Artist – Album: Cream – Fresh Cream
Released: 9th December 1966
Sounds Like: Best before 1967
Now it’s never nice to torpedo a classic*, especially when it’s a long established one and you weren’t there to feel its initial impact first hand. I’m left to rely on what I’ve read on Wikipedia and think about the impression an album has made on me. The impression Cream’s Fresh Cream has made on me is… meh. I’m not bothered really. ‘I Feel Free’ is an awesome, swinging track, full of innovations and quirks, but in the UK that was a non-album track, a top twenty single only. The rest feels less like the cream of the crop and more like a poor harvest.
Cream have quite rightly been lauded for being pioneers, influential in the birth of jam rock, heavy metal and psychedelic blues, as well as making the power trio a viable band format, but influence doesn’t always mean greatness. Citizen Kane is one of the most influential films of all time and it is rubbish (haha, I know that that’s controversial). Rather than possessing the exciting creativity of its psychedelic progeny or the masculine muscle of its metal descendents, Fresh Cream is just a bit turgid and boring. ‘Spoonful’ is probably my favourite cut – and it is good – but it can’t hold a candle to the Howlin’ Wolf original.
If you’re looking for an introduction in to the music of the world’s first supergroup, I’d recommend diving straight into the 1967 sequel Disraeli Gears for a much more enjoyable set, plus one of the coolest album covers of all time.
* this is in no way true: it can actually be great fun if it’s one you have a particular distaste for…
Albumaday... rating: 6/10
1. N.S.U. – 2:43
2. Sleepy Time Time – 4:20
3. Dreaming – 1:58
4. Sweet Wine – 3:17
5. Spoonful – 6:30
6. Cat’s Squirrel – 3:03
7. Four Until Late – 2:07
8. Rollin’ and Tumblin’ – 4:42
9. I’m So Glad – 3:57
10. Toad – 5:11
Listen to ‘Rollin’ and Tumblin’’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrQftYFU7Vc
Also released on the 9th December:
1966: The Who – A Quick One
Also released on the 9th December:2011: Slow Club – Paradise