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Cream - Fresh Cream Deluxe Edition album review

Album Review

First supergroup’s first album, with a plethora of additions both fan-pleasing and pointless

Expectations for Cream’s first album, at the end of 1966, were high within the flourishing British blues scene. Eric Clapton had already been proclaimed God while with John Mayall and both Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce had unimpeachable musical credentials, although die-hard blues fans had been somewhat nonplussed by Cream’s first two singles: the whimsical Wrapping Paper, and I Feel Free that reeked (and still reeks) of ‘Swinging London’.

Fresh Cream, however, fully justified Clapton’s description of the group: “blues ancient and modern”. There was nothing purist about Cream’s approach to the blues. Bruce and Baker’s jazzy rhythms and Clapton’s panoply of guitar tones and controlled feedback took the blues to another level, vividly illustrated by their six-and-a-half-minute version of Howlin’ Wolf’s two-and-a-half-minute Spoonful.

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