Exposé Online banner

Cream — Live Cream
(Polydor 31453 1816-2, 1970/1998, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 2017-06-29

Live Cream Cover art

In an earlier tier I discussed what to date is my favorite unofficial Cream show from Detroit 1967, one of the most fired up concerts I've ever heard, and it's kind of interesting to compare it to what is their first or second live album, depending on how you count the part studio-part live album Wheels of Fire. Because one of the things that strikes me about this selection is how close to blues it is, when on Detroit all of this is there, but there other excursions into acid rock and jazz that didn't really make the selections here so much, nor even on the live LP of Wheels of Fire. But perhaps that's the year change, as all but the short "Lawdy Mama" come from a year later in 1968 where you'd perhaps expect some of the chemistry issues to affect things a little more. I think a lot of this collection hinges on the great early 1-2 punch of "NSU" and "Sleepy Time Time," both of which are tremendous versions, and of course the long blues work out of "Sweet Wine," all three of which came from over two nights at Winterland. All are well-recorded and if they don't quite have the urgency of a band in its youth, the newly found maturity helps to mitigate that. In many ways Cream succeeded by how different the approach and musicianship of each member of the trio was, and how the conflicts among them could really let out some incendiary music at times and while this couldn't keep the group together for all that long, it did leave a really amazing legacy behind. Certainly at their best they were easily one of the great live rock bands.


Filed under: Reissues, 1998 releases, 1970 recordings

Related artist(s): Cream, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker

Latest news

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more

2021-02-10
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Various Artists - Lost Years in Labyrinth II – Remember Lost Years in Labyrinth? It featured material by four Japanese Canterbury-ish/Chamber Rock bands — Lacrymosa, Il Berlione, Zypressen, and Soft Weed Factor. OK, now forget it. There is...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues