Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Cream “Disraeli Gears” 1967 Uk Psych Blues Rock (100 Greatest Psychedelic Records Record Collector) (500 Greatest Albums All Of Time Rolling Stone)


Cream  “Disraeli Gears”  1967 Uk Psych Blues Rock  (100 Greatest Psychedelic Records Record Collector)  (500 Greatest Albums All Of Time Rolling Stone) 
full spotify
https://open.spotify.com/album/6fRqzJT070Kp9RWlSXmKcY

full spotify remastered

https://open.spotify.com/album/4SMNUQCyTvlO4vFEdXXG45

full discography on spotify

https://open.spotify.com/artist/74oJ4qxwOZvX6oSsu1DGnw


Fresh Cream, the album that introduced this seminal super-blues trio to America, was perhaps a bit too blues-based to do the advance hype (“Clapton is God!”) justice. Two of its three best-known tracks, after all, were blues covers. It was Disraeli Gears that turned Cream into a “supergroup.” Here they pursue the psychedelic ideals of the era with total abandon (the LP cover art still stands as one of the 1960s’ most striking designs), merging these ideals with their take on the blues and adorning the amalgamation with some superb pop craftsmanship. Of the eleven originals here, four–“Tales of Brave Ulysses,” “SWLABR,” “Strange Brew,” and “Sunshine of Your Love”–earned major airplay. This, their excess-free greatest moment, does the Cream legend proud. –Bill Holdship….~


Released in 1967, Disraeli Gears is the second studio album by the first rock ‘supergroup’ Cream (Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker) and the name of the album famously came from a malapropism. During a conversation about racing bikes, one of their roadies, a certain Mick Turner, made reference to Disraeli gears instead of Derailleur gears, which was greeted with hilarity and the group decided to use that as the title of the album. 

Something of a departure from their blues roots, Disraeli Gears perfectly captured the mood of the period with a powerful array of psychedelic rockers, reached number 5 in the UK Charts and was Cream’s breakthrough release in the US, hitting number 4 in the Billboard 200. It was all recorded in three and a half days at Atlantic Studios, New York, in the presence of Atlantic Records (to whom they were signed in the US) boss Ahmet Ertegun, following nine shows as part of the Music in the 5th Dimension concert series. Their work visas expired on the last day of recording. 
The sleeve was designed by Australian artist Martin Sharp, who lived in the same building as Eric Clapton, The Pheasantry in Chelsea. Sharp also co-wrote the lysergic tour-de-force Tales Of Brave Ulysses with Clapton and described the music on the album as a “warm fluorescent sound”. His artwork was an attempt to represent this visually and is acknowledged to be one of the finest ‘acid rock’ designs of the era. 
The original cut for this record was half speed mastered at Abbey Road Studios…..~


Cream teamed up with producer Felix Pappalardi for their second album, Disraeli Gears, a move that helped push the power trio toward psychedelia and also helped give the album a thematic coherence missing from the debut. This, of course, means that Cream get further away from the pure blues improvisatory troupe they were intended to be, but it does get them to be who they truly are: a massive, innovative power trio. The blues still courses throughout Disraeli Gears – the swirling kaleidoscopic “Strange Brew” is built upon a riff lifted from Albert King – but it’s filtered into saturated colors, as it is on “Sunshine of Your Love,” or it’s slowed down and blurred out, as it is on the ominous murk of “Tales of Brave Ulysses.” It’s a pure psychedelic move that’s spurred along by Jack Bruce’s flourishing collaboration with Pete Brown. Together, this pair steers the album away from recycled blues-rock and toward its eccentric British core, for with the fuzzy freakout “Swlabr,” the music hall flourishes of “Dance the Night Away,” the swinging “Take It Back,” and of course, the old music hall song “Mother’s Lament,” this is a very British record. Even so, this crossed the ocean and also became a major hit in America, because regardless of how whimsical certain segments are, Cream are still a heavy rock trio and Disraeli Gears is a quintessential heavy rock album of the ‘60s. Yes, its psychedelic trappings tie it forever to 1967, but the imagination of the arrangements, the strength of the compositions, and especially the force of the musicianship make this album transcend its time as well…..by Stephen Thomas Erlewine…allmusic….~


Cream, in a lot of ways, are the perfect band. There can be no doubting that, as bands go, Cream brought more talent to the table than most. Being among the first of the original “power trio” supergroups, Cream fused the brilliant potential of three of the most prominent musicians of the 60s together to create something wonderful. Eric Clapton, most famous for his part in The Yardbirds and efforts alongside John Mayall, offered Cream his soon-to-be-legendary silkily adept blues-rock guitar lines to the mix. Handling bass and drum duties respectively, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker were one of the hottest rhythm sections in the business. The unique fusion of Clapton’s blues styles and Bruce and Baker’s jazz influences created a new type of pop-psychedelic sensation. The world, and music in general, would never be the same. Cream truly were as smooth as their name would lead you to believe. 

Disraeli Gears, Cream’s second album, is perhaps the best example of everything that made the band so wonderful. Any weaknesses that Cream may have displayed on their debut, Fresh Cream, were seemingly fixed, creating a package of overall polish that was rivaled by few albums of the time. Perhaps one of Cream’s greatest flaws was their ineptitude when it came to general songwriting. While the instrumentation as well as the complete package was always of excellent quality, one almost always had to admit that Cream, as a band, as songwriters, left much to be desired. With Disraeli Gears, however, Cream received help from lyricist Pete Brown. With Brown’s help, anchored by the production values of Felix Pappalardi, Cream managed to put forth what is arguably the best material of their career. 

Eric Clapton’s guitar playing on Disraeli Gears, for example, is masterful. The buttery sounds of his lightly overdriven Stratocasters hold the entire album together, while enthralling and captivating any listener fortunate enough to hear the music. Clapton manages to lay down some of the most legendary riffs of all time, such as “Sunshine of Your Love.” Aside from being one of Cream’s best-known songs (as well as having been inspired by a Jimi Hendrix performance) “Sunshine of Your Love” is also their raw potential in a nutshell. The solo is actually based off of the song “Blue Moon” by Billie Holiday, as evidenced by its very beginning. Still, everything from the wonderful Grateful Dead-meet-Dylan lyrics, to the aforementioned guitar-god performance, to Bruce’s vocals and Baker’s drumming, “Sunshine of Your Love” is a beast of a different color one compared to other songs of the era. And it isn’t even the best of the bunch. Clapton’s fantastic guitar playing extends to the rest of the album, as well. The man seemed to be in a constant haze of motivation. Clapton seemed to want to outdo himself from song to song, from guitar track to guitar track. After hearing his comforting, yet engrossing work on Disraeli Gears, playing that was so ahead of its time, yet still so contemporary, it’s hard to imagine that Eric Clapton could become anything less than one of the world’s most beloved and respected guitar heroes. 

However, that’s not to say that the other two thirds of Cream were anything less than impressive. Jack Bruce, alongside Brown, did the majority of the songwriting on Disraeli Gears. His virtuosic bass work clearly harkens back to his influences, James Jameson and Charles Mingus. While Bruce’s thumping bass is often overshadowed by the otherworldly guitar work of Clapton, it’s still very distinctive when it needs to be on Disraeli Gears. However, if anything overshadows Bruce’s musicianship on the album, it’s his brilliant work as Cream’s lead vocalist. Bruce hits all the right notes, managing to keep his voice in a perfect synergy and coherence alongside not only his bass playing, but Clapton’s guitar and Baker’s drums. Baker, on the other hand, plays the most minor role in Cream’s formula on Disraeli Gears. His performance behind the skins, however, is nothing short of admirable. Disraeli Gears also plays host to an interesting moments; the song “Blue Condition” which features Baker (not usually a singer) as lead vocalist. Such interesting injections prove just how enigmatic, as well as surprising, Cream could be. 

“Strange Brew,” the album’s first single, is one of the better examples of the harmonious clash of Cream’s jazz and blues styles. Dreamy vocals from Bruce, coupled with a strong guitar riff from Clapton are fastened at the seams by Baker’s superb drumming. “Strange Brew” remains one to be one of Cream’s greatest moments, and is a perfect example of everything about the band working together perfectly. Interestingly enough, the song almost never came into being. “Strange Brew” was originally known as “Lawdy Mama,” and if not for the influence of producer Felix Pappalardi (who re-wrote the lyrics and guitar tracks), “Strange Brew” would never have been written. “Tales of Brave Ulysess” was actually based on a poem written by Australian artist Martin Sharp (who also designed the cover art for Disraeli Gears). The miniature ballad focuses on selective interpretations of Greek Mythology, revolving most around the hero Ulysess and the Greek goddess of love Aphrodite. Cream manage to craft a two minute, forty nine second song into a masterpiece of seemingly epic proportions. “Tales of Brave Ulysess” is quite possibly Cream’s greatest achievement, whether it be by music, concept, or songwriting. Given their catalog on Disraeli Gears alone, that’s certainly saying something. 

“World Of Pain” is an early sampling of the progressive rock that would come to dominate the airwaves during the 1970s. It is interesting to note, then, that this song (as well as Disraeli Gears and Cream on the whole) is cited by many progressive rock acts of the 70s as being a major influence. Featuring some of the most straightforward yet deep playing you’ll hear from Clapton, along with subtly powerful drums, and Bruce’s wonderful vocal-work, and you find yourself with yet another masterpiece of a song. The album-ending “Mother’s Lament,” a song that Clapton and Baker used to pass the time during concert intermissions, could actually be considered an early prelude to post-rock. “Dance the Night Away,” is a power ballad not unlike Van Halen’s later song of the same title. Only much softer and more meaningful. It’s interesting, though, that Eddie Van Halen should name Eric Clapton as being his own personal idol, especially when considering those two songs. “Swlabr,” short for “She Walks Like a Bearded Rainbow,” showcases the substance-driven inspiration of Cream, as it was based off of an acid trip. 

The rest of Disraeli Gears maintains a high level of quality with few drawbacks. However, there are drawbacks, as even Cream couldn’t quite make the perfect album. Disraeli Gears can actually be quite boring to listen to, thus making it somewhat hard to listen to end-to-end. Also, while the production and songwriting values are vastly improved when compared to Fresh Cream, you can easily sense that there was room for improvement. Cream, with Disraeli Gears, created an album of classic proportions, without it being quite of classic quality. Still, it’s a wonderful experience for anyone who wishes to realize one of the greatest influences of modern music today. Disraeli Gears you could easily relate to your music collection as you could to cream in your coffee. Sure, it can be fine without it, but it’s so much nicer when you bring them together….. by Hep Kat ..sputnik….~ 


It started as a joke. Mick Turner one of Cream’s roadies was discussing with drummer, Ginger Baker, how he fancied one of those bikes with’ Disraeli gears’. He meant, of course, derailleur gears, but the band found the mistake hilarious and so the name of one of one of the UK’s premier psychedelic albums was born. 

By 1967 Cream had had one rather false start. Fresh Cream, their first album had been a rushed and rather too purist collection of blues standards and curios, and as such was already by 1966 considered out of step with what was occurring around them. “I Feel Free” had hinted at the wild lysergic undercurrent, but they’d yet to find their heartland in the London underground. One reason this had happened was because of the band’s backgrounds, not only in the blues (as Eric Clapton defected from John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers) but also in Jazz; both Jack Bruce and Baker having served time with Graham Bond. Luckily this wide-ranging set of backgrounds was invaluable in their next step. 

Second time around it was far different. Chemicals had been imbibed, Clapton had struck up a friendship with Australian artist Martin Sharp who not only provided the lyrics of “Tales Of Brave Ulysses” but also came up with the splendidly baroque cover. Meanwhile Jack Bruce was now working with underground poet, Pete Brown, whose lyrics were equally trippy. “SWLABR” (it stands for ‘She walks like a bearded rainbow’), “Dance The Night Away” and “Sunshine Of Your Love” were perfect encapsulations of the point where the blues got psychedelic and in turn got heavy. “Sunshine…”’s riff is at once iconic and defines the power trio aesthetic that was to prove so popular with the band’s many disciples. 

The other creative catalyst was producer Felix Pappalardi. Co-writing both “World Of Pain” he also helped transform the blueswailing “Lawdy Mama” into the slinky “Strange Brew” – a contender for best album opener of all time. Clapton’s guitar had by now been exposed to the effects heavy stylings of Jimi Hendrix and his heavy use of wah-wah gives Disraeli Gears just the right amount of weirdness, making this probably the most experimental album he ever made. The modish inclusion of Ginger Baker’s rendition of “A Mother’s lament” was the edwardiana icing on the cake. By the band’s demise, two years later Clapton had returned to his first love – straight blues and the band had become the barnstorming power trio hinted at here. For a short time they were bringers of peace and love….Chris Jones…BBCreview….


Disraeli Gears was the second album Cream released in their short career, and all these years later, it still shines as their crowning achievement. Issued in November 1967, the landmark LP found Cream flipping the switch toward full-on psychedelia while remaining true to the blues roots of their 1966 debut. 
Fresh Cream signaled a new force was on the scene. Like a blues-drenched warhorse, Cream plugged in and cranked up the volume delivering their own take on American blues. Along with the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Cream ushered in not only the power trio concept, but also the heavy blues which would eventually lead into hard rock and heavy metal. But first there was Disraeli Gears. 
From the opening notes of “Strange Brew,” it’s clear that the band had moved on from the style of their debut, taking those blues roots and twisting them into a vibrant 1967 technicolor. The pattern is followed with even more dramatic effect on the album’s second track, “Sunshine of Your Love.” A simple blues guitar riff sets the tone, but the pounding of Ginger Baker’s drums propel the song into foreign territory. Throw in a killer Eric Clapton solo and you’ve got a true classic. Released as a single in early 1968, it hit the Top 5 and helped push the LP to No. 4. 
Throughout the album, the interplay between the three is stunning, setting the benchmark for hard rockers to follow. Even though Clapton often gets the most accolades in Cream, in many ways, Jack Bruce is the real star of the show here. His vocals are hauntingly beautiful and his bass playing is stellar. 
“We’re Going Wrong” is a psychedelic tour de force. Bruce’s ethereal vocals hover over the circular chord pattern and tribal drumming, while “World of Pain” and “Dance the Night Away” mix in elements of psych pop, but with a slightly darker mood. “Tales of Brave Ulysses” is one of the most haunting rockers of all time. Written by Clapton and artist friend Martin Sharp, it’s descending main riff and wild lyrics meld together perfectly. Clapton delivers one of his finest solos at song’s end. And “SWLABR” is one of the album’s rawest tracks with a dynamic riff pushing things at full throttle. 
Cream would release one final studio album, the two-record set and half-live Wheels of Fire, before calling it a day less than three years after forming. They felt they said all they had to say, and were gone before things got stale. Disraeli Gears remains the band’s finest hour and still still sounds fresh..by…DAVE SWANSON….~ 



Cream is one of those bands like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. You’re *supposed* to like them, even if you don’t, because they were so influential. Personally, I don’t buy into this sort of silly groupthink (I’m posturing here for full effect!) and I don’t particularly care for either of those bands. Cream, however, alongside Blue Cheer, is a different story. I’ve never understood where the whole “metal debate” originates to include Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin competing for the title for first metal band, since really Zeppelin never was metal, nor were they a template for it. It should be Sabbath vs. Cream. In that regard, Cream has them beaten in chronology, but this is still firmly in line with the feel good hippie trippy rock of the late 60’s with only passing commonalities to what metal would evolve into just a few years later. 
This breaks down into your typical blues rock for the time, not particularly adventurous, but no doubt an influence on what was to come. If you were to add a heavier tone to the guitars here, you’d have an album capable of competing with “Paranoid” as one of the better early metal albums (sorry if I keep bringing up that genre, but this band obviously influenced many who came later.) 
But enough history, how’s the music? Well, prior to breaking down and listening to this album, which my Dad had on vinyl from his younger days, I had only heard “Sunshine of Your Love.” You know, THE only song that MTV and VH1 think this band ever did. Its okay, but its not even the best song here. I actually like others like the slower “World of Pain” a bit more memorable, a certain hazy atmosphere to it that makes me think of 1960’s neon lights, LSD, and debauchery in the name of liberation… even though the lyrics are the opposite. “Swlabr” is also pretty underrated, it almost sounds like a precursor to songs that bands like Fu Manchu or Orange Goblin would write (again, Cream and their kin were very influential on stoner bands who came 20+ years later.) 
Mostly, this is an album not of songs, but of an experience, despite being written to give the appearance of being an album of songs. Its the sort of record you can just throw on and enjoy, without really needing to pay any attention to it. Not that there are not certain guitar parts or passages worth remembering, but rather its the sort of thing written to accomodate someone who is doing something else (this being from 1967, that “something else” could imply anything.) I wouldn’t listen to it in the car or anything where I want to focus on the music, but more as a blissful background device. The atmosphere is happy in a way, which is ironic considering some of this is pretty dark at times. Overall, its one of those albums that is flawless not by design but by perfection simply happening. Few albums can qualify for this, this being one of them….by…Moonside ……~


If you are looking for a quick blast of psychedelic blues/rock, or just psychedelic music in general, this is perfect for you. In just over 33 minutes, Disraeli Gears contains Cream’s most well known songs, and is considered their apex in their short career. While I do give it 5 stars, I think Wheels of Fire is their best album because there are even better songs than these and there is more depth to it, mainly because its a double album (and I like those jams, sue me). 
But anyways, this is still a classic of rock. Any album that contains “Sunshine of Your Love” has to be good, right? That’s not it either, it also contains such classics like “Strange Brew”, “Tales of Brave Ulysses”, and a personal favorite in “SWLABR”. Two underrated songs are the two blusiest tracks here; “Outside Woman Blues” (love that great riff), and “Take It Back”. 
I don’t think it needs to be said how talented these three musicians are, as they (Bruce, Clapton, and Baker) are three of the most talented at their instruments, and whatever problems happened within the band, you couldn’t tell by the great music they created. Add this classic album to your collection, as well as Wheels of Fire…..by…oldguywithsticks92 …..~


Masterpiece 
Bluesy Psych at it’s best. 
This is exactly what my type of psych lover wants. One of my favorite psych albums ever! Actually Clapton didn’t use fuzz what I have read and heard, even though it sounds like it. 
He used wah into a cranked amp…by psych rock…~ 


An absolute masterpiece, with all the three members giving some of the best performance of their entire career! Sunshine of your love is of course the most famous song from this work, but there are plenty of other songs equally great like Strange Brew or Outside Woman Blues!…Carter84 …~ 


The kind of blues that Cream plays is positively original. The psychedelic vibes mixed with the blues riffs of the songs is just something you don’t hear in just every album. And they do so with such consistency and originality that hearing their album is very easy and exciting. Of course, you could argue that the mark they leave in each one of their albums is so distinctive that it makes them all the same, but that wouldn’t be fair, as we are talking about one of the most original bands of the sixties, and one that was not afraid to experiment with music and music technology of the time, whilst retaining the charm of a british music hall. 

Whilst Sunshine of Your Love is just legendary, the riff is wonderful and so is the sound of the song that never becomes violent and never becomes cliche, it finds a contrast in the first track that is what the Cream popular sound is like, that British psychedelic blues that becomes a Strange Brew: you wouldn’t be too wrong to say that the words and composition of this song make it one that may even be a description of the band’s appeal, an appeal that can be found from the characteristic 60’s art covers to the drug like rhythms of songs like Blue Condition that literally feel as if they are moving like different drugs all the time. Hence, it is quite a disappointment when, when we get to the end of the album, we hear the weak tracks Outsode Woman Blues that is just the most conventional kind of blues you can hear in just about any blues album of the time and right up to the 80’s, and Take It Back, for which the same fault descriptions apply. On top of that, Mother’s Lament is a lazy track that was probably put in to fill in the blank space on the vinyl, and it sounds clumsy and laughable (at, not with). Fortunately, the rest is pretty solid, with Tales of Brave Ulysses that sounds like the disraeli Gears’ White Room, and Swlabr that is equally as exciting a song. 

If you want to take a trip down a wonder lane that sounds looks and tastes like that strange brew of the sixties, hop on along and listen to this album, because that Cream sound is intact in here. If you are not into that kind of stuff, stay well away. This ain’t slayer or the Grease soundtrack. This is an original kind of blues that will only appeal to the people that want to be appealed by it. 

BEST TRACK - Sunshine of Your Love - A no brainer really, it’s not only the guitar work and the bass line that makes this song special, but also Ginger baker’s drumming, that saves the song from being just another brit-blues song. Legendary. And it must be said that the way in which this song doesn’t start the album itself was also a wise choice, because it was much better to start it off with Strange Brew and that does have to be said. 

ALBUM COVER - A great psychedelic cover, this time Cream have the courtesy to add some colour to it, and its just very original and catches your eye instantly. This cover alone captures the atmosphere of a whole generation, although truthfully. berhaps the same cannot be said about the music itself, but it’s still great…..by ..SilverScreen89….~


Cream’s sophomore effort, “Disreali Gears,” ranks as one of my all-time favorite albums. It’s a must for any lover of classic rock, specifically any psychedelic-era afficionado. The elaborate Sgt. Pepper-style art work, coupled with the lyrics littered throughout (“Tiny purple fishes run laughing through your fingers,” “But the rainbow has a beard”) seem very apropos for a rock album released in the latter part of 1967. 
“Disreali Gears” was much more intricate than Cream’s blues-based debut release in January of the same year. When I was a college student in the late 80s, this was one album I would frequently put on late at night with only a lava lamp lighting the room. Listening to it, I would often lament that such a great group like Cream didn’t stay longer – their reign lasted all of 24 months, and they broke up roughly a year after Disraeli Gears was released. 
All three members of Cream were immensely talented and they shine on this record. Further, there’s an appealing, time-preserved quality to the album’s sound. Songs like “Tales of Brave Ulysses” and “Swalbr” seem fitting of the era and are timeless classics, as are “Strange Brew” (check out the video with Clapton’s fro) and “Sunshine of Your Love.” The album hits its psychedelic zenith with “Dance the Night Away.” I love every track off the album, and I actually listen to this more than their greatest hits collection CD. 
Disreali Gears is one the finest albums ever done, especially when put in the context of when it was recorded. I’ve listened to it probably over 1,000 times, and will probably pop it into the CD player another 1,000 times….by…taddavis 


This album seems to be getting a lot of hate for being a classic staple of rock history, and for not living up to the user’s expectations. 
I, however, had the benefit of knowing nothing about old music at all until my freshman year in highschool when i gave this album a listen to (in the years since I’ve become quite a fan of classic rock.) With only the most rudimentary knowledge of who Eric Clapton was and no knowledge of Cream I was absolutely blown away by this album. Almost every track is incredible and its one of those albums I can just sit down, turn out the lights, and listen to all the way through. 
Of course the classic staple songs are great (Sunshine of Your Love, Tales of Brave Ulysses, Swlabr) but I find myself enjoying the lesser known songs just as much. I’m the only person I know (of my friends) who will just listen to Blue Condition or We’re Going Wrong for the sheer brilliance of hearing the blues with a psychedelic twist. 
The last three songs are the low point of the album, but still aren’t bad. Outside Woman Blues is fun lyrically, but that and Take It Back are tracks which, while good, don’t add much to the album as a whole. 
And of course Mother’s Lament. I don’t even know what to say about it… Every time I hear it I wonder just what the hell they were thinking, but for some reason I can’t imagine the album without it. 
And if the songs themselves didn’t warrant five stars, then the album art would….by…cmetzger ….~


This, Cream’s sophomore release, has many songs that would appeal to a wide variety of listeners. Some of my favourites are “Tales of Brave Ulysses”, “SWLABR” & “World of Pain”. Of course, one of their most well-known 
songs is on this album, “Sunshine of your Love”. But the other tracks are just as good. Highly Recommended!…by…dylanbeatle …~


Everyone starts to sound like a critic for Rolling Stone when they talk about this album. Cream has a three way personallity that I think only aspiring musicians and acid burnouts totally dig. People that have this ideal of Bruce Springsteen as the saviour of rock n’ roll or embrace the deep meanings of Tool need to shut the fuck up (I do love Springsteen though). It’s not gonna be that way if you listen to MUSIC. Yes. Music. 1967 was a time when people were actually doing cool and crazy shit and they were actually obliged to attempt it and indulge. God forbid to the casual rock fan! Shit like this has constantly been stated to try and make some people understand, but unfortunately they usually start in the wrong place (don’t introduce “slow, boring Pink Floyd” to a metalhead, dig?) And I’m not even gonna attempt to try and analyze Cream in great detail for people, so, let’s briefly speak of 'Disraeli Gears’. Obviously, we know it is the masterpiece and breakthrough album for the first true power trio (not my words). Cream is quite unique in a way that they almost had a three way personality, always doing something differently but still together. A quality that I think only the Who also had, except they had more of a case of … Quadrophenia (ha ha)? Cream took the more textered and melodic way which seems to confuse newcomers expecting hype to be true. I love Cream, but this album is a more thought out and layered album that fans of “power rock” aren’t used to. Sure there’s a couple clunkers, like 'Take It Back’ and especially 'Mother’s Lament’, but the rest is well crafted psychedelic pop and rock. 'Strange Brew’, 'Sunshine Of Your Love’, 'World Of Pain’, 'Dance The Night Away’, 'Tales of Brave Ulysses’, SWLABR’ and 'We’re Going Wrong’ are all excellent tunes. Even 'Blue Condition’ isn’t that bad. And, even though it kinda sounds uninspired, 'Outside Woman Blues’ is a decent cover. I suggest if you want the best and worst of Cream, which is ultimately, the best of Cream, then go all the way with 'Wheels of Fire’. Or rather, just put all of their albums together and get what’s coming. Cream was one of the first to set the standards for everything to come later on. So most of those who complain about a fucking drum solo like on their debut 'Fresh Cream’ just shut up, you’d have nothing else to talk about otherwise. As for this LP, not all the songs are completely great or differ from eachother, and is a bit short, but 'Disraeli Gears’ is a different adventure than most, but good and neccessary for one of the stranger but greater and influential acts of all time. As I had mentioned in my review for the Stooges first LP, show someone why a seemingly doubted band has cool stuff by showing the immediate extremes, not a fan favourite or a misleading, but nevertheless, good record…by johnny_boy …~


Disraeli Gears is an important album because it captures Cream at their creative height, and much of the music is some of the best they ever recorded. Wheels of Fire pales in comparison, with its more dull and less textured sound. However, this album is one that doesn’t REALLY stand up to much over-dissection. Some of these songs were changed to make them more mainstream, and this isn’t exactly an album which you can spend years analyzing the different meanings behind it. And there are some real throwaways on here. Mother’s Lament doesn’t really count because it’s the little jokingly done outro to the album, but Blue Condition is just unpleasant. Ginger sings in his weird voice, some weird vocals, a song that sounds like it belongs on Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Take It Back isn’t particularly likeable either. A standard, rollicking blues tune that just doesn’t stand out. 

However, the rest of the album is full of fire and a lot of inspired playing. Even less notable songs World of Pain and Dance the Night Away stand out because of their atypical psychadelic nature. These are ominous songs that are absolutely not your typical blues numbers. World of Pain labors along with its textured guitar and lumbering basslines. The slow drum fill bridge to the chorus even sounds labored, and the chorus ends as suddenly as it begins and the song seems to be drifting along once again. Eric Clapton’s guitar is very textured in this song, and when he gets the chance to solo, it is not over the top, just remains within the song. This song is soon over and Dance the Night Away enters with Clapton’s simple, twangy guitar line and Jack Bruce’s psychadelic vocals. This is a somewhat dark, trippy, psychadelic song, and just when some major chords enter, the song returns to its ominous, building roots. 

Tales of Brave Ulysses, Swlabr, and We’re Going Wrong may be the best run of songs on the album, though. We’re Going Wrong is one of the real highlights, a song with a real dark atmosphere. Jack Bruce’s vocals tremble as Baker drives the song to its climax with his constantly looming toms. Clapton is almost nonexistant, simply playing over the same ominous chords the whole time. This is a stunningly simple song, yet it is also incredibly effective with its dark, ominous build to the apex. 

Although there are some definite throwaways/filler, Disraeli Gears is a must-hear album. These are blues songs the likes of which hadn’t been seen before, because Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton, and Ginger Baker knew how to take a very simple musical form and twist it into an unusually powerful and psychadelic form….by…BronYrAur ….


One of those albums that any fan of psychedelia needs to here. Excellent songwriting combined with excellent musicians. 
Jack Bruce’s smooth vocals are one of my favorite parts of the album, and Ginger Baker’s drumming is stunning throughout the album. Eric Clapton’s playing and guitar tones are great, but I was a bit offput by some of the “recycled” riffs, and I’m not a big fan of the double-tracked guitars, but the music is nevertheless great. I feel the last two songs, while solid songs (with “Mother’s Lament” being a humorous spoken-word type anecdote), detract from the psychedelia of the rest of the album. 
“Strange Brew” starts the album with some stylish warnings about seduction, and features a guitar riff that will be used a few more times. “Sunshine of Your Love” is of course a classic, and “Tales of Brave Ulysses” might remind you a bit of “White Room,” but I think my favorite song is “Outside Woman Blues.” This quick, but hard-hitting blues song shows the band in top form. Jack’s vocals gives us some very smooth blues and a solid bassline, Clapton gives a sharp rhythm with that assured, almost cocky fuzzy blues riff to finish off Jack’s vocal phrases. Ginger’s drumwork is amazing–he does a machine gun-type drum run under Jack’s singing, and his fills match a musical scale as he uses different-pitched toms. The entire band meshes together perfectly. 
Nine of eleven songs on here could be considered masterpieces. It’s a shame this album is barely over half an hour long. I was once a fledgling fan of psychedelia when I heard this album, and I fell in love with it. This goes as one of the top five or so psychedelic albums that should be considered an essential experience….by…briank67….~


The first record of the “sacred triumvirate” was recorded in the summer of '66, and released in November of the same year. Less than a year after the trio enters the studio again to record their new work: Disraeli Gears. The latter is a disk certainly more elaborate and full of ideas than the first. If we want to make a small digression, surely our three musicians have taken various cues (for reasons that we will see shortly) from the then emerging, indeed, exploding, hippie culture and above all psycho 60s, have elaborated it putting in their acquaintance of Brit Rock, and have released an album that, although it is not totally in line with the canonical standards of the beloved discs from “Disraeli Gearsit’s a particular album, as we mentioned before, for many reasons. First of all Cream’s second work was recorded in May 1967 at Atlantic Studios in New York. If, normally, knowing the location of recording studios has a relative importance and can be relegated, more or less, to mere intellectual curiosity, in this specific case it is fundamental, because the producer of the record is American, and also helps our Anglo-Saxons in the drafting of texts. We also consider that the Cream come into the studio after shooting a little 'all the "New World” to promote Fresh Cream. In fact, the triumvirate returns to record after their ninth concert on American soil, the last of a series that took place at Murray the K’s “Music in 5th Dimension”. This means that Jack Bruce and his companions have had the opportunity to touch the American political situation, to get in touch with the hippie culture, the psychedelic sounds and colors of which it boasts and to come, to some extent (as we will see will be purely in terms of composition / text), infected. Wanting to begin telling the story of the cream of American history, it began in March 1967; the three English are invited to play for ten days at the Murray K Show in New York. The creator of the show was planning to do as many shows as possible in the time frame of one hour, influence the audience and hit him so you can get more dates for his show, but the shows are practically a fiasco, and after performing in front of a half-empty RKO Theater most of the time, Murray decided to use the theater’s PA system for the shows, and informed the artists that they had to take part in his show not to bring their own equipment. Only after their arrival at New Your Cream were informed of the absence of an audio system inside the theater. Fortunately, one of these artists, perhaps out of suspicion, perhaps for personal tranquility or perhaps both, had chosen to ignore Murray’s directive and had brought his equipment with him and made it available to the Cream for all ten dates. Shortly thereafter, the group closed for eleven days (The popular myth wants the album to be recorded in only three days, but in reality it was recorded between 8 and May 19) in the Atlantic Studios of Manhattan to record Disraeli Gears. Regarding the title, we know that it is a word game, created by a Roadie. Both Clapton and Baker have repeatedly told the story of this title during their interviews: “One day while we were driving, we were talking to each other about naming the new record. We tried to think of names of any kind, from the news, up to things like "Elephant Gerald” (Ella Fitzgerald) and press on “Disraeli Gears”, a pun on the English word for “racing bikes” that have gears with derailleur . It started as a joke. Mick Turner, one of the roadies, was discussing with the drummer, Ginger Baker, about one of those motorcycles with “Disraeli gears”. It meant, of course, chain change, but the band found the hilarious mistake and so we decided that that would be the title of our second album “. The recording was produced by Felix Pappalardi, who in the future would become the bassist of Mountain and who also collaborated on the writing of two of the eleven songs that will give life to the second studio-album of the British trio. Fresh Cream, their first album, had been a hasty and a bit too "purist” collection of the rules and curiosities of the blues, and as such already in 1966 had not been considered in step with what was happening around them. “I Feel Free” had hinted at the lysergic-savage underground current, but the Cream had just formed and still had to find their size. If it is true that the different influences of the three had prevented them to fully express their potential in Fresh Cream, it is equally true that in Disraeli Gears those same character and stylistic differences will allow the band to express themselves fully and develop the characteristic sound that has elevated them to the “divinity” of the blues / psychedelic-rock. Meanwhile, Clapton had made friends with the Australian artist Martin Sharp, who not only provided the band with the lyrics of “Tales Of Brave Ulysses”, but also created the beautifully baroque and psychedelic artwork at the same time, which will make it famous and which will bring Disraeli Gears into the Olympus of the most beautiful and popular rock artwork. Simultaneously with this fortuitous encounter, Jack Bruce was working with the underground poet, Pete Brown, author of some of the texts on the record; this is already well understand why the product that came out of those recordings was clearly high-level, and exceeded the band’s debut of different lengths. The other creative catalyst was, as we said earlier, producer Felix Pappalardi, co-writing both of World Of Pain and Strange Brew. Regarding this last piece, Pappalardi is credited with helping the band to transform the blueswailing “Lawdy Mama” into the “elastic” Strange Brew (a competitor for the best opening song of all time). Clapton’s guitar, which after being exposed to the heavy styling effects of Jimi Hendrix and its heavy use of wah-wah, gives Disraeli Gears the “right amount of quirks” making this record perhaps the most experimental LP I’ve ever done. The trendy inclusion (for the time) of Ginger Baker’s rendition in “Mother’s Lament” is the icing on the cake, which serves to consecrate this record as a “milestone” of blues-rock and more generally of rock history ….~


Cream’s debut album, Fresh Cream, was a creative fusion of rock and blues that gained the band a worldwide following. A year later “Sunshine Of Your Love” blasted from speakers all over the world and their popularity would ascend into the stratosphere. They would quickly become one of the best known and most popular bands in rock history. 

Disraeli Gears, released in early December of 1967, would move the band in a psychedelic rock direction and fit the music of the late sixties perfectly. It would be their break through release in The United States as it sold millions of copies. 

The albums cover art, created by Australian Martin Sharp who also co-wrote “Tales Of Brave Ulysses,” is some of the best ever produced. It is the main reason that for me vinyl LP’s, at least visually, remain superior to CD’s. 

The name of the album is another matter. Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker were discussing a racing bicycle when one of their roadies commented that it has “Disraeli Gears” when the correct term was derailleur gears. Clapton and Baker thought it was so funny they used it as the title for this album. 

Four of the five songs on side one of the original release are just about perfect psychedelic rock. “Strange Brew” has odd harmonies and Albert King type riffs by Clapton. “Sunshine Of Your Love,” which was a hugely successful single, remains one of the classic rock tunes of the psychedelic era. The opening riffs, the tone of the sound, and a signature solo make it one of Clapton’s must hear performances. “World Of Pain” has some guitar-bass interplay by Clapton and Bruce that is some of the best ever created inside a power trio. “Dance The Night Away,” complete with lyrical metaphors, matches the best of what was being released at the time. “The only miss was “Blues Condition” which was written and unfortunately sung by Ginger Baker. Nothing bad but after the first four tracks it was a bit of a let down. 

Side two of the original release started out very strong. “Tales Of Brave Ulysses” finds Clapton using a wah-wah guitar sound for the first time. I have always liked the hard rock sound of “SWLABR.” It was short for “She Walks Like A Bearded Rainbow.” It is a direction I wish they could have explored a lot more. 

The traditional blues tune, “Outside Woman Blues,” by Blind Joe Reynolds returned the group to their early blues fusion sound. “Take It Back” is the Jack Bruce show as he wrote the song, provided the lead vocal, and contributes some hot harmonica playing. 

Disraeli Gears is a five star album in every respect. It is one of the signature releases in rock history as it catches Cream at the height of their powers. It is essential listening for any fan of rock ‘n’ roll….by….David Bowling…..~


While I’ve often said I’d love to hop into the time machine and jump back to the Swinging Sixties to engage in free love and unrestricted smoking, I would have to impose certain conditions. 

First, I’d simply have to change the color scheme. Jeez, will ya look at the Disraeli Gears album cover?!! Obviously the result of bad acid, too much acid or a combination of the two. Hot pink, neon orange and chartreuse are simply not my colors, nor can I imagine whose colors they would be. Only after looking at the colors on Disraeli Gears, Axis: Bold as Love and dome of the other cover art from the period can you truly appreciate what The Beatles did for fashion, taste and mental health with the cover of The White Album. 

Second, I’d have to implement certain limitations on the recording producers and engineers of the time, restricting their excessive use of experimental panning, which became a too-frequent occurrence once stereos became the norm. It drives me crazy that Ginger Baker’s drums on Disraeli Gears are always panned to the right channel instead of their proper position in dead center. When you have a drummer with eleven arms and four legs capable of complete command of the drum kit, you want it dead center to increase the stereo effect of the variegated sounds of cymbals, snare, toms and bass. Shit, the other two guys are so good there’s no way Ginger’s going to dominate the proceedings, so let the skinny guy shine! 

Even with the questionable engineering choices and the horrid cover, Disraeli Gears remains a superb album, fifty-or-so years after its release. Clapton has a few good turns at the mike and on the fretboard, Jack Bruce sings and plays with confidence and command, vocals and, even if Ginger is sitting in the wrong place in my headphones, his drumming is super. 

“Strange Brew” is a perfect opener, in part because it’s so disarming, in part because it’s so well executed, and in part because it’s so flat out sexy. It’s always on one of my fuck playlists on my boudoir iPod because if that groove doesn’t get you in the mood, you’d better see your doctor or your shrink. Clapton dominates this song, playing both lead and rhythm guitar with perfect restraint and delivering a smooth lead vocal marked by frequent glides up to his falsetto range (where he sings better anyway). The music is derivative, but I love the lyrics (written by producer Felix Pappalardi and his wife, so I’ll forgive him in part for his panning dogma): 

She’s a witch of trouble in electric blue, 
In her own mad mind she’s in love with you. 
With you. 
Now what you gonna do? 

My research indicates that “Strange Brew” was a modest hit, but “Sunshine of Your Love” was a monster. One has to give credit to the listening public of the time for getting into a song with such sophistication. The famous riff is hardly one of your out-of-the-box runs, and Ginger Baker’s drumming (emphasizing beats one and three instead of two and four in the early verses) defies expectations. Jack Bruce, still one of the most underrated lead vocalists in history, delivers a killer vocal with the right amount of heat and passion, to say nothing of his command of the bass. And Clapton, well, Clapton just kills it here, with his now iconic “woman tone” and a lead guitar solo based on the old standard “Blue Moon” that takes the song to another level. Needless to say, this is another fabulous accompaniment to the erotic arts.
“World of Pain” represents a shift from the sexual to the meditative, a transition that Cream handles with ease. The decision to alternate lead vocals between Bruce on the main verses and Clapton on the transition was frigging brilliant, as it gives the song a melancholy quality that strengthens the image of that lonely, single tree “as it stands in the grey of the city.” Ginger Baker demonstrates here than he can do finesse as well as frantic. 

It’s followed by “Dance the Night Away,” which turns out to be nothing more than a slot-filler, but fortunately Ginger Baker steps to the mike in the next song, “Blue Condition.” He doesn’t have much of a voice, but it’s perfect for this morose song in the way that Ringo’s limited vocal capacity was perfect for the songs assigned to him on Beatle albums. 

“Tales of Brave Ulysses” is Cream in their psychedelic mood, with Clapton demonstrating his new toy, the wah-wah pedal. This is more of a period piece, one of those 60’s songs with apparently meaningful lyrics loaded with symbolic images that people probably tripped out over while consuming various illegal substances. It’s certainly a compelling bit of music, but too ornate for this girl. Much better is “Swlabr,” the B-side to “Sunshine of Your Love.” Here the band gets to kick some ass and Jack Bruce delivers a spirited vocal. The title is an acronym for “She Walks Like a Bearded Rainbow,” so it fits the 60’s ethic of strange combinations very nicely. 

Next is “We’re Going Wrong,” a track that is worthwhile primarily for Ginger Baker’s drumming. His precision patterns and ability to respond to the song’s varying dynamics are proof he worked pretty well with less-than-inspiring material. 

It wouldn’t be a Cream album with at least one tip of the hat in the direction of the blues, so we have “Outside Woman Blues” up next. Of course, Clapton dominates, more with the tones and precision of his guitar work than his vocal. Clapton was a seriously anal lead guitarist during this era, searching for the right tone and notes with the same level of obsession that Flaubert applied to his search for “le mot juste.” The obsession certainly creates a clear and distinctive style, but there are times when I’d like to hear him fuck up a bit just to let us know he’s human. 

But I love his picking in the opening riff of “Take It Back,” a song perfectly designed for Jack Bruce’s vocal range, timbre and incredible ability to nail the mood of each and every word in a line. The party atmosphere background reinforces our image of the Swinging Sixties as one big acid-laced, fluid-dripping party, and give us the impression that the band members were able to put aside ongoing tensions in their relationships and have a good time. That perception is reinforced by “Mother’s Lament,” a wicked bar song about a baby getting sucked down the drain that all three sing with great gusto. 

Cream left the scene way too soon, with only four studio albums to their credit. Unfortunately, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker were the Noel and Liam Gallagher of their time, in constant conflict. Clapton never showed much hesitation about ending relationships that weren’t working for him, so there wasn’t a lot of glue there to hold them together. While it’s certainly not uncommon for group dynamics to go sour in a band (just ask Yoko!), these guys had rare complementary talents that begged for at least one or two more collaborative efforts. 
Sigh. Well, at least we have what we have. And maybe someday they’ll release a super deluxe version of Disraeli Gears … in solid black……By altrockchick ….~


Such a huge lot of classic albums came out in 1967 that I even feel a little scared. I mean, there are probably more records from 1970 or 1971 in my collection, but it’s when I glare at my 1967 records that I kinda feel awe for them. Sgt Pepper? Satanic? The Who Sell Out? Surrealistic Pillow? The Doors’ first two albums? Aw, man, now these are the cookies. And right towards the end of that year we also get Disraeli Gears to top it off… 
Jack’s pop inclinations, Eric’s blues legacy and the Summer of Love’s psychodelic atmosphere meet together on this album to produce eleven classic tracks.Well, ten classic tracks: the eleventh one is just a short vocal ditty called 'Mother’s Lament’. It has groovy lyrics but nothing else (in the literal sense - the band members sing accapella and their voices aren’t that angelic in the first place) and was probably tacked on to the end because the fellows had nothing else to do. But the other ten tracks can’t be beat. This was the peak of Clapton’s experimentation in the studio (he was apparently being spurred on by Hendrix), and this, combined with Jack’s and Ginger’s magnificent technique and Bruce/Brown’s skillful songwriting, produces marvelous effects. 
The record still sees a couple generic blues numbers, which people often like to complain about. But in this case 'generic’ never means 'unlistenable’: after all, 'Outside Woman Blues’, the track which bores the most listeners, is a huge improvement over the insecure blues-pop of 'Four Until Late’. It’s tough, upbeat and really mature even compared to Eric’s Bluesbreakers days: notice, for instance, how steadily and untrivially they construct the main riff to the song. But the main innovation of the record, of course, is transforming pure blues into magical, shimmering psycho-blues: 'Strange Brew’ is a typical example, with Eric delighting in his newly-found 'woman tone’ and Jack switching his clumsy whiny voice for a delicious heavenly falsetto (acid, acid, acid again…) I tell you, this, to me, is a sound far preferrable to even the uncompromised leaden blues of Led Zep as used on, say, 'You Shook Me’, simply because it took a lot more intelligence and creativity to produce such a sound: lovely and sweet, but sharp and menacing at the same time, and the surrealistic lyrics, dealing with a dangerous witch who’s in love with you, suit the tune one hundred percent. Or why not take 'SWLABR’ (which is short for 'She Walks Like A Bearded Rainbow’, not that it makes any more sense), a song built around a fast'n'furious heavy riff and also featuring the good sides in Jack’s voice; note the great change in tone in lines like 'Coming to me in the morning/Leaving me… ALOOONE!’, where he changes key so subtly and unexpectedly I’m always taken aback. 
The pure psycho numbers, without a direct blues influence, are even more effective, especially 'Dance The Night Away’ with Eric’s masterful soaring guitars introducing every next chorus. Man, how DOES he do that? He sounds as if he’s flying right up there in the air - over our shoulders! And what a sad thing it is that he never milked that rainbow-tinged, heavenly guitar sound again; this is the closest he ever came to shove off the burden of the Earth off his shoulders. And if it’s too joyful and light-hearted to you, you’re welcome to a darker, almost proto-gothic epic: 'Tales Of Brave Ulysses’ the lyrics to which seem to have been the blueprint for ninety-nine percent of Pete Sinfield lyrics, with sirens, sparkling waves, leaden winters and, of course, the tiny purple fishes. HEY! DON’T YOU GO FORGETTING THE TINY PURPLE FISHES! Me, I love tiny purple fishes, though I guess I ain’t ever seen one. Maybe that’s why I’m so fond of the song, but, more probably, it is due to the ferocious interplay between Bruce’s steady bass riff and Eric’s multitracked wah-wahs: a true symphony of sound, all thanks to Eric’s masterful overdubbing techniques. 
On the melancholic side, 'World Of Pain’ and (especially) the majestic, deeply depressing 'We’re Going Wrong’ add a touch of sadness and pessimism to the record - but it’s not the realistic terror coldness of Jefferson Airplane, rather a 'cosmic’ feeling of sorrow that’s moving and majestic at once. Surprisingly, quite a few people out there hate 'We’re Going Wrong’! What a shame! This has to be Jack Bruce’s stellar hour - he’s singing a rather complicated vocal melody, and he sings it quite fine. It’s more or less structured like a draggy, repetitive mantra, but Baker’s gargantuan drumrolls and Eric’s angry guitar tone are anything but mantraic… huh. 
The best known song, of course, is 'Sunshine Of Your Love’, and it’s really less of a psycho number than most of the others: it’s one of the first real heavy Brit rock numbers (can you imagine Led Zep without hearing this one?), and it also features the arguably most famous riff in rock'n'roll history (only 'Smoke On The Water’ can probably defy its popularity). At least it should certainly be included in the Golden Dozen. I used to hate this song when I was a child and hated all hard rock with a passion, but I grew up and so did my tastes. Which actually means that it isn’t a bad song at all. In fact, it’s downright great. Damn, this whole album is great. I even recently softened towards Baker’s 'Blue Condition’, the one track on here I always thought of as fillerish, cuz it’s so slow and Baker mumbles under his nose as if he wasn’t interested. But now I understand that it’s just part of the song’s overall charm; it’s still not as impressive as the rest, but makes a decent side closer. 
Now let me just tell you this - it’s Disraeli Gears and no other record that should be considered the real symbol of flower power and all of these things. Have you seen the album cover? Damn aplenty! It’s groovy, with all those flowers in every corner and the band with frizzed hair and painted guitars. One of the best cases of album cover/songs immaculately matching each other. Whoever made such an album? Jefferson Airplane? Nah, they were too heavy in acid, so they emphasized the real dark side of it. The Beatles? Nah, they were too light in acid, so they made a couple of Flower Power ditties like 'Lucy In The Sky’ and quit. Pink Floyd? They weren’t trippy at all, they were cosmic lunatics. Hendrix? Don’t make me laugh! No, Disraeli Gears is the album to have if you really want to know what Flower Power was all about. And forget that San Francisco crap like After Bathing At Baxter’s! Why don’t you go listen to some good music?…..~


Rock ‘n’ roll, classic Clapton solos, blues, psychedelia… this album has it all 
Rock ‘n’ roll, classic Clapton solos, blues, psychedelia… this album has it all. In his own right, Eric Clapton remains a household name of British rock, but Cream, a power-trio made up of Clapton, Jack Bruce (bassist/vocalist) and Ginger Baker (drummer) seems a lesser known entity today. Formed in 1966, the band acted as the back drop for Clapton’s apparently egocentric musical endeavours. Clapton himself admits that during the sixties he considered himself some sort of British blues saviour. Arrogant and young he may have been but the results are timeless. 

When Disraeli Gears was released in 1967, Clapton had already established himself as a talented performer, beginning his musical career as a guitarist in The Yardbirds in the early sixties and later with John Mayall’s Blues Breakers. I suppose I can’t call all of the songs on the album ground breaking- British blues during the sixties was in its heyday and some of the songs on the album are so Chicago blues (Take it Back, Outside Woman Blues), they could be considered unoriginal by die-hard blues fans. However, the album successfully fuses British heavy rock, psychedelia and blues in a way that few others could pull off and as a result, the album really is progressive. If you want proof of genius song-writing and Clapton’s talent, listen to the opening riff of 'Sunshine of Your Love’ - a legendary bit of guitar playing.
Blues inspired it may be, but Disraeli Gears is an admiring nod to great American bluesmen such as Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, as well as an exploration of the world of psychedelic-rock. Songs like 'Strange Brew’ remain a personal favourite and the sheer musical talent of the band continues to astonish me. Acceptance and development of the American blues movement, among which there were some renowned musicians, brought to Britain a whole new approach to making music and it is thanks to bands like Cream and musicians such as John Mayall that blues prospered in Britain. For these reasons and many more, Disraeli Gears should be hailed as one of the best albums to come out of the sixties and indeed, all of rock history…..by Claire Castle….~


What does it sound like?: 

Make no mistake, 1967 was an exciting time to be alive. And it was an even better time to be alive if you were living in London, then the white-hot epicentre of a youth-driven cultural revolution that saw an unprecedented flourishing in art, music and fashion. 

Musically speaking 1967 was Year Zero for psychedelia, the British Blues Boom, acid folk and, whisper it, heavy metal. Forget 1971, THIS was the year we saw massively important, career-defining albums by the Beatles, Stones, Velvet Underground, Donovan, Zappa, the Incredible String Band and countless others. If that weren’t enough, we also got the debut LP by a new band named Pink Floyd and no less than two life-changing albums from Jimi Hendrix. An embarrassment of riches you might say. Then, in November 1967, as the flickering embers of the summer of love were about to be extinguished and we thought things couldn’t get much better, we got arguably the album of the year: Cream’s Disraeli Gears. 

Cue Kenneth Wolstenholme: 1967? They think it’s all over! It is now! 

Discounting live LPs and leftover compilations, Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker released just three full albums during their short, two-and-a-half-year tenure together as rock’s first supergroup. Their much-anticipated debut Fresh Cream arrived in late 1966 and while it was certainly a breakthrough album in many ways (the seeds of heavy rock can be found here), it was basically just their stage act committed to vinyl. The sleeve photo was dull and in a nod to a rapidly fading era, Fresh Cream even contained some self-conscious sleeve notes on the back. Without a hint of irony, we were told that Eric Clapton “Epitomises all that is ‘blues’. From far shores he is hailed as brilliant, and he is truly a great guitarist and personality. Originally a rustic, Eric pursued his musical ideas and became a figurehead with The Yardbirds and John Mayall”. To this day, I still have no idea what “Originally a rustic” means. Of course, even as Fresh Cream hit the stores a young American guitarist landed in London and prepared to lay waste to the British rock scene. Jimi had arrived. 

Until Hendrix burst on the London scene, Cream had been kings of all they surveyed, but that was about to change. Jeff Beck, Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton and all the other British guitar pretenders were instantly forced onto the back foot by Jimi’s arrival. Hendrix was doing things with the guitar that their inbuilt British reserve simply wouldn’t allow them to do. Playing behind his head, dry-humping it and even setting fire to the thing. Jimi was cool enough to get away with such antics, but well-bred English art school boys, no matter how talented, were simply too inhibited to throw caution to the wind like that. It was time for a rethink. 

Psychedelia was in the air in early 1967 and everyone, including Jimi, was caught up and swept along in the acid-tinged undertow. But in what now looks like a shameless attempt to copy Hendrix, Clapton permed his hair and along with Jack and Ginger, jettisoned his jeans and buckskin jackets in favour of the latest far-out King’s Road threads. Eric and Jack also had their guitars hand-painted by the Dutch art collective known as The Fool, known for their work with the Beatles. 

It was this new dandified Cream that went to New York’s Atlantic studios in April 1967 to record their second album. Although their manager Robert Stigwood had been credited as producer on Fresh Cream his involvement was minimal and almost certainly more administrative than musical. What’s more their debut had been recorded jointly at a Chalk Farm rehearsal room and a tiny studio above a chemist shop in Mayfair (which they couldn’t use within shop hours because of the noise). This time around they planned to get serious. With legendary engineer Tom Dowd at the controls they brought in a young producer named Felix Pappalardi. Roughly the same age as the band members, Pappalardi didn’t have a lot of big-name experience, his only production of note before this being the debut album by the Youngbloods, but he was a talented musician and arranger and Atlantic boss Ahmet Ertegun felt he could work well with the British band. Pappalardi ended up with two co-writing credits on the album. It should be remembered that Cream were signed to Atlantic records in the USA as part of the label’s move away from their black soul/R&B roots into the burgeoning white rock market. Within a year or two Atlantic would sign Led Zeppelin, Yes and other hugely successful rock/prog bands. 

The recordings got off to a poor start when Ahmet Ertegun described Sunshine Of Your Love as “psychedelic hogwash”. Ertegun had originally been attracted to Clapton’s Beano Album blues guitar playing and was under the mistaken impression that Cream was Eric’s new band and he was the leader. We can only imagine how this went down with Jack and Ginger. 

The first track to be recorded was the blues standard Lawdy Mama with Ertegun himself as producer. This didn’t turn out as planned, so Felix Pappalardi took over for the rest of the two recording sessions running over just six days in April/May 1967. 

Pappalardi took the tapes of Lawdy Mama and with new lyrics by his wife Gail Collins, got Clapton to overdub a revised vocal and add some Albert King style guitar lines. The result was the album’s powerful opening track Strange Brew. Issued as a single in June 1967, five months before the album was released, it scraped into the UK top 20. Despite this promising start, Jack Bruce was never really happy with Strange Brew pointing out that the slight change in the chord progression had thrown his pre-recorded bass line out of kilter. Hardly anyone but Jack appeared to notice, however. 

Guitarist note: Strange Brew was the first time we got to hear Clapton’s famous “woman tone” a deliciously liquid guitar distortion obtained by rolling all the treble off the neck pickup of his psychedelic Gibson SG and playing it through an overdriven Marshall amp. Soon guitarists across the land would be falling over themselves to copy Clapton’s signature “woman tone”, just as they had when he popularised the Gibson Les Paul on the Beano Album. 

With scarcely time to digest the majesty of Strange Brew it’s straight into track two and possibly the most famous Cream track of them all. Mostly written by Jack Bruce and Cream’s in-house lyricist Pete Brown, with additions by Eric Clapton, Sunshine Of Your Love features one of rock’s timeless guitar riffs and a great co-vocal from Eric and Jack. And, yet along with Stairway To Heaven and the other overplayed rock anthems, it long ago achieved peak saturation status on classic rock radio. Familiarity may have bred contempt for many but I’m one who will always turn up the car radio whenever Sunshine Of Your Love comes on. This track has survived numerous and diverse cover versions over the years, from Ella Fitzgerald’s 1968 big band jazz take, via Frank Zappa’s 1988 irreverent Thing-Fish-style patois version, to Santana’s ill-conceived heavy metal hatchet job on the album Guitar Heaven in 2010. None of them came within a country mile of the Disraeli Gears original. Listen to the way Ginger’s loose, swaggering drum pattern cuts across that stiff, wooden guitar riff and show me another rock anthem to compare with this. 

World Of Pain is the second Felix Pappalardi/Gail Collins co-composition. Light on substance, it’s rescued by Eric’s backwards wah-wah guitar and some massive drumming from Ginger. Likewise, the pop psych of Dance The Night Away would be a throwaway track in the hands of any another band, but the sheer musicianship of Cream saves the day. 

Blue Condition is Ginger’s only writing credit on the album and to the dismay of many (even at the time), he elected to sing it as well. Just like Ringo with the Beatles, Ginger was allowed a song or two on every Cream outing, no matter how, er, unusual the results. This one is not quite up there with Pressed Rat and Warthog from Wheels Of Fire but it’s close. The deluxe edition of Disraeli Gears features an alternate take of Blue Condition with Eric on vocals which works much better. 

With music by Clapton and lyrics by Australian artist Martin Sharp, side two kicks off with Tales Of Brave Ulysses the third absolute stone cold classic track on the album. The story goes that Sharp wrote the lyrics as a poem in Greece en route overland from Australia to the UK. In London he met with Eric Clapton at the Speakeasy club and give him the poem written on a napkin. Eric loved it and added music to it. Voilà, the psychedelic wah-wah extravaganza that is Tales of Brave Ulysses was born. I suspect something like that wouldn’t happen today. Sharp also did the eyewatering Day-Glo sleeve artwork for Disraeli Gears and the follow-up Wheels Of Fire as well as the first album by Ginger Baker’s Airforce. The descending chord sequence of Ulysses gives full rein to Jack Bruce’s blood and thunder bass work which sits perfectly alongside Eric’s snaking wah-wah lines. 

SWLABR is next up and the hits just keep on coming. This Bruce/Brown full-tilt rocker with a killer double tracked solo from Eric appeared as the B-side of the Sunshine Of Your Love single which reached top five in the US, but barely made the top 30 in the UK. For decades we thought that SWLABR was an acronym for “She Walks Like a Bearded Rainbow”, but Jack Bruce later remarked that the W stood for “Was” rather than “Walks” and this corrected title was also referenced by Pete Brown in a 2006 interview. 

The slow minor key psychedelic drone of We’re Going Wrong is the only Jack Bruce track on the album written without Pete Brown. The slow pace of the song is belied by Ginger’s drumming, which is frenetic throughout and when performed live, played on timpani with mallets. This was a highlight of the 2005 Cream reunion concerts. 

Outside Woman Blues is an old Arthur Reynolds song dating back to 1929. It’s unrecognisable here though as it receives the full fat Cream heavy rock makeover in the same way that Crossroads would the following year. Eric is in top form here and the compression is turned up to eleven as he delivers an epic paint-stripping wah-wah guitar solo. Another nailed-on classic track. 

We’re on the home stretch now and Take It Back sounds like it might have been at home on Jack’s first solo album Songs For A Tailor. No guitar solos to speak of here, just harmonica and plenty of party noises in the background, a la Dylan’s Rainy Day Women #12 & 35. 

And so to the last song Mother’s Lament. It must have seemed like a great wheeze at the time, but this boozy, sub-Chas & Dave piano-led Cockney knees-up was never more than the flimsiest of throwaway tracks and really doesn’t belong on an album of this importance. One of the greatest albums of 1967 ends not with a bang, but a whimper. 

I know you’ve been wondering about that album title, so here’s what Ginger had to say about it. “You know how the title came about – Disraeli Gears – yeah? We had this Austin Westminster (car), and Mick Turner was one of the road crew who’d been with me a long time, and he was driving along. Eric Clapton was talking about getting a racing bicycle. Mick, driving, went ‘Oh yeah – Disraeli gears!’ meaning Derailleur gears…We all just fell over…We said “that’s got to be the album title””. 

What does it all *mean*? 

50 years on, this album sounds as fresh and vital as the day it was recorded. 

Goes well with… 

All the other Cream albums 

Might suit people who like… 

Great musicianship and lots of guitar……..by Johnny Concheroo ……..~ 


Cream Disraeli Gears 1967 Uk Psych Blues Rock 100 Greatest Psychedelic Records Record Collector) (500 Greatest Albums All Of Time Rolling Stone)If you’re going to just buy one Cream album (aside from a compilation), this is most likely your best bet. The blues is cut to a minimum (just the crappy “Outside Woman Blues” – “Strange Brew” is a little too poppy to really be considered blues), and the album instead concentrates on light psychedelia and pop. Oh, except for the riff-rocker “Sunshine of Your Love”, a total classic – even people who don’t listen to rock music will recognize that one. 
“Dance the Night Away” features far less in the way of rockin’ guitar leads than I’d expect from a song that shares its title with a Van Halen song that wasn’t written for another 11 years, but it’s still a pretty good listen. The only really crappy tune on here (aside from the blues song) is, you guessed it, the Ginger Baker song “Blue Condition”. Ugh, were these guys too high to notice how bad his songs are, or what? 
Speaking of the singing, is it me, or does the singing on “Tales of Brave Ulysses” sound a lot like Greg Lake? Anyway, other highlights include “SWLABR”, the hilarious acronym for 'she walks like a bearded rainbow’. And people wonder why the 60s are revered so much. Also, the album ends with the incredibly silly “Mother’s Lament”, which proves that for once the guys were able to take the piss out of themselves. Pretty good, and it’s only like a half-hour long, too! (maybe that’s why it’s good) 
Oh, you might not want to listen to this one through headphones – the crappy early-years-of-stereo production keeps the drums in the right channel. Thanks a whole lot, producer and future Mountain bassist Felix Pappalardi!…..~ 


 Disraeli Gears is so much tighter and less annoying than Fresh Cream. A lot of people tend to compare it to all the other 'way-out-there’ albums from 1967, like Sgt. Pepper and Satanic Majesties. And although Cream were acid rock, they weren’t weird at all except for their lyrics. I mean, is there anything weird about a blues jam? 
So whilst electric blues jams a la Cream were a brand new thing in 1967, I don’t hear a whole lot of 'acid weirdness’ on Disraeli Gears compared to other records from that year. Sure, the artwork is trippy, and their hair is fozzier than a bear, but don’t go into this expecting “Interstellar Overdrive” … they’re just going to play Fresh Cream again, but with much better songwriting. 
Things start off with the damn catchy “Strange Brew”. With its falsetto vocals, I wouldn’t really call it a blues, but it’s definitely blues/rock, with a nicely swinging groove. And I wouldn’t call the lyrics psychedelic - actually, the only psychedelic aspect of the song other than the high sighing vocals is the way the drums are way over in the right speaker, and Clapton keeps whacking that one chord in the riff, which is kind of acid. 
“Sunshine of Your Love” is one of Cream’s best songs. Still, that it’s just three guys playing sorta leaves a lot of air between the instruments - making it kinda hollow sounding - but that doesn’t mean I don’t like it! It was a tribute to Jimi Hendrix, who in turn used to cover it at his own concerts as a tribute to Cream. But wotta riff - definitely the first of those 'Hard Rock vocabulary’ riffs - bummer that it sounds so empty (that’s where Led Zeppelin totally whoops Cream’s butt, with their earth-moving heavy sound - make a riff sound like its going to eat my mama. Cream ain’t got enough of that stuff)……by….Capt Bonanza….~



This is Cream’s best studio album, and one of the best examples of blues and psychedelia too. 
In song after song Clapton shows that he was on top form with his distinct 'woman tone’ cranked-up guitar, as on the sustained soloing on “Swlabr”, and when he adds a wah-wah pedal, the result is some of his best work, such as “Tales of Brave Ulysses”. 
While what is arguably the album’s most well-known track, “Sunshine of Your Love”, is another example of the band’s excellent blues/rock, a distinct psychedelic influence is at work here, felt not only in Clapton’s solos, but in the striking imagery of some of the lyrics. 
The blues/rock is just as compelling, although Clapton’s “Strange Brew” does run into a chicken/egg problem when compared to his interpretation of the traditional “Outside Woman Blues”, as their basic riffs are very similar. 
With the exception of “Swlabr”, the Brown/Bruce compositions are merely good - the dreamy “Dance the Night Away”, and the joyous party atmosphere of “Take It Back” - and Bruce’s own “We’re Going Wrong” is a loud epic which builds but mysteriously lacks any payoff. 
Producer Felix Pappalardi, who - along with his wife Gail Collins - also co-/wrote “Strange Brew” and “World of Pain”, gave the album essentially the same production that he used for The Youngbloods - guitar in one channel, drums in another, soloing and vocals in the middle, with the bass in the back left. It’s pretty balanced, and allows the two more prominent instrumentalists room to play. 

The only downside is the one sluggish Baker spotlight called “Blue Condition”, and the Alfred Doolittle-ism of “Mother’s Lament”, which is the sort of thing that drunks gather 'round the piano to recite together. Still, Disraeli Gears is one of the best albums of the period, and a collection of great songs……~ 























Credits 
Eric Clapton 
lead vocals, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, 12-string guitar, vocals, songwriter, arranger 
Jack Bruce 
lead vocals, bass, harmonica, piano, vocals, songwriter, arranger 
Ginger Baker 
lead vocals, drums, percussion, vocals, songwriter, arranger 
Felix Pappalardi 
songwriter, producer 
Martin Sharp 
songwriter, cover art 
Tom Dowd 
recording engineer


1) Strange Brew 
2) Sunshine Of Your Love 
3) World Of Pain 
4) Dance The Night Away 
5) Blue Condition 
6) Tales Of Brave Ulysses 
7) SWLABR 
8) We’re Going Wrong 
9) Outside Woman Blues 
10) Take It Back 
11) Mother’s Lament



johnkatsmc5,the experience of music..

volume

volume

Fuzz

Fuzz

Analogue

Analogue

Cassette Deck

Cassette Deck

Akai

Akai

vinyl

vinyl

Music

Music

sound

sound

Hi`s Master`s Voice

Hi`s Master`s Voice

Vinyl

Vinyl

music forever

music forever

“A Revolutionary New Triumph in Tape” 1958

“A Revolutionary New Triumph in Tape” 1958

Dance

Dance

Crazy with music

Crazy with music

vinyl

vinyl