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The BBC Sessions Extra tracks

4.0 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Product Description

22 live-in-the-studio performances by Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce, only two of which have been released before! Includes renditions of then-current singles like I Feel Free , previews of upcoming album tracks like Sunshine of Your Love and versions of concert favorites like Crossroads , all recorded between November 1966 and January 1968. A major find!

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Betwixt journeyman stints with the Yardbirds and John Mayall and decades of laurel-resting, guitar god Eric Clapton was but one competitive third of what remains rock's most compelling power trios. Cream's penchant for incendiary live excess was legendary, a fact that makes the release of these 22 live-in-studio recordings for the BBC (which span just over a year of the band's early, brief career) all the more interesting. Powered by Ginger Baker's complex rhythms and the kinetic bass lines and burnished vocals of Jack Bruce, Clapton's playing is focused and intense, with the trio bringing a pop-smart economy to its slate of over-amped blues ("Rollin' and Tumblin'," "Cat's Squirrel") and originals that veered from nascent pop-psychedelia ("Strange Brew," "Sunshine of Your Love") to music-hall kitsch ("Wrapping Paper," "Take It Back"). The tracks here--fully 20 of them previously unreleased--offer extensive contemporary live previews of Disraeli Gears and even more compelling early workouts of material that would appear on Wheels of Fire. Though the collection's four Clapton interview excerpts come at the expense of Baker and Bruce, their musical accomplishments here can't be denied. It's as taut and focused a primer on the oft-overblown world of '60s blues rock as one is likely to find. Cream, indeed. --Jerry McCulley
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 25, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks
  • Label: Polydor
  • ASIN: B00008NER6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,574 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By J. E FELL on March 26, 2003
Format: Audio CD
There have been rumors circulating about the release of this set for a number of years and I'm pleased that the "BBC Sessions" finally was officially released. This release helps to explain why no BBC material was included of the 4 cd box set "Those Were The Days" Some of the material included here has been widely available on bootlegs for years. However, there are some cuts included here that I have not seen on bootlegs. The inclusion of "Crossroads" which predates the released version and "Sunshine Of Your Love" are 2 such tracks. The rarities "Lawdy Mama" and the second version of "Steppin Out" have previously been released on Eric Clapton's "Crossroads" box set. The "BBC Sessions" illustrate what a diverse band Cream was during their brief existence. Tracks range from the pop of "I Feel Free" to the psychedelia of "Tales Of Brave Ulysses" to blues covers like "Rollin' and Tumblin" and the improvisational jamming in the instrumental "Steppin' Out". All the members were top musicians of their time and all contributed material for the band to record. Eric Clapton with his clean bluesy playing was an eye opening inspiration to young guitarists. He was reluctant to handle vocals during this time so the inclusion of Robert Johnson's "Four Until Late" is unexpected. Jack Bruce handled the majority of the vocals and songwriting. His harmonica playing is spotlighted on "Traintime". Bruce's bass playing was revolutionary at the time in that he freed the instrument from strictly being a member of the rhythm section. He often soloed over top of what Ginger Baker or Eric Clapton were playing. Drummer Ginger Baker along with Bruce had a background in jazz.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
As in many things, it's the misfortunes that end up being unforeseen treasure. Back in the sixties the state run British Broadcasting Corporation was limited to how many hours it could play phonographs because of feared sales loss in the shops, oddly like the internet debate in present time. To make up for their limited outside source they brought in the best musicians and performers of the day to record live versions of their material for the BBC to play. In what must be shelves and shelves of old tapes there has been, over the past decade or so, release after release of amazing and historical sessions recorded for BBC airplay have seen the light of day. Finally we have the much known about and much rumored release of Cream's trips to the Beeb and it is well worth the wait. The sessions display just how rapid the trio rose to prominence as the recordings all were recorded within 14 months of each other, but the band at the January 1968 session is much evolved from the blues band that first hit the airwaves in November 1966.
Cream were quite rightly rock's first supergroup and without a doubt lived up to the title. They were comprised of the "cream" of the British blues scene musicians with Eric Clapton (Yardbirds, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers) on guitar along with 2 Graham Bond Organization veterans in bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker. From the start they not only wanted to continue to pay tribute to the old blues masters they so longed to emulate but to bring the blues to new territory, which for them ended up being psychedelic pop and rock.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I had the pleasure of seeing Cream live in San Diego while they were on their farewell tour and have always enjoyed their music, so I was delighted when I saw this CD appear in amazon's listings and ordered it immediately.
OK, these are not the best recordings ever, but they are still good when you consider the circumstances under which they were made. There is a lot of "sound" that you hear on a studio recording that's just not here, but that's what happens when its live. Besides, the technology at that time was primitive compared with what's available today.
Since my favorite Cream albums are Disraeli Gears and Wheels of Fire, my favorite songs here come from those albums. The best of those are a driving rendition of Tales of Brave Ulysses, and stand-out performances of Born Under A Bad Sign, Outside Woman Blues, Politician, and SWALBR.
Eric Clapton does the talking on the short interview clips, but it is really Ginger Baker who stands out most here as he punishes his drum kit mercilessly and provides the thundering beat that is a Cream trademark.
If you were and are a fan of Cream, you should own this CD and hear Clapton, Bruce and Baker as they are rising to the top of the late 60s musical world.
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Format: Audio CD
This collection of songs recorded for the BBC are what Cream were really all about, that is, raw and exciting rock with a definate blues influence. The songs Cream recorded for the BBC are the way the group actually sounded live. The band is full of energy with Clapton, Bruce and Baker sounding as strong as ever. Clapton's guitar licks are amazing and Jack Bruce's five string bass style and vocals are top notch as are Ginger Baker's drumming. Some of the songs included in this BBC collection are from Clapton's early days with John Mayall & The Blues Breakers (Steppin' Out"), Cream's "Fresh Cream" album ("Sweet Wine", "Rollin' & Tumblin'", Cat's Squirrel", "I'm So Glad", "I Feel Free", "N.S.U.",and "Four Until late"), the "Disraeli Gears" album ("Strange Brew", "Tales Of Brave Ulysses", "Swlabr", "We're Going Wrong", "Outside Woman Blues", "Take It Back", and "Sunshine Of Your Love"), the "Wheels Of Fire" double album ("Politician", and "Crossraods")as well as their earliest songs in "Wrapping Paper" and "Lawdy Mama". These songs Cream recorded for the BBC are raw, and not quite the polished versions you'd hear on their albums. As a matter of fact the sound quality of certain songs is average at best, but don't let that stop you from hearing this amazing trio at their peak. Also included is a fifteen page booklet with interesting info. and rare pictures of the band. If you artists such as The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Doors, Steppenwolf, Blue Cheer, etc. then you'll love this recording. Highly recommended.
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