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on September 17, 2003
Fresh Cream was Cream's debut and the first of their three consecutive fantastic albums made while they were together. Although this is clearly their best blues statement with covers of Willie Dixon's "Spoonful" and the oft-covered Muddy Waters classic "Rollin' And Tumblin'", the album also points to the excellent songwriting of Disraeli Gears and the extensive jamming featured on Wheels Of Fire.

While there's no instant classic like "White Room" or "Sunshine Of Your Love" present here, Jack Bruce's collection of originals here are among the best he'd pen for the band whether it was the blues of "Sleepy Time Time", the excellent pop of "I Feel Free" and "Dreaming" or the short jamming "N.S.U.", which would lead to the improvisation of their live shows exhibited on Wheels Of Fire and their live albums. Bruce's bass playing is also very innovative throughout the album and he plays a mean harmonica on "A Cat's Squirrel" and "Rollin' And Tumblin." Ginger Baker's drumming is very powerful and innovative throughout, particularly on his compositions "Toad" and the excellent "Sweet Wine." While Eric Clapton didn't write any tracks here, his playing is outstanding, particularly on "Spoonful" and the Skip James tune "I'm So Glad." The band's performances of the cover tunes are very powerful with Jack Bruce truly making "Spoonful" his own with his excellent vocal performance. Simply a stunning debut from one of the best bands from the '60s. Highly recommended.
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on November 4, 1999
Fresh Cream is, in my opinion, the best Cream album. Not a single mediocre song here. This is probably one of the finest blues-rock albums ever recorded. Fresh Cream features none of the extravagance or psychedelia of their following albums. Just raw rocking blues. Is this album a classic? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, it's damn good music.
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I still remember discovering this album back in junior high school. I was walking down the sidewalk when I ran into my friend Jay, who was just coming back from the record store, waving a copy of Fresh Cream. "You gotta hear this!!" he said. "It's amazing!!" It was, too. Growing up with the R&B and melodic pop of the 50s and 60s, I'd never heard anything like the mix of electric country blues and psychedelia that was Cream. This is the album that introduced us to the extended guitar solo (and Eric Clapton's brilliant playing) as well as Jack Bruce's simple, yet perfect bass lines, and Ginger Baker's powerful, jazzy drumming. I bought the album, and the ones that followed. The next year I saw them live at Detroit's Olympia Stadium, and the year after that they broke up. That was 45 years ago (!) but this album is still an inspiration to me, and to an awful lot of contemporary rock musicians.
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on October 27, 2005
This is great music, don't get me wrong. But listening to this on stereo headphones, I can't help but complain how terrible this mix is. On pretty much all of the songs, the bass and drums are muddled together on one channel, while the vocals and the guitar (sometimes) and other random instruments such as tambourines and harmonica are split on the other channel at a much higher volume than the rhythm section. It's a travesty to Bruce and Baker. I would hope that someday this will be re-released in the same type of quality remaster that Columbia did with Dylan's catalogue. Once again, this is a great album. Probably the most concise and the one that front to back, holds together the best out of all the Cream albums. If you can put up with a bad mix, you will have no complaints.
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on July 29, 1999
Just recently Cream was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, amazing when they came out with only four albums. Fresh Cream was the first. The power trio of Eric Clapton, guitar god, Jack Bruce, great blues bassist, and Ginger Baker, best blues drummer ever, made an awesome team. Fresh Cream was the album to decide if they clicked musically. It was a great triumph. "I Feel Free" the opening track is a personal favorite as well as one of Cream greatest hits along with another track on the album Spoonful. A great blues-rock album is as such great songs as Cats Squirrel and the Muddy Waters classic Rollin' and Tumblin. Truly one of the greatest blues-rock albums of all time.
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on March 6, 2013
In about 1968 I read an article in Time about Cream and got together with a friend and took the train to NYC and went to Hunter College to see the group live on their first USA tour. They were great. I ran out and bought Disraeli Gears(spelling?), the recent release. We later went and bought Fresh Cream which had been out but nowhere near as big a hit. Sunshine of Your Love was on FM and there was no going back to I feel Free from album number 1. Anyway, this album is great. I Feel Free is a great tune, jazzy and all. More bluesy than the psychodelic second album. Great sound on the remaster. Nice booklet. What's not to like?
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on April 25, 2015
The three most recent US CD versions of Fresh Cream are, in order of release dates: the DCC, Those Were The Days 4CD set (TWTD) and Cream Remasters (CR). The DCC is now out of print.

The DCC has a lovely laminated CD booklet that matches the original U.S. stereo Atco SD 33-206 release in appearance, along with additional details such as master tape numbers and other recording details inside the booklet. The use of the Atco label didn’t please the current licence holder, Polygram. The front title of the album is surrounded by a rectangle in the DCC (as per the Atco cover - see above), rather than a liquid droplet as used for the UK Reaction 564001 cover - see below.
3 extra tracks have been appended to the original US track listing; these are Spoonful, Wrapping Paper and The Coffee Song. There is no mention of these extra tracks on the back of the DCC booklet. They are mentioned on the back of the tray insert, however, whereas the CR version has the original UK track listing (which added Spoonful between Sweet Wine and Cat’s Squirrel), the UK “teardrop” containing the front title, credits the current licensee (Polygram) and is not laminated. The TWTD and CR versions sound identical and will be treated in the same breath in a comparison with the DCC. The DCC has more bottom end, a more intelligible mid range (Jack Bruce’s vocals are much clearer and far less sibilant) and a smoother treble. This version sounds closer to what I imagine the master tape sounds like, simply because it sounds more like a band playing. The tracks, although “cut” at lower volumes than either TWTD or CR versions, have more dynamic range than the TWTD and CR versions, so take care with comparisons.

The recording of instruments and vocals is quite clear, but the multi-tracking of Eric’s guitars is very primitive and not terribly well balanced. The album was recorded at Mayfair Studios in the UK. In many ways, the production reminds me of early Beatles albums - stereo mixing had yet to be perfected and Cream didn't really get a reasonably balanced mix until Wheels Of Fire.

Musically, most of the songs are blues based tunes and extraordinarily well played. I’m not a fan of either Wrapping Paper or I Feel Free – neither even comes close to what was expected stylistically of Cream, nor of what they were capable of.

Original UK version Reaction 564001
Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "N.S.U." Jack Bruce 2:43
2. "Sleepy Time Time" Bruce, Janet Godfrey 4:20
3. "Dreaming" Bruce 1:58
4. "Sweet Wine" Ginger Baker, Godfrey 3:17
5. "Spoonful" Willie Dixon 6:30
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Cat's Squirrel" (instrumental) Traditional, arr. Cream 3:03
2. "Four Until Late" (Lead vocals: Eric Clapton) Robert Johnson, arr. Eric Clapton 2:07
3. "Rollin' And Tumblin'" Traditional 4:42
4. "I'm So Glad" Skip James 3:57
5. "Toad" (Instrumental) Baker 5:11

Original US version Atco SD 33-206
Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "I Feel Free" Bruce, Pete Brown 2:52
2. "N.S.U." Bruce 2:44
3. "Sleepy Time Time" Bruce, Godfrey 4:20
4. "Dreaming" Bruce 2:00
5. "Sweet Wine" Baker, Godfrey 3:18
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Cat's Squirrel" (instrumental) Traditional, arr. S. Splurge 3:03
2. "Four Until Late" (Lead vocals: Eric Clapton) Robert Johnson, arr. Eric Clapton 2:07
3. "Rollin' And Tumblin'" McKinley Morganfield 4:42
4. "I'm So Glad" Skip James 3:57
5. "Toad" (Instrumental)
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on March 8, 2007
Many think that this album is inferior compared to other Cream albums. This is my favorite Cream album, Clapton's guitar work is beyond compare. "Spoonful", "I Feel Free" and "Sweet Wine" show Clapton's talent as a top guitarist as well as his talent as a blues musician on blues songs "Sleepy Time Time", "I'm So Glad" and "Cats Squirrel" as well as his lead vocal on "Four until Late." Gingers drumming is also at its peak on his showpiece "Toad" as well as doing more than keeping time on "Sweet Wine" and others. Jack Bruce's range as a vocalist combined with his talent as a bass and harmonica player are shown on this album more than on any other Cream Album. Though many of the songs aren't original, they sound like no other band when coming from Cream. I would take this album over any other made by Cream, or any other band!
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on November 18, 2014
Indeed a classic album and will never be forgotten for as many reasons as it will be remembered. Right off the bat there are three of them- Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker. How's that for starters? Besides the Japanese limited edition of this disc, I also have the domestic release which varies slightly. There are two bonus tracks - "Wrapping Paper" and "The Coffee Song". They do not appear on the second and third pressings.This version of the disc includes their second single "I Feel Free" and it's b-side, "N.S.U." which had already been included on the original album anyway. Great blues, great rock and the vocals are the best. I guess thats why they are called CREAM! By the way, when they rereleased the domestic cd, they changed from Polydor to RSO records and the third pressing was on Atco. This first pressing on Polydor is extremely rare and long been out of print. If you can find it it would probably would cost a fortune.
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on February 6, 2014
This isn't just one of Cream's best albums- this and Wheels of Fire are their best studio albums- this is one of the best albums of all time. One of Clapton's best bands, there is an unbelievably diverse array of types of music and way those types can be played. This is music at its best.
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