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4.2 out of 5 stars24
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 17 April 2003
Baker, Bruce and Clapton - these sessions have long been available on bootleg, but these have been cleared up somewhat and presented in an official release after a very long wait. Wonderful to have them surface together again.
Concise (by Cream's standard) performances of some of their classics allow different takes of their studio versions whilst not stretching into long improvised jams they employed on tour. I love to see both the short and extended versions of such songs but for some these renditions may be more digestable than some of their live marathon epics!
The tracks are from either the BBC tapes or from off-air recordings with digital enhancement. A newly discovered "Crossroads" is included, but 2 or 3 off-air tracks that could be found on bootlegs aren't included here perhaps for lack of quality (Toad and Sleepy Time Time).
Interview segments only include Clapton as he was pressed forward as the front man by management even if he was very much part of a trio and mostly sang backing vocals and played behind Jack Bruce's frontmanship. And if you're wondering why BBC sessions always include the announcers over the music, that's because that's how they are on the original tapes!
Coupled with the boxed set "Those Were The Days", the Farewell Concert DVD and the Fresh Live Cream DVD, this is pretty much all that is out there for this mighty pioneer.
Quite simply, if you like Cream, or the blues or simply a Clapton fan, you won't be sorry purchasing this. A slight lack of fidelity mean 4 stars instead of 5, but more than listenable and rewarding.
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on 26 June 2014
As I press the keys this slice of the late sixties is coming to me via my headphones, Ginger Bakers Train Time is where I’ve got to; some have been quite rude about this CD. I’m enjoying the music as was, how it was then and then was forty-five years ago. The interviews are interesting, did we really talk like that, all the interviews are with Eric Clapton are rather cagey, a shame Ginger and Jack didn’t have the chance to be cagey!
If you like Cream this should be a part of your collection, it’s a part of the road trod by three great musicians, they split before I was able to see them live, so this BBC Sessions CD will sit well with my Cream remastered recordings; perhaps some one will talk them into getting together for Glastonbury. Written 26:06:2014 so there’s time enough for Glastonbury 2015!!
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on 24 June 2003
Beware rave reviews of this L.P. It's got some great tracks but will only really appeal to those with a specialist interest. The recordings are in mono necessitated by their age. As a result the quality is a bit thin - Jack Bruce's bass playing is often inaudible - background hiss interferes on some tracks - e.g. crossroads. The vocal introductions to all the tracks detract from the enjoyment and the constant references to " The Cream " are as irritating now as at the time. The same goes for the efforts to slot this excellent take on the blues into the then current pop parlance with words such as groovy and other patronising phrases.
Cream never were part of the mainstream pop scene and it these embarrassing attempts to fit them into it by the woefully unaware BBC should have been left out. Also, does anyone really want to listen to interviews in the middle of such good music?
This is an attempt to cash in by the BBC. It's an album I will listen to again and again as it has a number of gems such as from four until late and politician but appreciate it for what it is - great music and rare recordings of one of the best British blues bands ever. It's for the already converted not the mass-market appeal it seems to court. If you're looking for an introduction to this brilliant band just go out and buy Disreali Gears - you won't be disappointed.
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on 15 April 2003
Baker, Bruce and Clapton - these sessions have long been available on bootleg, but these have been cleared up somewhat and presented in an official release after a very long wait. Wonderful to have them surface together again.
Concise (by Cream's standard) performances of some of their classics allow different takes of their studio versions whilst not stretching into long improvised jams they employed on tour. I love to see both the short and extended versions of such songs but for some these renditions may be more digestable than some of their live marathon epics!
The tracks are from either the BBC tapes or from off-air recordings with digital enhancement. A newly discovered "Crossroads" is included, but 2 or 3 off-air tracks that could be found on bootlegs aren't included here perhaps for lack of quality (Toad and Sleepy Time Time).
Interview segments only include Clapton as he was pressed forward as the front man by management even if he was very much part of a trio and mostly sang backing vocals and played behind Jack Bruce's frontmanship. And if you're wondering why BBC sessions always include the announcers over the music, that's because that's how they are on the original tapes!
Coupled with the boxed set "Those Were The Days", the Farewell Concert DVD and the Fresh Live Cream DVD, this is pretty much all that is out there for this mighty pioneer.
Quite simply, if you like Cream, or the blues or simply a Clapton fan, you won't be sorry purchasing this. A slight lack of fidelity mean 4 stars instead of 5, but more than listenable and rewarding.
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on 28 August 2014
If you are a Cream fan well worth having
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on 7 June 2004
Fantastic! For a band that released so few albums, this is rare treat for the fans! Anyone who loves music and the blues should own this.
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on 20 May 2006
We would spend hours in our teens sitting beside the radio with a microphone in front of the speaker, with a reel-to-reel tape recorder trying to get a decent copy of these sessions. And not being close to a radio during the daytime, inevitably, we would miss a session here and there and curse for doing so. Easy now, innit, with IPod and today's technology, but back then it wasn't quite so clever. And now we have (most) of those long-lost tracks here on one CD. Someone must have suceeded with those reel-to-reel tapes though, as these recordings have been on bootleg for years, and now, finally, the BBC have done the right thing and released them. Mono recordings in most if not every case, this does not matter, it gives an indication toward those low-tech days of yore when things were not perfect, even it seems for the legendary master's of all recordings, the jolly old BBC! So we should be very happy with this fine release, and no, they are not all on here, but didn't we guess they wouldn't be? There will be another, some years on, simply to eclipse the then falling sales of this disc,with the sessions in their entirity on a 2 CD boxed set or something. Classic as these recordings are and wonderful to finally own with some degree of perfection attached to them, the 'Tales Of Brave Ulysses' take has to be about the best ever version of the song, other than the Disraeli Gears masterpiece, I would say.
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VINE VOICEon 23 July 2003
Cream recorded by the BBC from various sessions in 1966,1967 and 1968. Its rough and ready and in mono. Thats the way they did it in those days. All explained in depth in the comprehensive cover notes.
There is a bit of over-dubbing here and there but it is mainly like a live show. Everything is still kept short and sweet. 22 tracks in all and the album highlights the creativity of the musicians (Eric Clapton on guitar and vocals, Jack Bruce on bass, harmonic and vocals and Ginger Baker on drums) and their songwriting skills. For those put off by the lengthy instrumental improvisations more common to a Cream live show need not worry, as there is none of that here. Its just an invaluable record of one of the most influential and important rock groups of all time.
Has a couple of brief Clapton interviews and priceless introductions from Brian Matthews. All the early favourites are here, only Spoonful and White Room stand out as missing.
You must have this in your collection, its a real (Cream) cracker.
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on 12 May 2003
Compared with some of the other 'BBC sessions' issues this is disappointing. This is not to say that some of the tracks are not without merit but the recording quality of many does not meet the usual BBC standards (even allowing for when they were recorded), from a musical point of view a mixed rag bag of stuff and even more inconsistent than the Cream studio albums. Overall of bootleg quality only. For Cream and Clapton fans an interesting period piece but of dubious value.
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on 27 April 2003
THE power-trio. Blues purists turned Gods of hard rock, Cream defined the vocabulary from which metal and prog was built.
This collection of BBC sessions finds them in looser mood than their studio albums but under tighter control than their occasionally self-indulgent concert work. Most of the familiar songs are here, although often in punchier, pacier form than before. The recording quality varies from excellent to passable (a few tracks do wallow a little in undifferentiated bottom-end) but what DOES come through clearly is the sheer joie-de-vivre of early Cream - a band at the height of their powers pushing the boundaries of rock.
Absolutely glorious. No real highlights on here - every track's fantastic - though if you forced me to pick I'd have to say that the version of "Tales of Brave Ulysses" is the best I've yet heard...
Unmissable.
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