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Wheels Of Fire Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Live

4.6 out of 5 stars 164 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, April 7, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

Wheels of Fire topped Disraeli Gears in two ways. First, it found Clapton, Bruce and Baker growing yet further as players and writers. Second, it showcased both their studio artistry and live power, divided as it was between a studio half and live half. Here's the double-LP on 2 CDs: White Room; Crossroads; Anyone for Tennis; Politician; Spoonful; As You Said; Born Under a Bad Sign a certified rock classic!
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 7, 1998)
  • Rmst ed. edition
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Live
  • Label: Polydor
  • ASIN: B0000067L3
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,705 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By M. Phillips on April 30, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Cream's last really deliberate effort in the studio, Wheels of Fire stands out as one of the all-time greatest rock albums, and one of the top ten albums of the sixties. Driven by the singles, "White Room" and "Crossroads," this was Cream's first and only number one album and the first album to be certified platinum, ever. Somewhat less coherent than Disraeli Gears, due to the increasing division between the band members, Wheels of Fire could be called Cream's White Album, showing the band moving off into separate directions with their respective writing partners and turning up with some surprisingly different, innovative and original songs. More melancholy and introspective than Disraeli Gears, Wheels of Fire jams less and grooves more, particularly on the ever topical "Politician" and the super precise "Sitting On Top of the World." Other songs seem like more of a throwback to Fresh Cream, the dreamy "As You Said" and "Those Were the Days" in particular. The cello-accented ballad, "Deserted Cities of the Heart," is one of Bruce and Brown's best, and there's more than a touch of strangeness in Baker's amusing and quaint recital of "Pressed Rat and Warthog." Eric, sitting out on the song-writing for a while, makes sure that no one completely forgets the blues, contributing arrangements of "Born Under A Bad Sign" and "Crossroads." On the second disc, the live material, as usual, is where Cream really shines. It seems as if they picked one song to showcase each band member, then chose the classic "Spoonful" to highlight them all.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
If you aren't familiar with Cream, this is where I would start. Its a truly superb album, marred by a few sub-par songs, but on the whole this record can go toe to toe with just about any rock 'n roll record ever made. Its that good! The album is a fabulous blend of blues and psychedelia, and if you don't know what that means buy this album and give yourself a treat. The only other record ever made that excedes Wheels of Fire in those categories is Jimi Hendrix's "Electric LadyLand" (but that album is one of the five best rock records ever made.)
Some of the outstanding songs include "White Room" a blistering, psychedlic blues that was the albums greatest hit. It combines Eric Clapton delicious whah-whah guitars with Ginger Baker thundering, polyrythmic drums, and Jack Bruce's great vocals. A masterpiece all by itself. But the album doesn't stop there. "Born Under a Bad Sign", an old blues number, is taken to the roof tops with Clapton's swirling, screaming, crying guitars. Then there's "Deserted Cities of the Heart" - a very fast number who's energy is only topped by its sense of desperation.
But the real killer songs on this album are the live recordings - Robert Johnson's "Crossroads", and another old blues number "Spoonful". "Crossroads" shows Cream at its manic best - they set out on a blistering pace and don't look back. The two guitar solos on this cut alone are worth buying the album - just a full scale rail against the heavens! Just when you think it can't get any better than that, along comes "Spoonful", a slow, blistering blues with gut wrenching singing and guitar playing. Both are just stunning!!
If you're a Cream fan, all you need to know is whether or not the GOLD CD is worth it.
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3 Comments 51 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
This album, more than any other 60s work, sent more boys out to buy electric guitars with the hopes of becoming rock stars than anything before or since. And for good reason. The live recordings on this album gave us a mountainslide of brilliant no-holds-barred improv and a fiery dynamism that was the trademark of few bands of the time. It might not have been Clapton's best work -- for me that was the Bluesbreakers album with Mayall -- but it was near-genius nonetheless. Much has been said about this version of Crossroads and you'd better believe it all. Clapton's two solos on that son, one more incendiary than the other, rate as some of the most memorable guitar-playing of any rock era. The studio stuff is an added joy and even Baker's Pressed Rat isn't without its self-deprecating humor. Felix Pappalardi earns extra kudos for outstanding studio accompaniment and production. The original cover, black on silver ink, was a landmark of 60s album design. Listen to the audience on the live tracks. Clearly these people were there to soak in the brilliance of the music they were experiencing. You can too.
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Format: Audio CD
It's been said elsewhere...and it is worth repeating...This is an epitome of improvisational music from a group that was only in existence for a relatively short time. Although their musical differences and divergent directions that each took have been fairly well-documented, perhaps it was that same divergence that lent itself to their ability to stand on a stage and create at that given moment some pretty incredible music. Another one of those defining moment works...
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