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

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Sfinx - Zalmoxe – This one caught me completely off guard. I'd never even heard of this excellent Romanian band before the CD reissue — which made it for all the nicer surprise. One has to be somewhat...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues