Cream – Fresh Cream (1966)

Cream was the original rock supergroup. In retrospect, a rock supergroup is not always desirable. But the trio consisting of Jack Bruce (bass and vocals), Eric Clapton (guitar) and Ginger Baker (drums) would show the world what they were made of.

This album is their first, and in some ways, their best. It has a fusion of styles such as blues, jazz, rock and other genres in the recording as well.

The album begins with I Feel Free. Wow – this is good! It shows off Jack Bruce’s great voice and the other parts of the song are just as good. It’s a great song and still a great listen, even today. Cream sound wonderful in their approach musically, and the song sounds soulful.

The next piece, N.S.U. is a glorious 1960’s style comment on living life to the fullest. It’s a great song to hear. Eric Clapton via his Gibson Les Paul has some amazing playing on this one. Mind you, this album is very consistent so far.

Sleepy Time Time follows and sounds like modern poetry set to music. It’s a great piece about taking one’s time in life, not a bad sentiment at all. It’s a good cut here. Plenty of 1960s sentiments are here, making the song the great piece it is. Cool.

Dreaming follows, and it is a good and relaxed sounding piece. It is a nice thought about life in general, and about the concept of dreams. A great topic to address, and a great song as well.

Following up is Sweet Wine. This is merely a continuation of the concept of the songs before it. Eric Clapton’s guitar solo sings and will leave many rock fans in awe upon listening to this piece. It also seems to have quiet-loud dynamics, a great idea for a rock group to take up at the time.

The next song is Spoonful. It’s a great bluesy style piece about desire. One can only imagine the simple pleasures of the time that would have inspired the song. In many ways, the 1960s was a great era for music. Period. It is a rather extended piece, but still very very good. The ending is great too.

Cat’s Squirrel is another extended piece with some likely drug-based influences in the sound at this point. It’s mostly an instrumental, but very effective in its approach. A nice listen.

Four Until Late is an old blues cover originally from Robert Johnson, but it works so well here that it demands repeated listens. It’s a great interpretation of a good original. Mint.

Next up is a call and response sort of piece called Rollin’ and Tumblin’. It’s a concise piece which is almost like an instrumental. It’s very listenable and very enjoyable. The drums, in particular, are very paced here, a great song. It goes on for a while, so listen patiently.

The cover of Skip James’s I’m So Glad is a great cover of an original blues piece. The band sounds so relaxed throughout it all, until towards the end. The price of a supergroup may be distrust, but Cream does a great job here. Good stuff.

Toad is a great drum solo to finish off this recording. The years of Ginger Baker having a background in jazz music pays off here, he just rocks. Unlikely that one can hear any drummer do this sort of thing today.

Fresh Cream got the ball rolling for these three men, in particular, Eric Clapton. It’s a great album, without a doubt. It’s also likely Cream’s best album and one of the definitive albums of the 1960s. It is very listenable. More great music was to follow after this album by Cream as well, only making this album more reputable.

9/10