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Posted October 1, 2010
Cream from A-Z
If you are reading this review then we can probably assume a couple of facts: 1) you are a Cream fan or a Clapton fan 2) you are considering whether or not you want to buy this boxed set 3) you probably own at least one other Cream CD. That being the case I can tell you why you would want to buy this boxed set, and why you wouldn’t. If you are a Cream fan but only own a CD or two, or maybe just have the vinyl or something, then I would wholeheartedly suggest this boxed set to you. It contains all of the original Cream albums, plus both Live Cream albums and even throws in some outtakes, some demos, and a couple minutes of extra jams to the Live Cream material. In fact the only thing missing is the material from the BBC sessions which was released years after this set. In all this set paints the most complete picture available of this seminal band. You get to see every side of the band, from their original “Hit Machine” intentions (yes Cream wanted to be a big POP band at the beginning) to the later jam-heavy, “Musician” focus. Most interestingly you get to see the musical development of the three musicians in the band, Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker. We see the maturation of JB’s songwriting, singing and bass playing skills. We get to listen to Clapton become a singer, we also get to hear his growth from blues traditionalist to 60’s shred and then his return to roots on the Goodbye Cream studio tracks. We get to hear Ginger Baker keep the beat in inventive and creative was, all the while helping create the genre of metal drumming (most of the early metal drummers like John Bonham and Bill Ward, were big Baker fans.) Lastly we get to hear the supplemental musicianship and production of Felix Pappalardi, one of the unsung heroes of 60s and 70s rock. Pappalardi produced, helped arrange, and played various instruments on all but the first Cream album. Topping it all off is a very comprehensive booklet that contains a very good history of the band as well as some of the most intense live shots I've ever seen of the band. In fact, if you are a Cream fan, this is a mandatory purchase; unless you already own 3 or more Cream CD, in that case I would suggest you purchase the individual CDs to round out your collection.
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