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4.5 out of 5 stars19
4.5 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 14 November 2002
The great trio in full flow and on top form.
Propulsive percussion throughout from the tireless Baker.
Clapton at his hard-edged best and the redoubtable Bruce with his pumping, counterpoint bass and soaring, searching, plaintive vocals.
Opens with Deserted Cities of the Heart, one of the less celebrated Bruce/Brown Cream tracks but one of the best.
White Room is Bruce’s tour de force, the tonsils going where no tonsils have ventured before, or since.
Next up the strangely complicated simplicity of Politician (listen to Gingers complex drum patterns)
And then Eric’s Tales of Brave Ulysses. Wonderful wah-wah from Slowhand. As Bruce’s vocals seem to be losing it completely he pulls us all back from the edge and finds the groove. I think it was Manfred Mann who said that Jack had a ridiculous sense of time. He was right. Even the combined genius of Baker and Clapton must have wondered where he was going at times. Guess that was one of the reasons they split up.
Sunshine of your Love gets the full treatment and it finishes off with the Clapton showpiece Steppin’ Out.
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on 19 November 2004
This is worth the buy for Steppin Out alone. Fantastic playing by Bruce, Baker and especially Clapton, its just a shame their studio work didnt match the two live albums for passion and energy.
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on 7 March 2011
Overall, I prefer Vol I. Usual exciting Cream fare on Vol II although nothing out of the ordinary (for Cream) until last track - Steppin Out. Now this had never been one of my favourite numbers and I have a variety of early versions on various samplers/Best Ofs etc. And the first 6 mins of this live recording confirmed my impression of a passable number but no more. And then. Wow! What on earth was happening! Clapton's guitar playing suddenly climbs to another level - and another - and another. It screams at you in a frenzy of demented paranoia - for another mind blowing 6-7 mins! Never heard Clapton play like that on any other live recording. Not even on Spoonful. And certainly not post-Cream. A wonderful recording.
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on 5 December 2000
Eric Clapton's is one of the best known guitarists ever but you don't hear him play like this these days. Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce are also on top form and give it all they've got. This works to great effect on White Room, Deserted Cities of the Heart and Tales of Brave Ulysses. The shear speed of the drums and bass create a gorgeous wall of sound over which the riff's and solo's of clapton's guitar are wrought. Its intense, all 3 are lost to their cause and I wish I'd been in the crowd.
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I like to have live albums to compliment the studio versions. Usually variations and environment allow you see what made them great before publishing. Live is as close as you get to the real Cream. Well that is ithe way it is supposed to work. However with the exception of the last track the recording was tinny and lacks definition. It makes you wonder if they can not live without the studio enhancements. You do get a bigger dose of "Sunshine of Your Love" and find you will still be singing along. They are reprieved by the recording of "Steppin' Out". You may find the album worth it for this track alone.

Live Cream, Vol. 1
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on 28 February 2009
The companion to Live Cream. Worth the cost for Steppin' Out alone. A must have addition to any serious Cream collection
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on 2 November 2008
There are also some very stirring vocals from Jack Bruce on 'Deserted Cities Of The Heart' and 'White Room' although the improvisation on WR is a bit disappointing compared to their own best efforts, mainly because the bass line comes through too strongly, and too predictably, in a couple of places. One feels that it's the sort of bass line that might be alright in jazz on a stand-up bass. But, in fact, it's also worth knowing that there is a much better mix of this track, with much wider stereo separation, on the 4disc set 'Those Were The Days' in which the whole thing works very well. In this case the wider separation seems to make the brain work harder to reconcile the counterpoint and the result is quiet exhilaration. The vocals sound much better along with everything else in this mix which is so good you can almost believe it's a different performance, and once you've heard it the one on this disc becomes redundant.
There is some good ineractive playing on 'Deserted Cities' as guitar and bass play in imitative counterpoint which works well if you get the balance right so that you don't end up just following one of them, especially if it's the bass.
Better digital remastering of these tracks, and of this performance of 'Politician', can be found on 'Those Were The Days' box set. The other live 'Politician' from 'Goodbye Cream' is not included in the box set.
The remastered 'White Room' in the 4disc set is particularly interesting as the improvisation works much better with the bass less prominent and the drums much stronger. The vocal choruses are pushed further back so that they provide a sort of atmospheric background rather than the more in-your-face interruption found here. I am not so sure that the more forward solo voice in the verse section along with the stronger drums works to the benefit of the performance but it's certainly different from the mix used on the disc here under review. But this is not one of their best live tracks and there is a better improvisation on the 'Tour' cd.
The heroic 'jouissance' of these vocals puts them in a class of their own in rock music, along with some other Bruce performances found on 'Goodbye Cream' and 'Live At The Filmore'.

The sound on 'Sunshine' is better than the sound on other tracks, with the exception of 'Stepping Out' which is also pretty good. But 'Stepping Out' is not the sort of track that you want to play very often; furthermore it's not really Cream, because it's rhythms are conventional and it's not contrapuntal in terms of it's bass/lead lines either. This was a party piece Clapton was playing before the formation of Cream. It's a pity that 'Steppin' took up so much space on the original vinyl leaving no room for another more characteristic Cream number.

In relation to any rock album by any other group I would give this 5 stars.
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on 21 September 2015
This is one of my all time great albums if only for Stepping Out, pure raw jamming from the masters. I cannot believe that these tracks date back to 1968. They were brilliant back then and remain so today. The entire album is what we'd emended back in the great music days and this album did not disappoint back then and remains fresh today. I love the rawness of live music back then without the spots and hiccups removed. You get a real feel of the atmosphere that must have been electric. Today's music is too clean sadly to produce such an atmosphere in my opinion.
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on 24 May 2011
This LP is the best ever of Cream Live albums, much more energy than their 1st. BUT is uncomplete. I have the CD called "Cream - Sunshine of your love" official of course with a square series identification in top left corner "On Stage". This very same show - I have the vinyl album from first release to compare sounds and this Amazon page sound excerpts to do it again - opens with Crossroads 4'16 and as number 7 just before the last Steppin' Out as 8, is Spoonful 16'46. Total playing time 62'19, (c) 1992 by Sarabandas srl distributed by SAAR srl, #CD 12025. This series catalog included has many other artists live, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, Who, CCR,Zappa, Police..
I bought it at my supermaket at the time, without having then a CD player but for the fact there were two songs more, and the big question is : If the full recording exists, why to this date is "Live Cream II" here uncomplete ?
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on 20 April 2015
Not Cream at their best but still a worthy addition to any fan's collection
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