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BBC Sessions
BBC Sessions
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock, Metal
  •  Track Listings (26) - Disc #1

Another gem from the BBC archives! And this might just be the 'cream' of the crop-22 live-in-the-studio performances by Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce, only two of which have been released before! Includes re...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Cream
Title: BBC Sessions
Members Wishing: 7
Total Copies: 0
Label: Polydor / Umgd
Release Date: 3/25/2003
Album Type: Extra tracks
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock, Metal
Styles: Blues Rock, Psychedelic Rock, British Invasion, Album-Oriented Rock (AOR)
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 044007604823, 0044007604823


Album Description
Another gem from the BBC archives! And this might just be the 'cream' of the crop-22 live-in-the-studio performances by Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce, only two of which have been released before! Includes renditions of then-current singles like 'I Feel Free' and 'Strange Brew' previews of upcoming album tracks like 'Tales of Brave Ulysses', 'We're Going Wrong', 'Born Under A Bad Sign', 'Politician', and 'Sunshine of Your Love', and versions of concert favorites like 'Traintime', 'Steppin' Out', and 'Crossroads', all recorded between November 1966 and January 1968. Also here are four short interview segments, as well as rare photos, session info and notes. A major find! Polydor. 2003.

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CD Reviews

Finally Released!
J. E FELL | Carterville, Illinois United States | 03/26/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"There have been rumors circulating about the release of this set for a number of years and I'm pleased that the "BBC Sessions" finally was officially released. This release helps to explain why no BBC material was included of the 4 cd box set "Those Were The Days" Some of the material included here has been widely available on bootlegs for years. However, there are some cuts included here that I have not seen on bootlegs. The inclusion of "Crossroads" which predates the released version and "Sunshine Of Your Love" are 2 such tracks. The rarities "Lawdy Mama" and the second version of "Steppin Out" have previously been released on Eric Clapton's "Crossroads" box set. The "BBC Sessions" illustrate what a diverse band Cream was during their brief existence. Tracks range from the pop of "I Feel Free" to the psychedelia of "Tales Of Brave Ulysses" to blues covers like "Rollin' and Tumblin" and the improvisational jamming in the instrumental "Steppin' Out". All the members were top musicians of their time and all contributed material for the band to record. Eric Clapton with his clean bluesy playing was an eye opening inspiration to young guitarists. He was reluctant to handle vocals during this time so the inclusion of Robert Johnson's "Four Until Late" is unexpected. Jack Bruce handled the majority of the vocals and songwriting. His harmonica playing is spotlighted on "Traintime". Bruce's bass playing was revolutionary at the time in that he freed the instrument from strictly being a member of the rhythm section. He often soloed over top of what Ginger Baker or Eric Clapton were playing. Drummer Ginger Baker along with Bruce had a background in jazz. Baker while not a just a timekeeper also liked to playing complex patterns across the solos of Clapton and Bruce. He also contributed both the occasional song such as "Sweet Wine" and vocal such as "Blue Condition" not included here. Baker was also known for being tempermental especially with Bruce and for having one of the first drum kits with a double bass drum. The versions of "Politician" and Albert King's "Born Under A Bad Sign" predate their official album releases. "Politician" one of my favorite Cream cuts was written just prior to playing it live on the BBC. The improvisational nature of the band especially evident in concert is spotlighted in cuts like "Cat's Squirrel", "I'm So Glad" and "N.S.U." The versions of Blind Joe Reynolds' "Outside Woman Blues" and the psychedelic "Swlabr" are especially impressive here. Occasionally Brian Matthew's voice overs become annoying but it is worth it for the music. It is a shame that some cuts like "Spoonful" "Sleepy Time Time", "Sitting On Top Of The World", "Toad" and "Blue Condition" from the BBC recordings were either lost or destroyed. The "BBC Sessions" provide an essential retrospective of one of the best and most influential bands of the late sixites. It is a shame that the band broke up so soon. Now that the "BBC Sessions" by Cream are released when will the BBC recordings by the Rolling Stones and Free be released commercially!"
The Cream of the BBC
mark | South Dakota | 04/06/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As in many things, it's the misfortunes that end up being unforeseen treasure. Back in the sixties the state run British Broadcasting Corporation was limited to how many hours it could play phonographs because of feared sales loss in the shops, oddly like the internet debate in present time. To make up for their limited outside source they brought in the best musicians and performers of the day to record live versions of their material for the BBC to play. In what must be shelves and shelves of old tapes there has been, over the past decade or so, release after release of amazing and historical sessions recorded for BBC airplay have seen the light of day. Finally we have the much known about and much rumored release of Cream's trips to the Beeb and it is well worth the wait. The sessions display just how rapid the trio rose to prominence as the recordings all were recorded within 14 months of each other, but the band at the January 1968 session is much evolved from the blues band that first hit the airwaves in November 1966.Cream were quite rightly rock's first supergroup and without a doubt lived up to the title. They were comprised of the "cream" of the British blues scene musicians with Eric Clapton (Yardbirds, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers) on guitar along with 2 Graham Bond Organization veterans in bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker. From the start they not only wanted to continue to pay tribute to the old blues masters they so longed to emulate but to bring the blues to new territory, which for them ended up being psychedelic pop and rock. Their earliest sessions demonstrate this with their debut straight pop single "Wrapping Paper" an early inclusion, but alongside it are a bunch of spirited blues renditions of songs like "Rollin' and Tumblin'", "Steppin' Out", "Cat's Squirrel", and most notably their well known remake of Robert Johnson's "Crossroads", here performed well over a year before it would see inclusion on the live disc of their third LP, Wheels of Fire.One of the most historic and interesting aspect of these archive releases is the ability to hear classic tracks performed while being worked on or before their commercial releases. Here we're treated to their next single "Strange Brew", the revolutionary wah-wah guitar monster "Tales of Brave Ulysses", and the haunting "We're Going Wrong" months before their sophomore LP Disraeli Gears would be available. Their next sessions would be around the time of that record's release and would feature the soon to be classic track "Sunshine of Your Love" as well as a preview of the the Albert King cover in "Born of a Bad Sign", which would not see release until the second new record Wheels of Fire. The same is true of "Politician" that they not only performed at their next visit, but the song's musical composition was finished at the very session it was debuted.The real treat in this release from Cream is that we get to hear them play live without having to venture into their extended jams, which have their virtues but distract from the real strengths of the trio. They made 10 minute jams as interesting as one could but when they concentrated on packing their volatile energy together with Clapton's concentrated guitar playing floating over the intricate drums playing of Ginger Baker and rolling bass lines and howling vocals of Jack Bruce they were hard to match. This is an essential display of the immensely influential trio at their best and cements the impact they made in the less than 3 years they were together."
Experience The Raw And Exciting Sound Of Cream!
highway_star | Hallandale, Florida United States | 04/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This collection of songs recorded for the BBC are what Cream were really all about, that is, raw and exciting rock with a definate blues influence. The songs Cream recorded for the BBC are the way the group actually sounded live. The band is full of energy with Clapton, Bruce and Baker sounding as strong as ever. Clapton's guitar licks are amazing and Jack Bruce's five string bass style and vocals are top notch as are Ginger Baker's drumming. Some of the songs included in this BBC collection are from Clapton's early days with John Mayall & The Blues Breakers (Steppin' Out"), Cream's "Fresh Cream" album ("Sweet Wine", "Rollin' & Tumblin'", Cat's Squirrel", "I'm So Glad", "I Feel Free", "N.S.U.",and "Four Until late"), the "Disraeli Gears" album ("Strange Brew", "Tales Of Brave Ulysses", "Swlabr", "We're Going Wrong", "Outside Woman Blues", "Take It Back", and "Sunshine Of Your Love"), the "Wheels Of Fire" double album ("Politician", and "Crossraods")as well as their earliest songs in "Wrapping Paper" and "Lawdy Mama". These songs Cream recorded for the BBC are raw, and not quite the polished versions you'd hear on their albums. As a matter of fact the sound quality of certain songs is average at best, but don't let that stop you from hearing this amazing trio at their peak. Also included is a fifteen page booklet with interesting info. and rare pictures of the band. If you artists such as The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Doors, Steppenwolf, Blue Cheer, etc. then you'll love this recording. Highly recommended."