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|Cream was a seminal 1960s rock band which featured the guitarist Eric Clapton, bassist Jack Bruce, and drummer Ginger Baker.
Celebrated as the first of the great power trios of rock, their sound was characterised by a melange of blues and psychedelia, combining Clapton's mastery of the genre with the airy voice of Jack Bruce and, at times, manic rhythms of Ginger Baker. The drug-addled imagery and ambience of the time abounds. Cream epitomised the high energy sound of the time, anchored in a familiar blues style; from the traditional classics such as "Crossroads" and "Born Under a Bad Sign", through more eccentric imagery found in "Strange Brew" and "Tales of Brave Ulysses", and culminating in the protracted indulgences of "Spoonful" and "Toad". Their biggest hits were "Sunshine of Your Love" and "White Room".
Along with the Grateful Dead, Cream are considered the first jam band. The group improvised constantly in concert, with songs regularly surpassing the 20 minute mark. The band is also considered a pioneer of heavy metal music.
The late Felix Pappalardi, producer (and later member of Mountain), sometimes called the 'fourth member' of Cream, is featured heavily on the Disraeli Gears album. British poet Pete Brown wrote the lyrics to many of the band's songs and was another important contributor.
Cream broke up in November 1968 due to clashing egos and musical visions – Clapton famously related how he once suddenly stopped playing in concert and neither of the other two even noticed. On the night they split, Jimi Hendrix was performing live on the Lulu show and stopped playing his own track, instead playing Sunshine of Your Love.
The three members of Cream didn't play together until 1993, when Cream was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and played at the induction ceremony. The band reunited in May 2005 for a series of four shows at the Royal Albert Hall, where they played their final concerts in 1968. The 1968 concerts were documented on the album Goodbye.
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