Uncle Bardie’s Spotlight Creative Artist: Cream

Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie, a song or a creator. This week’s Spotlight Creative Artist is the band Cream:

Cream’s Badge

I’ve been thinking a lot about Cream lately.  It’s the fiftieth anniversary of their first album, “Fresh Cream”. When they released the album, I asked a friend why Cream. He responded that they were the cream of the crop when it came to music. He was right.

I can’t think of a better way to begin 2017 than feature Cream as my first Spotlight Creative Artist. Made up of bassist Jack Bruce, guitarist Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker, the three made music the rock world had never heard anything like before. Influenced by blues, jazz, rock and folk, their music could be loud as Ahmet Ertegun of Atlantic Records attested. It never was something other than pure music.

Dip your ears into the river of Cream and experience some great music.

 

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Uncle Bardie’s Weekly Music Pick: White Room

It’s Thursday again. You know what that means. Uncle Bardie’s Weekly Music Pick. Uncle Bardiie gives a double thumbs up to this week’s selection: Cream performing “White Room”.

Before there was Led Zepellin, before there was Black Sabbath, before there was Motorhead, before there was Metallica, there was Cream. It was 1966 and there was the need of a new kind of music, a music that amplified the blues, stirred in a big dab of rock ‘n’ roll and added a smidgen of jazz. Three well-respected musicians, all having paid their dues, stepped in to fill the void. There was Ginger Baker on drums, bringing his jazz background and African rhythms to the group. On base was Jack Bruce, Ginger’s co-bandmate in the Graham Bond Organization.. Eric Clapton, with his strong interest in blues, rounded out the three-man group that was Cream.

Their first album was Fresh Cream. From the first song, “I feel free”, I knew I was in for something special. And through four albums these threei musicians of the first of rock’s Supergroups gave the listeners some music. They explored a variety of genres. In that exploration, they did everything that a guitarist, a bassist and a drummer could do at that time. In so doing, they left such a legacy. Part of that, I have to say is they can be considered inventors of what would later become known as heavy metal.

In an interview, Ahmet Ertegun said he was driving to his studio one day in 1967. Cream was recording in Atlantic Records studio. He could hear them several blocks away. That is how loud they were. I would say that musicians could do a lot worse than sit at the feet of these master musicians and absorb what they did with music.

There are so many songs they played on those four albums I liked. But this opener on “Wheels on Fire” brings back fond memories to me. I was stationed in Japan when it showed up on the jukebox in the enlisted men’s club. When I missed home, I put this one on and it brought a smile on my face.