* Prices may differ from that shown
Eric Clapton is my favourite guitarist not only for his longevity but for the skill in his guitar playing. He, with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker reformed in 2005 for a series of Concerts initially at the Royal Albert Hall but then going world wide for a tour.
I first saw Eric Clapton with Blind Faith on a hot summers' day at one of the early free concerts in Hyde Park on 7th June 1969 as a teenager, so was quite upset that I missed the Albert Hall Concerts especially as one fell on my birthday 5th May.
However I first recorded the concert from TV and then was bought the album and DVD at Christmas 2006 following its release. The concert is magical. There are three 60 year old plus rockers who hadn't played all together in a band for forty years. playing the songs as they did all those years ago. They play, in my own personal opinion, better than they did back then. The CD consists of:-
Tracks on first disc
1. I'm So Glad - written by Skip James. This was a big Cream song and is played very well, the vocals have lost none of their punch and Jack Bruce's Bass playing stands out as usual, he is one of the best.
2. Spoonful - written by Willie Dixon. Dixon was a bass player and Jack Bruce again brings out a strong bass line with excellent vocals. The guitar solos are outstanding. The drumming is faultless. This song is and always will be a Cream classic. Credit to Mr Dixon.
3. Outside Woman Blues - written by Blind Joe Reynolds. This is a song that I've seen Eric use to describe the different styles of blues he plays. The main riff comes from another song and has been slightly changed to fit this track, Eric is on vocals and his solos are top class
4. Pressed Rat And Warthog - written by Ginger Baker/Mike Taylor. I like this song the least, no offence to the writers or Ginger. Ginger Baker provides the lyrics and has a little joke at the end about selling T shirts in the auditorium I presume and Neasden comes in it too. It could be termed more as a verse or poem to music.
5. Sleepy Time Time - written by Jack Bruce/Janet Godfrey. This track is one that I hadn't heard very often but fell in love with and have played more than any other track. On one of these takes on the DVD Eric is seen looking over to Jack Bruce and has a smile on his face obviously enjoying the moment. He doesn't usually do this, from what I have seen at his concerts. He seems to me a very humble man who usually gets lost in the moment when playing a solo, eyes closed.
6. NSU - written by Jack Bruce. I am not really fond of this one but it does display a different style of playing and veers away from a Blues base the solo guitar is good and the other musicians play well. Really back to the Psychedelic times.
7. Badge - written by Eric Clapton/George Harrison This is a classic made famous by a solo Eric Clapton with various bands. The only thing that annoys me is the crowd clapping because they think the pause is the end of the song and in two places. They can't all be first timers. This allows Eric to let fly with his solos and he is very comfortable doing that.
8. Politician - written by Jack Bruce/Pete Brown This is a classic Cream track with heavy Bass from Jack Bruce with fine vocals, Eric's playing is as good as ever. Did Cream ever disband???? Eric again plays some excellent guitar on this track.
9. Sweet Wine - written by Ginger Baker/Janet Godfrey I love the various instruments on this track but am not keen on the vocals although this is Cream as I imagine they would have sounded forty years ago.
10. Rollin' And Tumblin' - written by Muddy Waters - Although a great Blues song by as great a Bluesman this is one that is not a great favourite of mine personally but, Jack Bruce does play the harmonica on this, it is a fast repetitive Blues.
11. Stormy Monday - written by T-Bone Walker This is a beautiful slow blues showcasing the musical ability of the whole band with Eric on vocals, Jack Bruce compliments Eric saying it is a pleasure to be playing with him at the end of this one.
12. Deserted Cities Of The Heart - written by Jack Bruce/Pete Brown A typical Cream track with Jack on vocals. There are no guitar solos on this song
Tracks on second disc
1. Born Under A Bad Sign - written by Booker T James/William Bell Another slow blues, Jack on vocals, all the music is very tight and the solos still seem fresh. The drumming is excellent.
2. We're Going Wrong - written by Jack Bruce This is another I don't particularly like but its qualities are there, it is a story of one of Jack's relationships.
3. Crossroads - written by Robert Johnson Eric doing what he does best singing and playing one of his favourite tracks and he and the rest of the band are playing really well. The solos are sublime. During one of the solos on the DVD the camera cuts to Brian May of Queen fame looking on in admiration, a compliment indeed.
4. White Room - written by Jack Bruce/Pete Brown. Eric has been playing this song for years so has been practising it for a long time, he doesn't go wrong and compliments Jack Bruce vocals with his back-up vocals. The drumming is as tight as always.
5. Toad - written by Ginger Baker This is essentially a drum solo and Ginger Baker is on of the best in the world it is a delight to hear a long drum solo after all these years played with so little effort but such energy, also by someone over 65 years old with all the enthusiasm and energy of a young man.
6. Sunshine Of Your Love - written by Eric Clapton/Jack Bruce/Pete Brown this is another that Eric has played for many years'. The vocals are shared by Jack and Eric. Again the drumming is tight. The guitar solos to me sound special as Eric is just let go the rest looks after itself and the Bass, we'll leave it at that, Jack bass has always been great. This song showcases his talent.
7. Sleepy Time Time (alternate take) - This take obviously brings a different solo from Eric and as described previously he and I'm sure the others enjoyed this track which is probably why it is on twice.
The personnel of Cream are: Eric Clapton (vocals, guitar); Ginger Baker (vocals, drums); Jack Bruce (bass guitar).
If you like Cream then this is the CD for you, I don't think you will be disappointed.
Thanks for reading.
© dvdsprks2 2008
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Im So Glad
3 Outside Woman Blues
4 Pressed Rat & Warthog
5 Sleepy Time Time
9 Sweet Wine
10 Rollin and Tumblin
11 Stormy Monday
12 Deserted Cities of the Heart
Disc #2 Tracklisting
1 Born Under a Bad Sign
2 Were Going Wrong
4 White Room
6 Sunshine of Your Love
7 Sleepy Time Time (Alternative)