November 10th, 2005

This IS me (by schwitters)Default

Gold Top

A few weeks ago, I was bemused and amused to receive an email from a PR person at Rhino Records asking whether I would like to mention the CD and DVD release of Cream's May 2005 concert at the Royal Albert Hall on my blog.

Bemused because I can think of several LiveJournalists better suited to the job (cybersofa, to name but one, whose excellent review of the BBC4 coverage is here), and amused to be thought of as a mover and shaker, especially by someone in groovy Los Angeles. Also dead chuffed, not least because I was offered an entirely undeserved free copy. It arrived at the weekend and has received at least one daily play since.

Although Disraeli Gears is a frequent player, I've never got round to expanding my Cream collection, so apart from the major hits most of the material is new to me.

But the way it sounds isn't. It's Cream, unmistakeable and unchanged. Apart from superior CD reproductive quality, this could be a '60s recording. As every review I've read has pointed out, you would never guess from the effortless way they gell that the trio had been pursuing separate interests for decades. Nor is there any evidence that voices, fingers and biceps (for those lengthy drum soloes) are any less young and supple than they were.

I love the band's ability to breathe new life into old blues standards, though 'Spoonful' will always be a Howlin' Wolf track to me, and I equally adore their surreal psychedelic creations (the number that sold me on Cream in the first place was 'Tales of Brave Ulysses). Top of my Royal Albert Hall diggin' list currently are 'Stormy Monday', 'Sleepy Time Time' and 'Pressed Rat and Warthog', though this is subject to revision.

Finally, I really appreciate the effort that went into the extremely colourful and fabulous tour logo. This is a CD that nestles snugly amongst the Donovan, Jefferson Airplane and Grateful Dead of my collection. I can't offer higher praise than that.
  • Current Music
    Outside Woman Blues - Cream