of all time. In 2010 VH1 also ranked them #61 on their 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

Cream - Sunshine of Your Love
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Cream - Crossroads
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Cream - Badge
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Cream - Strange Brew
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Cream - Tales of Brave Ulysses
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Cream - Anyone For Tennis
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