Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Cream - Live Cream (Polydor - 2383 016 Super)

Some genres in music are meant to be live. In these genres, you can listen a studio recording, but it can never give you the true essence of the feeling. Blues is probably the most extreme of them since when you compare listening a studio recording and a live one with the same tracks, the result is miles apart.

The record of today is a live recording of The Cream apart from one track "Lawdy Mama". Of course the statements in the first paragraph are also related to the people in the band, but since we are talking about The Cream, you don't have a shortage of talent anyway. Cream seals the deal in the development of Eric Clapton's technique as well as the maturity of Jack Bruce.

The live recording starts with Jack Bruce's N.S.U. with long solos all along the track, but fully kicks off with again Bruce's Sleepy Time Time. It is absolutely stunning to listen to this track live since the sound is raw and filled with beautiful solos. As said before, Lawdy Mama is a studio recording, but it would have been lovely if they recorded that live as well.

The B side is all there is to it. Starting with Ginger Baker's Sweet Wine is by itself not a song that I admire, yet the solos are inspiring. Especially on Clapton's part, he is literally ripping the whole stage apart. That is probably why they chose this track. It is a 15 minute song where almost 13 minutes is like a jam session.

The last track on the album is a faster version of the Rollin' And Tumblin' by Muddy Waters. Speeding it up like they did clearly softens the real influence of the song itself, but considering the live atmosphere, it can play an essential role in a show. The Cream turns it to a show off as well as a jam session where they include the harmonica along the jam. Musically it is not jaw dropping since they are strolling along the same fast rhythm for a very long time (It may also be wrong to call it a jam). But all in all the album is refreshing and full of energy. Listen it for the true mixture of love, hate and passion which is the Blues itself.

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