Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cream - Disraeli Gears (1967 uk, historical heavy blues psych, japan SHM two disc set)




Cream teamed up with producer Felix Pappalardi for their second album, Disraeli Gears, a move that helped push the power trio toward psychedelia and also helped give the album a thematic coherence missing from the debut. This, of course, means that Cream get further away from the pure blues improvisatory troupe they were intended to be, but it does get them to be who they truly are: a massive, innovative power trio. 

The blues still courses throughout Disraeli Gears -- the swirling kaleidoscopic "Strange Brew" is built upon a riff lifted from Albert King -- but it's filtered into saturated colors, as it is on "Sunshine of Your Love," or it's slowed down and blurred out, as it is on the ominous murk of "Tales of Brave Ulysses." It's a pure psychedelic move that's spurred along by Jack Bruce's flourishing collaboration with Pete Brown. 

Together, this pair steers the album away from recycled blues-rock and toward its eccentric British core, for with the fuzzy freakout "Swlabr," the music hall flourishes of "Dance the Night Away," the swinging "Take It Back," and of course, the old music hall song "Mother's Lament," this is a very British record. Even so, this crossed the ocean and also became a major hit in America, because regardless of how whimsical certain segments are, Cream are still a heavy rock trio and Disraeli Gears is a quintessential heavy rock album of the '60s. Yes, its psychedelic trappings tie it forever to 1967, but the imagination of the arrangements, the strength of the compositions, and especially the force of the musicianship make this album transcend its time as well. 
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Tracks
Disc 1
1. Strange Brew (Eric Clapton, Felix Pappalardi, Gail Collins Pappalardi) - 2:46
2. Sunshine of Your Love (Clapton, Jack Bruce, Pete Brown) - 4:10
3. World of Pain (Pappalardi, Collins) - 3:03
4. Dance the Night Away (Bruce, Brown) - 3:34
5. Blue Condition (Ginger Baker) - 3:29
6. Tales of Brave Ulysses (Clapton, Martin Sharp) - 2:46
7. Swlabr (Bruce, Brown) - 2:32
8. We're Going Wrong (Bruce) - 3:26
9. Outside Woman Blues (Blind Joe Reynolds, arr. Clapton) - 2:24
10.Take It Back (Bruce, Brown) - 3:05
11.Mother's Lament (Traditional, arr. Clapton, Bruce, Baker) - 1:47
12.Lawdy Mama  (Version 2) (Traditional, arr. Clapton) - 2:00
13.Blue Condition (Alternate Version) (Baker) - 3:13
14.We're Going Wrong (Bruce) - 3:49
15.Hey Now, Princess (Bruce, Brown) - 3:31
16.Swlabr (Bruce, Brown) - 4:30
17.Weird of Hermiston (Bruce, Brown) - 3:12
18.The Clearout (Bruce, Brown) - 3:58
Tracks 1-11 Stereo
Tracks 12-13 Outtakes
Tracks 14-18 Demos
Disc 2
1. Strange Brew (Eric Clapton, Felix Pappalardi, Gail Collins Pappalardi) - 2:46
2. Sunshine of Your Love (Clapton, Jack Bruce, Pete Brown) - 4:10
3. World of Pain (Pappalardi, Collins) - 3:03
4. Dance the Night Away (Bruce, Brown) - 3:34
5. Blue Condition (Ginger Baker) - 3:29
6. Tales of Brave Ulysses (Clapton, Martin Sharp) - 2:46
7. Swlabr (Bruce, Brown) - 2:32
8. We're Going Wrong (Bruce) - 3:26
9. Outside Woman Blues (Blind Joe Reynolds, arr. Clapton) - 2:24
10.Take It Back (Bruce, Brown) - 3:05
11.Mother's Lament (Traditional, arr. Clapton, Bruce, Baker) - 1:47
12. Lawdy Mama (Version 1) (Traditional, arr. Clapton) - 2:04
13. Blue Condition (Alternate Version) (G. Baker) - 3:12
14.Strange Brew (Clapton, Pappalardi, Collins) - 3:00
15.Tales of Brave Ulysses (Clapton, Sharp) - 2:55
16.We're Going Wrong (Bruce) - 3:25
17.Born Under a Bad Sign (Booker T. Jones, William Bell) - 3:03
18.Outside Woman Blues (Reynolds) - 3:18
19.Take It Back (Bruce, Brown) - 2:17
20.Politician (Bruce, Brown) - 3:59
21.Swlabr (Bruce, Brown) - 2:32
22.Steppin' Out (James Bracken) - 3:37
Tracks 1-11 Mono
Tracks 12-13 Outtakes
Tracks 14-22 BBC recordings

Cream
*Ginger Baker - Drums, Vocals
*Jack Bruce - Bass, Harmonica, Keyboards, Vocals
*Eric Clapton - Guitar, Vocals

Free Text

7 comments:

  1. Υπέροχος δισκος ευχαριστω πολυ Μαριε

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  2. One of the greatest trio of that time.SHM sounds superb Thanks...

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  3. Absolutely brilliant, great post, thanx
    cheers

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  4. Cream has the distinction of being one of the first supergroups of rock (that said to ignore the endless transfers of members between jazz groups). Not only that, but the band was commercially successful and garnered rave reviews, as well as boosting the careers of Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce. 'Disraeli Gears' is the second album by British supergroup. It was released in November 1967 and went on to reach #5 on the UK Albums Chart. It was also their American breakthrough, becoming a massive seller there in 1968, reaching #4 on the American charts. The album features the two singles "Strange Brew" and "Sunshine of Your Love". The title of the album was taken from an inside joke. Eric Clapton had been thinking of buying a racing bicycle and was discussing it with Ginger Baker, when a roadie named Mick Turner commented, "it's got them Disraeli Gears", meaning to say "derailleur gears," but instead alluding to 19th Century British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli. The band thought this was hilarious, and decided that it should be the title of their next album. Had it not been for Mick's turn of phrase, the album would simply have been entitled "Cream."

    From the opening notes of ‘Strange Brew,’ it was clear that the band had moved on from the style of their debut as it takes the blues roots and twists them into a vibrant 1967 technicolor. The pattern is followed with even more dramatic effect on the album’s second track, ‘Sunshine of Your Love.’ A simple blues guitar riff set the tone, but the pounding of Ginger Baker‘s drums propel the song into foreign territory. Throw in a killer Eric Clapton solo and you’ve got a true classic. Released as a single in early 1968, it hit the top five and helped push the LP to No. 4.

    Throughout the album, the interplay between the three musicians is stunning, setting the benchmark for hard rockers to follow. It should be said that even though Eric Clapton often gets the lion’s share of accolades when talking Cream, in many ways, Jack Bruce is the real star of the show here. His vocals are hauntingly beautiful and his bass playing is stellar. While we’re at it, Baker ain’t no slouch on the skins either, and he even turns up with a lead vocal on ‘Blue Condition,’ proving why he’s best kept behind the drum kit.

    We’re Going Wrong’ is a psychedelic tour de force. Bruce’s ethereal vocals hover over the circular chord pattern and tribal drumming making it a real stunner! ‘World of Pain’ and ‘Dance the Night Away’ mix in elements of psych pop, but with a slightly darker mood. It’s hard to pick the high point of the album, but certainly both ‘Tales of Brave Ulysses’ and ‘SWLABR’ are right up there. ‘Tales’ is one of the most haunting rockers of all time. Written by Clapton and artist friend Martin Sharp, it’s descending main riff and wild lyrics meld together perfectly. Clapton delivers on of his finest solos at song’s end. ‘SWLABR’ is one of the album’s rawest tracks with a dynamic riff pushing things at full throttle. The title, by the way, stands for ‘She Walks Like A Bearded Rainbow.’ We’re not sure … ask Jack Bruce.

    Thx Marios.

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  5. Hi Marios & Cor, thank you for the SHM edition of this great album!

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