Fresh Cream

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Fresh Cream
Fresh cream.jpg
Studio album by
Released9 December 1966 (1966-12-09)
RecordedAugust–November 1966
Studio
Genre Blues rock [1]
Length38:10
Label Reaction
Producer Robert Stigwood
Cream chronology
Fresh Cream
(1966)
Disraeli Gears
(1967)
Singles from Fresh Cream
  1. "Spoonful"
    Released: September 1967
  2. "Sweet Wine"
    Released: 1973

Fresh Cream is the debut studio album by the British rock band Cream. The album was released in the UK on 9 December 1966, as the first LP on the Reaction Records label, owned by producer Robert Stigwood. The UK album was released in both mono and stereo versions, at the same time as the release of the single "I Feel Free". [2]

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Cream (band) 1960s British rock supergroup

Cream were a British rock band formed in London in 1966. The group consisted of lead vocalist/bassist Jack Bruce, guitarist/vocalist Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker. The group's third album, Wheels of Fire (1968), is the world's first platinum-selling double album. The band is widely regarded as the world's first successful supergroup. In their career, they sold more than 15 million records worldwide. Their music included songs based on traditional blues such as "Crossroads" and "Spoonful", and modern blues such as "Born Under a Bad Sign", as well as more current material such as "Strange Brew", "Tales of Brave Ulysses" and "Toad".

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

Contents

The album was released in a slightly different form in January 1967 by Atco Records in the US, also in mono and stereo versions. [3] The album peaked at No. 6 on the UK Albums Chart and No. 39 on the U.S. Albums Chart. [4]

ATCO Records is an American record company and label founded in 1955 as a division of Atlantic Records. It was devised as an outlet for productions by one of Atlantic's founders, Herb Abramson, who had returned to the company from military service. It was also intended as a home for acts that did not fit the format of Atlantic, which was releasing blues, jazz, rhythm and blues, and soul. The Atco name is an abbreviation of ATlantic COrporation. Atco also provided distribution for other labels, including RSO Records, Volt, Island, Modern, Ruthless, and Rolling Stones Records.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

The Official Albums Chart is a list of albums ranked by physical and digital sales and audio streaming in the United Kingdom. It was published for the first time on 22 July 1956 and is compiled every week by the Official Charts Company (OCC) on Fridays. It is broadcast on BBC Radio 1 and published in Music Week magazine, and on the OCC website.

The mono versions were deleted not long after release and for many years only the stereo recordings were available. The UK mono album was reissued on CD for the first time in Japan, by Universal Music, in late 2013 as part of a deluxe SHM-CD and SHM-SACD sets (both editions also contain the UK stereo counterpart). [5]

Universal Music Group American music corporation

Universal Music Group is an American global music corporation that is a subsidiary of the French media conglomerate Vivendi. UMG's global corporate headquarters are located in Santa Monica, California. It is considered one of the "Big Three" music companies, along with Sony Music and Warner Music Group. Since 2004, the corporation is no longer related to the film studio Universal Studios. UMG has signed licensing agreements with more than 400 platforms worldwide.

In January 2017, the album was again reissued, by Polydor, in a 4-CD box-set containing mono and stereo versions of the original UK and US release along with singles and B-sides. [6]

Polydor Records multinational record label headquartered in the United Kingdom, owned by Universal Music Group

Polydor is a British record label and company, that operates as part of Universal Music Group. It has a close relationship with Universal's Interscope Geffen A&M Records label, which distributes Polydor's releases in the United States. In turn, Polydor distributes Interscope releases in the United Kingdom. Polydor Records Ltd. was established in London in 1954 as a British subsidiary of German company Deutsche Grammophon GmbH. It was renamed Polydor Ltd. in 1972.

Background

Bass player Jack Bruce later said that the opening song "N.S.U." was written for the band's first rehearsal. "It was like an early punk song... the title meant "non-specific urethritis. It didn't mean an NSU Quickly - which was one of those little 1960s mopeds. I used to say it was about a member of the band who had this venereal disease. I can't tell you which one... except he played guitar." [7]

Jack Bruce Scottish musician, bassist of Cream

John Symon Asher Bruce was a Scottish musician, singer and songwriter known primarily for his contributions to the British supergroup Cream, which also included the guitarist-singer Eric Clapton and the drummer Ginger Baker. In March 2011 Rolling Stone readers selected him as the eighth greatest bass guitarist of all time. "Most musicians would have a very hard time distinguishing themselves if they wound up in a band with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker," the magazine said at the time, "but Jack Bruce was so gifted on the bass that he did it with ease."

Nongonococcal urethritis (NGU) is an inflammation of the urethra that is not caused by gonorrheal infection.

NSU Quickly

The NSU Quickly was a moped manufactured by NSU Motorenwerke AG of Germany from 1953 to 1963. More than one million Quicklys were built and sold.

Reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [8]
BBC Music (Highly Positive) [9]
Robert Christgau A– [10]
Uncut Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg [11]
Daily Express (Positive) [12]
The 1000 Best Pop-Rock Albums Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg [13]
Ultimate Classic Rock (Positive) [14]
MusicHound Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [15]

In 2003, the album was ranked number 101 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. [16] Uncut describes the songs as "all about playing in a band and relaxing, the joy of being young, and they walk it like they talk it, being jumping-off points for wonderful spur-of-the moment improvisations." [17] Writing for the BBC, Sid Smith notes that "blues, pop and rock magically starts to coalesce to create something brand new". [9] Stephen Thomas Erlwine of Allmusic believes the record to be "instrumental in the birth of heavy metal and the birth of jam rock". [8]

<i>Rolling Stone</i> American magazine focusing on popular culture, based in New York City

Rolling Stone is an American monthly magazine that focuses on popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco, California in 1967 by Jann Wenner, who is still the magazine's publisher, and the music critic Ralph J. Gleason. It was first known for its musical coverage and for political reporting by Hunter S. Thompson. In the 1990s, the magazine shifted focus to a younger readership interested in youth-oriented television shows, film actors, and popular music. In recent years, it has resumed its traditional mix of content.

<i>Uncut</i> (magazine) London-based music magazine

Uncut magazine, trademarked as UNCUT, is a monthly publication based in London. It is available across the English-speaking world, and focuses on music, but also includes film and books sections. A DVD magazine under the Uncut brand was published quarterly from 2005 to 2006.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London, and it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees. It employs over 20,950 staff in total, 16,672 of whom are in public sector broadcasting. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time, flexible, and fixed-contract staff are included.

Track listing

Original UK release

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."N.S.U." Jack Bruce Jack Bruce 2:43
2."Sleepy Time Time"Bruce4:20
3."Dreaming"BruceBruce1:58
4."Sweet Wine"
Bruce3:17
5."Spoonful" Willie Dixon Bruce6:30
Total length:18:48
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."Cat's Squirrel" Doctor Ross, arr. Bruce, Baker, Eric Clapton instrumental Jack Bruce “Alright, Alright..”3:03
2."Four Until Late" Robert Johnson, arr. Clapton Eric Clapton 2:07
3."Rollin' and Tumblin'" McKinley Morganfield Bruce4:42
4."I'm So Glad" Skip James Bruce3:57
5."Toad"Bakerinstrumental5:09
Total length:18:58

Original U.S. version

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."I Feel Free"Bruce, Pete Brown 2:52
2."N.S.U."Bruce2:44
3."Sleepy Time Time"Bruce, Godfrey4:20
4."Dreaming"Bruce2:00
5."Sweet Wine"Baker, Godfrey3:18
Total length:15:14
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Cat's Squirrel" (Instrumental)Traditional, arr. by Baker, Bruce, Clapton3:03
2."Four Until Late" (Lead vocals: Clapton)Johnson, arr. Clapton2:07
3."Rollin' and Tumblin'"Morganfield4:42
4."I'm So Glad"James3:57
5."Toad" (Instrumental)Baker5:11
Total length:19:00

Later U.S. release

A later release in the U.S. on RSO/Polydor uses the same track listing as the original UK edition given above, with the addition of the song "I Feel Free" as track 1. Polydor's CD release from the 1980s included the same track list but added "The Coffee Song" and "Wrapping Paper," which were removed from a second CD release in the 1990s. [18] [19]

Swedish edition

An edition released only in Sweden in 1966 was a 12-track release like that in the UK which also added two tracks: "Wrapping Paper", written by Jack Bruce and Pete Brown, and "The Coffee Song", written by Tony Colton and Ray Smith. Both vinyl and cover were made in Germany and exported to the Swedish market only – the German original had the same 10 tracks as the UK. The group didn't want "Coffee Song" to be issued at all, but a mono version was mixed and coupled with "Wrapping Paper" as a single. There were no plans at this stage to release it in stereo, so for the Swedish issue, a crude stereo mix was used. This was made during the sessions in early August 1966 for instructive purpose – the whole track as basic mono is mixed far right and a solo guitar overdub far left. Never intended for release, this mix was soon lost and for later stereo issues a new one was made.

The front cover and record no. (623 031) are the same as the German issue, but three different back covers exist. The first listed the correct 12 tracks, the second listed 10 tracks, and a third where the 12 track listing has been "glued" over the 10 track listing.

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."N.S.U."Bruce2:43
2."Sleepy Time Time"Bruce, Godfrey4:20
3."Dreaming"Bruce1:58
4."Sweet Wine"Baker, Godfrey3:17
5."Spoonful" Willie Dixon 6:30
6."Wrapping Paper"Bruce, Brown2:24
Total length:21:12
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Cat's Squirrel" (Instrumental)Traditional, arr. by Baker, Bruce, Clapton3:03
2."Four Until Late" (Lead vocals: Clapton)Johnson, arr. Clapton2:07
3."The Coffee Song"Ray Smith, Tony Colton2:45
4."Rollin' and Tumblin'"Morganfield4:42
5."I'm So Glad"James3:57
6."Toad" (Instrumental)Baker5:11
Total length:21:45

Personnel

Musicians

Technical

Certifications

RegionCertification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA) [21] Gold35,000^
United Kingdom (BPI) [22] Gold100,000^
United States (RIAA) [23] Gold500,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

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References

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  10. "Robert Christgau: Online Exchange, part 3". RockCritics.com. Archived from the original on 26 July 2015. Retrieved July 26, 2015.
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  13. "Fresh Cream". acclaimedmusic.net. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  14. "The Story of Cream's First Album". ultimateclassicrock.com. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  15. Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds) (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 288. ISBN   1-57859-061-2.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  16. "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone (Special Issue). 101 | Fresh Cream - Cream. November 2003. ISSN   0035-791X . Retrieved 27 September 2010.
  17. "Uncut". cduniverse.com. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
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  19. "Fresh Cream (Remastered 1998 CD release)". discogs.com. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
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