Unavailable in the U.S.! Import pressing of this collection from the British trio, the most comprehensive single-disc Cream compilation on the market. Despite the fact the group was mostly esteemed as a live, Blues-based extended-jams outfit that sometimes didn't know when to quit, most of the songs here are tuneful, concise studio tracks with Beatle-esque touches in the arrangements; it's hard to imagine how anybody could dismiss gems like 'White Room', 'Strange Brew' or 'Badge' as excessive. 20 tracks. Polydor.
The groundbreaking work of this British psychedelic-blues supergroup deserves more thorough study, but this 20-song compilation provides a useful overview for newcomers. Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, and Ginger Baker--virtuosos all--expanded the parameters of rock by incorporating a jazz sensibility into their distorted blues jams. This compilation mixes their odd original hits with a number of souped-up blues covers. The live version of Robert Johnson's "Crossroads" remains one of the greatest blues workouts a rock band has ever produced. Since Cream released only four albums, this set includesv most of the highlights, and it illustrates how Cream cast the seeds of heavy metal. -- Marc Greilsamer