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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 26 July 2014
1967's 'Disraeli Gears' finds the power rock trio of Eric Clapton (guitar/vocals), Jack Bruce (bass/vocals), and Ginger Baker (drums/vocals) at the peak of their powers, both creatively and musically. With 13 tracks lasting around 33 minutes in total, this album is certainly short and sweet, but, just look at the quality - 'Strange Brew', 'Sunshine Of Your Love', 'Dance The Night Away', 'Tales Of Brave Ulysses', 'SWALBR' and 'We're Going Wrong' - all classic blues/rock numbers which make this album a joy to listen to. Buy this and discover your 1960s groove, guys!
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on 24 April 2008
If you're thinking of buying 'Disraeli Gears' this is the one to get. The stereo mix on the first disc is far from satisfactory on most stereo equipment because of the way the drums are presented - much too isolated on the extreme right and too lightweight, with the guitar too isolated on the extreme left; unless you have a system with particularly heavy and tight mid-bass clout, then it's probably the mono version on the second disc that works best for the 5 most important tracks on the album (Sunshine, Ulysses, We're Going Wrong, Outside Woman Blues and SWLABR) with the drums much heavier and better integrated into the texture. This Deluxe Edition is the only way of getting the mono mix on CD.

Also on the mono disc you get the live BBC studio versions of all the numbers associated with this album plus 'Politician' 'Sitting on Top of the World' and 'Stepping Out'. These tracks are also found on 'Cream:the BBC Sessions' but here the sound is much improved.
Unfortunately 'Sunshine' from the BBC sessions is not included and so one has to put up with the really bad sound of this track on the earlier album. Why?
But the BBC recordings of 'Tales of Brave Ulysses', 'We're Going Wrong' and SWLABR three of their best numbers, are good alternative versions to the ones on 'Gears' and will help to keep your responses fresh. They are very close to the album versions but they are different enough. 'Outside Woman Blues' has an interestingly different guitar solo.
For those like myself who can't stand 'Strange Brew' in the commercially released version there is the much more 'authentic' live version they did for the BBC with a single solo singing voice instead of the sickening double tracked one. In this form it sounds like what it is: a simple blues. Even better is the original blues it is based on called 'Lawdy Mama', the out-take of which is also included here' If only this had been used for the album as released instead of the atrocious kitsch which is 'Strange Brew'. This crime against good taste should have offended far more people than it has, and unfortunately to this day in this country it is the first thing that comes to mind for the un-initiated when the name Cream is mentioned since it was their only chart success here - in the States, thank god, it was 'Sunshine Of Your Love'.
One of the most interesting things is an ur-version of 'Politician' showing it still in the process of creation with provisional lyrics, later rejected, and played much faster. they were obviously having fun on this one.
SWLABR has much more rhythmic vitality than the familiar version and most enjoyable. The same is true of 'Steppin Out' which is better and faster than the one on Live Cream Vol.2.
In addition, on the first disc, there are some demos of a few other numbers otherwise only available on the over expensive and badly conceived 'Those Were the Days' 3 CD set which doesn't have the mono mix.

But the live albums are more important. See my reviews.
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on 8 February 2008
Hasn't anyone who has reviewed this apart from 'Top Cat' noticed how unnatural and lightweight the drums sound on many of these tracks when heard in stereo. But it does sound a lot more satisfactory on systems with fairly thudding, heavy but tight bass; that does go a long way towards binding it all together

40 years ago when I first got to know this it was a mono copy I had - on vinyl of course. When I acquired a CD copy some years ago at first I couldn't understand why I felt so let down but I soon realized that it was the stereo mix that was to blame; it was neither the quality of sound with the transfer to digital nor the music itself thankfully, although not having heard my old copy for some years, for a short time I was uncertain whether my old estimation of it had been correct. But no, when I was able to hear my old mono pressing again I found it was as good as ever, and there are not many things in rock I can say that about. It's still not as good as the best of their live recordings, but I never thought it was. And it's not as good on CD, even in mono, as it is on vinyl, perhaps because a stereo cartridge playing a mono disc seems to give you a certain amount of right left separation, but it's still pretty good. See my review of the Deluxe Edition.
In referring to the stereo mix I am referring to all 3 stereo masterings that I have heard on CD, including the latest. One thing I can't complain about is the QUALITY of sound in stereo which is certainly very easy on the ears. It's not the quality that's in doubt it's whether the stereo sound stage and balance of the drums works well for the music.
Heard in a mixture of mono and stereo I would give it 5 stars. The most important improvement made by listening in mono on certain tracks is the difference it makes to the drums. In stereo the drums are too isolated on the right and sound rather tentative and half-hearted. They sound so light someone has described them as sounding as if Baker was using practice pads. But in mono they sound heavier and punchier, adding density. The stereo separation is made worse because often the lead guitar is on the extreme left, as far away from the drums as possible. But it's a moot point whether Baker's genius for using offbeats in the bar to place his stresses, and for suspending stresses where you expect them to be, is clearer and more effective when heard in mono or stereo. This is vital in Cream. Without it a lot of the tension and release of tension is lost.
What I have said applies especially to the 5 most important tracks on the album, namely Sunshine, Ulysses, SWLABR, Outside Woman Blues, and to a lesser extent We're Going Wrong.
The wide stereo mix takes a lot of getting used to on these crucial tracks, especially because of what happens to the drums. It really shouldn't be too difficult to put it right with another remastering even if the original multi-tracks were lost in the 1976 fire.
I get to play things on a great many stereo systems and I have noticed that on some systems the stereo mix is not such a great problem because they emphasize the bottom end of the drums by fattening it, but systems like this are unusual. But, in general, the more high-end the equipment is the worse this sounds.
Combining the right and left channels does not work with 'Disraeli Gears', as it does with 'Fresh Cream', because the drums just aren't quite loud enough in the stereo mix, and played in mono mode they are even less loud, even if they are better placed. There is no choice, therefore, but to get the Deluxe Edition with the original mono mix.

It has to be said though that the first track 'Strange Brew' is complete rubbish whether you hear it in mono or stereo. It is just a kitsch version of 'Lawdy Mama' which can be heard as one of the demos. What a pity they couldn't have put that as the first track. It's not particularly noteworthy being nothing much more than a conventional blues but it has more credibility than the synthetic thing they made out of it. But Strange Brew is the one irritating blot on one of the best studio albums to come from the 60s. Mind you, there are two live versions of Brew which are quite respectable and if they were to replace the studio production normally presented I would be perfectly happy. One of these live versions can easily be found in the BBC recordings and is even included in the 'De Luxe Disraeli Gears.
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VINE VOICEon 16 September 2001
Yes there are other albums and singles that may strike your fancy. But this one is the first to come to mind when mentioning Cream. It is too bad that the samples stop before "Tales Of Brave Ulysses" as each track is unique. Therefor you have to listen to them all to get a more complete picture of this group.
Warning this album is addictive I find my self singing, " Sunshine Of Your Love" a little too loud at work and then I hear others completing the words from other cubes
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VINE VOICEon 6 March 2002
The most together and varied of the Cream studio recordings. Lots of things to discover and admire. A feast of memorable songs beautifully sung and played. They were one of the true groups in rock. Each musician was fantastic and you can hear that here. The drums and bass being as important as Claptons celebrated guitar. To this day Cream never get the respect they deserved. Read any poll of all time top albums and Creams work is usually missing. Thats because all the magazines etc pander to populist, commercial, middle of the road twaddle. Along with Hendrix, Cream pioneered the avenues of heavy rock. The more lauded groups like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones etc are not in the same league. They reproduced the same old stuff year in year out. Cream disbanded when they had no more to say. Clapton has remained famous but how many of todays listeners know of Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce. They should because they are far superior musicians than most of the recognised superstars of rock. And Bruce has one of the most amazing voices ever. Buy this and open your mind to a true classic.
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on 1 January 2015
The cd arrived with commendable speed and I am pleased with it. This is a rebuy of a vinyl that I have owned since its original release in 1967. I do not know why it has taken so long. Some of the music has dated but it will always be near to my heart and it was so good to hear "We're going wrong" again. Along with "Badge" it was their best
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on 29 May 2016
good delivery as I live in Shetland, well packaged, Cream are as good as I remember from my progressive rock days. I am presently having guitar lessons and my tutor claims all good music is over now, he could be right,
John.
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on 30 May 2015
Great recording on heavy weight vinyl of this classic LP. Originaly disapointed it was Mono but after a couple of emails with the seller I gave it a try and there is now no way I would want to return it. Great product great seller. Thanks
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on 24 July 2004
This is one of the most influential records ever, and single handedly capture the feel of the late 60's. Eric Clapton's phenominal guitar is as good as it ever has been, fusing blues, rock and a healthy dose of psychedelia he created some of the most memorable riffs ever.
From the intro to "Strange Brew" to the widly hailed "Sunshine of Your Love" (So good Hendrix covered live it even though he didn't know the words) to moody smokey blues covers to the traditonal "Mothers Lament".
It's a great album, with top notch musicianship, and for those of you asking "Why is Clapton God?" this will be another step towards realising why. Only 3 or 4 other guitarists can claim the same kind of influence Clapton has. That's it.
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on 10 August 2008
I am 17 year old and i'm a massive fan of heavy metal, I love most types of music from Heavy Metal to Blues to abit of Indie to Instrumental rock and all types of rock from 60s 70s and 80s. 2 of my friends who have similar taste in music as me really like Eric Clapton so I checked his greatest hits and that was brilliant. Then I decided to start my Cream selection and bought this and i love it.

This awesome rock/blues album was made famous by the song Sunshine Of Your Love, which is a brilliant song but there is more to this album then that song. The best song for me here is World Of Pain it's amazing and the vocals on this album are brilliant. In conclusion, this album is brilliant and should any music lovers collection whatever music you like buy it.
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