56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on 4 October 2005
Since the news of the reunion of iconic rock supergroup 'Cream', I've been waiting for the release of this DVD. And boy, was it worth it!
The DVD is immaculately packaged and brilliantly filmed. The concert is phenomenal. The band tear through their greatest hits with passion, and you can see the smiles of enjoyment openly spread across bassist and vocalist Jack Bruce, drummer Ginger Baker and guitarist Eric Clapton's faces. Bruce still has a fantastic voice, complemented by precision bass playing, Baker is still an outstanding drummer (see stunning drum solo 'Toad' for proof) and Clapton plays better than he has for years. His solo on 'Stormy Monday' is out of this world.
So, I urge the thousands of us that couldn't get to the concert to rush out and buy this DVD. You really won't be disappointed.
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on 2 February 2006
I, like many others, failed to acquire a ticket for these gigs at the RAH in London. This DVD is the next best thing.
The band adopt a more bluesy feel to this concert with a twelve-bar approach to many of the songs. It is therefore not as spectularly soloed as earlier performances.
There is no doubt that there is a degree of rustiness in the earlier songs (but they are still excellent). The whole thing really erupts when Bruce gets out the harmonica and the Albert Hall starts dancing!
The version of "We're Going Wrong" is worth the purchase price on its' own. Clapton's fret work is often restrained but there are some fine solos and some excellent blues playing.
Baker's stick work is more controlled and he demonstrates that he is still one of the best percussionists around.
I do not give 5 stars easily. I am a huge Cream fan. This rates four and a half.
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 12 October 2005
I was at the Cream concert on Friday 6th May, at which 14 of the 19 numbers on this DVD were filmed, and can confirm that it's a pretty flawless record of the night - sounds the same, looks the same & brilliantly shot - which is just about all you can ask from any DVD of a rock concert.
And how good was it? Just stunning... not only better than you could hope any reunion of Cream could be but one of the best live concerts I've ever seen. Friday was clearly the night to be there - Eric Clapton describes it as the "consummate gig" in the interviews on the DVD - and it shows. The playing and singing are exceptional and Ginger Baker's drumming is, for a man of 65, quite unbelievable. I was lucky enough to see them play a couple of times in 1966 & 1967 when they were "at the peak of their powers" and at their farewell concert in 1968, which was a great disappointment, and believe me they didn't play like this. Tight, exciting, powerful and, above all, infused with sheer enthusiasm this is live music at it should be, captured as it was. Forty years on it's quite simply Cream at their very best.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 12 October 2011
Having had the original DVD for this since it was released shortly have these unforgettable concerts, which I was fortunate to attend back in 2005, I have been eagerly awaiting the Blu-Ray release, and I was not disappointed - the picture and sound far surpasses what I was expecting. The picture is so sharp and the sound so clear and defined that by playing this on a decent home cinema system you would think that Cream were actually performing in your living room. So this is streets ahead of the original DVD release in every respect. I was hoping that there might have been additional extras such as some footage of the Cream Reunion rehearsals, but this a minor quibble. In fact, if you wanted to show anybody who was sceptical about the difference between standard DVD and Blu-Ray this is the one I would show as an outstanding example.Furthermore this Blu-Ray release is an essential purchase for any self respecting Cream fanatic of which I know there are many ! Simply superb !
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on 13 October 2005
Cream - what an incredible band! I recall the farewell concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 1968 and it was a tearful experience then. A band I grew up with (being a drummer) with Baker my all-time hero. I used to think that none of these guys would live to see 1980 never mind 2005.
Fast forward 37 years and we have the three legends doing another gig at 'Albert'. And what a gig it was - not so much a gig - more a Holy Grail of musical incredibleness! I mean look at them: Bruce - 61, Baker - 65 and Clapton - 60! But how did these dinosaurs of rock produce one of the best live concerts I've ever seen (on DVD)?
From the opening 'I'm So Glad' to the 'We're Going Wrong' at the end of the first DVD one could feel that things could only get better: old Slowhand's incisive lead breaks, Jack's phenomenal bass riffs and Baker's incessant but clean drum virtuoso left you feeling thirsty for more. And, for me, when I shoved the 2nd DVD into my player, I was actually tingling all over.
'Crossroads', 'Sitting on Top of the World' and then 'White Room' - this was vintage Cream, tight, musically perfect, Bruce's throaty vocals - it all led up to 'Toad'. I remember Baker's 'Toad' drum solo all those years ago, that heroin-induced piece of craftsmanship unequalled on film, but, hey, the old maestro gave a performance of great magnitude that had me wanting to get my drumsticks out and burn them!
'Sunshine of Your Love' - what a fitting curtain-drawer for me, the best rock and blues band that ever graced the stage. I'll love Cream forever!! Buy this CD/DVD - it's awesome! And turn the volume up!!!!!
39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on 21 October 2005
I missed the Albert Hall shows this year, and I regret that, having watched the DVD most nights for the last week. Over the years I have sometimes taken the view that Clapton in Cream is Clapton at his best. In the old days Bruce and Baker just seemed to push him a bit further than anyone else can, and they still do it now. Bruce re-asserts himself as the bassist's bassist and much of his work makes the bass a second lead instrument. (Shame about the leather trousers though). Baker keeps time like an atomic metronome, but still throws in the best fills possible I think. And Baker doing "Pressed rat and Warthog" live is wonderful. That song has always been a bit of esoteric trivia (and still is), but the band actually makes it something moving. Maybe the best thing about it is that these guys are actually enjoying themselves. It shows in the big grins on stage, the big grins in the audience, and most of all in the music.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 10 December 2010
It is difficult to review a group you hold in high regard, 35 years after they broke up. I attended their farewell concert at the Albert Hall in 1969, and can only say their recent performances are welcome, but a little disappointing. They are all now 'mature', and have moved on from those early, more hungry days-especially Clapton, who is now 'over-refined' in his delivery, for the Blues. Jack Bruce still sings with fervour, and Baker can still hit the skins, but all in all, the performances sound just too polished. The choice of tracks is also surprising. There is no "Tales of Brave Ulysees", "Strange Brew" or "I feel free"-did they not perform these in their sets? On the upside, the 2 CD's give good value, with the standout tracks being "Spoonful" and "Crossroads".
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 15 February 2006
This DVD provides some welcome relief to the thousands of fans who were unable to attend these comeback gigs. The concert does not disappoint and the quality of this double DVD is superb.
It's a great set - every song is a classic and the musicianship is simply fantastic. When playing, Bruce, Baker and Clapton seem to enjoy a telepathic connection at times. Bruce and Baker may look old, but they sure deliver the goods - bigtime! It's amazing to learn that some of the songs had never been played by Cream in concert previously (e.g. Badge). All 3 musicians give good, interesting interviews and there are alternate takes of some of the songs.
Highlights: N.S.U., Rollin' and Tumblin', We're Going Wrong, Toad, and Stormy Monday (where Clapton's playing is just breathtaking - I don't remember him playing that well for years - resulting in a well-deserved standing ovation from an Albert Hall that is packed to the rafters). It is also fun to spot the celebrities in the audience over the various nights. I'm not going to reveal who they are - buy the DVD and find out for yourself.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 March 2015
Of course, this is many years on from the heady days of the late 60s and I love those albums they put out so much - been a real inspiration to me. I did see some of this on TV years ago and thought it was pretty good and was impressed especially by Ginger being so on-the-ball and plainly enjoying being there. They all did though and it shows. I found it sad in places, to think that we lost Jack last year and that we might not have had this - as he refers to being quite ill a year or so previously, while being interviewed here. So we are lucky to have this, I say.
It's always great to hear these songs and the bonus features are nice. It won't take the place of the original albums but it's a great document that is worth revisiting once in a while. I wouldn't say that the 'flash' has gone - at first, I though there was something different here but realised it's because they are far more seasoned than ever and just are doing what the songs require with a dash more of themselves to keep it flowing and interesting... rather than try to battle it to the end of the tune as they could be prone to back in the the day. Sometimes I like that and if I want to, again I can play those 60s concert recordings.
A very important and massively influential band for millions of people and long may they be remembered - this DVD is a nice little treat and I like it a lot.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 19 February 2006
I can understand that those who were able to attend the Royal Albert Hall concerts feel privileged. I feel privileged that these performances have been committed to this DVD.
What we have here are three outstanding musicians who have been reunited after almost 40 years of musical and life experience. For me, this experience counts for much more than the individual, hugely talented egos of the 60s. As much as I genuinely appreciate the original recordings from these artists, the 2005 performances seem to offer so much more in terms of maturity of group musicianship. Most importantly, Ginger, Jack and Eric clearly enjoy playing their music together as a trio as opposed to three individuals doing their own thing. You cannot help feeling that this is where these three know where they really belong. A pity about the 40-year interval. All the more reason for being grateful for this series of concerts.
Those who feel somehow offended by the fact these musicians are now over 60 or wear leather trousers can always shut their eyes and open their ears.
To single out individual tracks for particular consideration seems somehow pointless given the sheer quality of the entire set represented here. What emerges most of all from this DVD is that each one of these musicians drives the other two to produce their very best.
The filming is very good, giving emphasis where it should be -on the performers. No need, though, to sneak in some shots of "celebs", as if to give the performances some additional authority. These musicians are well beyond that.