Our Cream albums ranked list looks back at the albums released by one of the most legendary rock trios of all time. Every rock trio formed since the days of Cream and the Jimi Hendrix group have been compared to these classic bands. Cream was a short lived band. The group only released four studio albums over a slightly longer than three years period. But the songs on those albums would become classic rock songs of legend and set the tone for a great era of rock and roll in the 1970s. For younger people unfamiliar with the band, Cream consisted of Eric Clapton on guitar, Jack Bruce on bass and Ginger Baker on drums. This Cream Albums Ranked list will look at the band’s original studio and live albums. It will not rank all the compilations, box sets and greatest hits cds.
Cream Albums Ranked – The Live Albums
# 4 – Royal Albert Hall London May 2-3-5-6, 2005
The first half of our Cream Albums list takes a look at the four main live albums Cream has released. First up on the list is the double CD set that was taken from the Cream reunion tour in the Spring of 2005. The performances found on the album were recorded at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Their were mixed reviews of the tour and performances, but to our ears the band sounded great and Eric Clapton’s solos defined the artistry of one of the greatest guitarists of all time going back home for a short visit.
# 3 – BBC Sessions
Every couple of years it seems, fans get a great CD release of a legendary band’s performances on the BBC Radio. It started with Jimi Hendrix and the Radio One CD released in the 80s which was soon augmented by the spectacular Beatles BBC double CD set and the grand Led Zeppelin BBC Recordings double CD set. The Cream BBC Sessions does not disappoint either. The Cream BBC Sessions CD was released in May of 2003. The single CD contains 27 tracks with most of the recordings being previously unreleased. All the recordings took place between October 1966 and January 1968. This is an essential CD for Cream fans and anyone else who just loves classic rock and roll power trios.
# 2 – Live Cream Volume II
Continuing with our Cream albums live section we turn to the live Cream album entitled the Live Cream Volume II. This was the follow-up to the album Live Cream. The Live Cream Volume II album was released on March 2nd 1972.The album contained six tracks including Deserted Cities of the heart, White Room, Politician, Tales of Brave Ulysses, Sunshine of Your Love and a 13 and a half minute version of Stepping Out written by James Bracken. The songs were recorded in March of 1968 at the Winterland in San Francisco California along with the first three tracks of the album that were recorded at the Oakland Coliseum Arena in Oakland California IN October of 1968. This is Cream at their finest during their Peak period. There was a little less jamming on this record, but the sound quality was really good for the time.. We highly recommend this one.
# 1 – Live Cream
A year after Cream broke up, Atco records in the United States and Polydor Records in the United Kingdom released the legendary album Live Cream. The album was issued in April of 1970. It was a huge success in the United Kingdom where it peaked at number four on the United Kingdom album charts. This is one of the greatest classic rock live albums ever released. The album contained four live tracks and a studio recording entitled Lawdy Mama. The live tracks included the songs N. S. U., Sleepy Time Time, Sweet Wine, and Rollin and Tumblin written by Hambone Willie Newbern. The live recordings were recorded at the Winterland in San Francisco and the Fillmore also in San Francisco. The extended jams on this live album were simply stunning.
Cream Albums Ranked – The Studio Albums
# 4 – Fresh Cream
Fresh Cream stands as the debut album by the super rock triop Cream. The album was released in January of 1967 in the United States and a month earlier in December of 1966 in the United Kingdom. Interestingly, it is the only Cream, album not to go platinum in sales. The US and UK versions also had different track listings as the US version opened with I feel Free which was not even included on the UK albums. The UK album opened with the songs “N.S.U.” This was a great debut album, but every Cream studio album after this one was much better.
# 3 – Goodbye
In 1969 Cream called it quits and released their final studio album appropriately titled Goodbye. Like Wheels Of Fire this was another Cream album that was represented by half live tracks and half studio tracks. The album was a huge success from a commercial standpoint hitting number one in the United Kingdom and number two in the United States. The album spawned the hit single “Badge.”
# 2 – Wheels of Fire
As we contiue our Cream albums ranked list section of studio albums we turn to the album Wheels of Fire which was both a studio album and live album. The album was released in the United States in the Spring of 1968. It was issued as a 2 record set in a very shiny gatefold silver of very heavy cardboard. The first LP of the set contained all studio recordings including some songs that would become legendary such as “White Room, Sitting On Top of the World, Politician and Born under a Bad Sign.”
The second LP of the set was recorded live at both the Winterland and Fillmore theaters in San Francisco. Each side contained only two tracks with first sign being filled with the songs Crossroads and Spoonful and the second side defined by “Train Time,” and “Toad.” What was very significant about Creams Wheels Of Fire album is that it became the first double album to go platinum selling 1 million copies. The two big singles released from the album entitled “White Room,” and Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads” would become two legendary recordings that help define the classic rock ever.
# 1 – Disraeli Gears
Do you want to define the meaning of classic rock to someone who just landed on this planet? All you have to do is put this one on the turntable. Cream’s Disraeli Gears stands as their shining moment in that rock and roll stagelight sun. Its a pure masterpiece of rock and roll performed by one of the greatest rock trios to ever grace the concert stage or studio room floor. The album was released in November of 1967. The band merged hard rock, psychedelic rock and the blues into a sound that mesmerised the rock and roll world. One of the greatest rock songs of all time entitled “Sunshine Of Your Love,” was released on this album. The album also contained the soon to be classic songs “Strange Brew” and “Tales of Brave Ulysses.”
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