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Fresh Cream

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Fresh Cream
Studio album by
Released9 December 1966 (1966-12-09)
RecordedAugust–November 1966
Studio
GenreBlues rock[1]
Length38:10
LabelReaction
ProducerRobert 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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

Reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[8]
BBC Music(Highly Positive)[9]
Robert ChristgauA–[10]
Uncut5/5 stars[11]
Daily Express(Positive)[12]
The 1000 Best Pop-Rock Albums4.5/5 stars[13]
Ultimate Classic Rock(Positive)[14]
MusicHound4/5 stars[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]

Track listing

Original UK release

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."N.S.U."Jack BruceJack Bruce2:43
2."Sleepy Time Time"Bruce4:20
3."Dreaming"BruceBruce1:58
4."Sweet Wine"
Bruce3:17
5."Spoonful"Willie DixonBruce6:30
Total length:18:48
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."Cat's Squirrel"Doctor Ross, arr. Bruce, Baker, Eric Claptoninstrumental Jack Bruce "Alright, Alright.."3:03
2."Four Until Late"Robert Johnson, arr. ClaptonEric Clapton2:07
3."Rollin' and Tumblin'"McKinley MorganfieldBruce4:42
4."I'm So Glad"Skip JamesBruce3:57
5."Toad"Bakerinstrumental5:09
Total length:18:58

Original U.S. version

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."I Feel Free"Bruce, Pete Brown2:52
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

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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 Dixon6:30
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

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[21] Gold 35,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[22] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[23] Gold 500,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

References

  1. ^ "The Top 30 British Blues Rock Albums Of All Time". Classic Rock. Future plc. 23 March 2007. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  2. ^ Clapton, Eric (2007). "Cream". Clapton: The Autobiography (1st ed.). United States: Broadway Books. pp. 73–79. ISBN 978-0-385-51851-2.
  3. ^ Eyries, Patrice; Edwards, Dave; Callahan, Mike (22 January 2007). "RSO Album Discography, Part 1: The RSO Story & Pre-RSO Releases". bsnpubs.com. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
  4. ^ "The Illustrated Cream Discography". Rate Your Music. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  5. ^ "Fresh Cream (Stereo & Mono) +12 [Cardboard Sleeve (mini LP)] [Platinum SHM-CD] [Limited Release] Cream CD Album". CDJapan. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  6. ^ "Fresh Cream 1". Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  7. ^ Welch, Chris (1 December 2000). "Cream: The Legendary Sixties Supergroup". Backbeat Books. Retrieved 4 February 2017 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Cream: Fresh Cream > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  9. ^ a b Smith, Sid (17 April 2007). "Cream Fresh Cream Review". BBC Music. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  10. ^ "Robert Christgau: Online Exchange, part 3". RockCritics.com. Archived from the original on 26 July 2015. Retrieved July 26, 2015.
  11. ^ "Cream – Fresh Cream Deluxe". Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  12. ^ "ALBUM REVIEW: Fresh Cream will satisfy the taste buds of any ultimate Cream fan". express.co.uk. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  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.
  18. ^ "Fresh Cream (1980's Polydor CD release)". discogs.com. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  19. ^ "Fresh Cream (Remastered 1998 CD release)". discogs.com. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  20. ^ "Fresh Cream (1966)". JackBruce.com. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  21. ^ "Australian Fun Countdowns: Accreditation Awards". Warner Music Sales International. BMI Music International. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  22. ^ "Best-selling Rock LPs". Billboard Magazine. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 28 September 1968. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  23. ^ "American album certifications – Cream". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 17 September 2015. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
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