[[caption-width-right:347:Left to right: Music/EricClapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce.]]

->''"Cream never really played that much blues. I think we aimed to start a revolution in musical thought. We set out to change the world, to upset people, and to shock them... Our aim was to get so far away from the original line that you're playing something that's never been heard before."''

Cream was an extremely influential English band active from 1966 to 1969, reuniting a few times since. Cream was made up of Music/EricClapton (guitar and vocals), Ginger Baker (drums), and Jack Bruce (lead vocals and bass). All three musicians were already well known in the English rock scene at the time, thus making Cream one of the first {{supergroup}}s and the [[TropeNamer first to be referred as such]]. During their three years of existence, they released four albums, all of which reached the top 6 of the UK Albums Chart.

Cream basically popularised and helped [[TropeCodifier codify]] PsychedelicRock and brought BluesRock into the mainstream with songs based on both traditional blues (such as "Crossroads" and "Spoonful") and modern blues. Cream also popularised the use of the wah-wah pedal.

The band was also known for its live performances. The members often incorporated jams into their songs, with some reaching to 16 minutes (such as "Spoonful" and "Toad"); this made them favourites around the world. They were at their time the number one biggest live act. Clapton's guitar solos were (and are) considered some of the best ever.

''Fresh Cream'', the band's first album, consisted of cover versions of blues standards ("Spoonful", "Rollin' and Tumblin'", "Four Until Late", "I'm So Glad"), original songs written by the band and collaborators ("I Feel Free", "N.S.U.", "Sleepy Time Time", "Dreaming", "Sweet Wine"), a rearrangement of the traditional song "Cat's Squirrel" and the drum solo showcase "Toad". Cream's sophomore effort ''Music/DisraeliGears'' is considered the album that defined the band's style of mixed rock and blues; some of Cream's biggest hits, such as "Sunshine of Your Love" and "Strange Brew," appeared on the album. ''Music/DisraeliGears'' is also noted for its psychedelic cover art.

''Wheels of Fire'' was Cream's third album and their first double album, the first disc with studio tracks and the second with live tracks performed in San Francisco. It topped the American charts and became the world's first platinum-selling double album. With this album, the band shifted from blues to ProgressiveRock, using classical instruments and [[UncommonTime rare time signatures]].

Shortly before ''Wheels of Fire'' was finished, the members of Cream wanted to go their separate ways. The already-present animosity between Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce reached a high point, and Clapton had to act as peacekeeper. Soon, all three members did not listen to each other much while performing, with Clapton frequently recalling a concert where he actually stopped playing at one point but neither Baker or Bruce noticed. Clapton was also influenced to break up the band after a scathing review of one of their concerts in ''Magazine/RollingStone'', where Jon Landau dismissed him as a "master of the blues cliché", and after becoming captivated by Music/TheBand's debut ''Music/MusicFromBigPink''. Cream made an official announcement in July 1968 that they would break up soon after another tour and album. The band did a farewell tour in late 1968, and their final album, ''Goodbye'', was released in 1969.

Upon the demise of Cream, Eric Clapton had stints with several different bands before embarking on an extremely successful solo career; the other two members have been successful, but less so. The line-up reunited briefly at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 and then again for a handful of reunion concerts in 2005. Jack Bruce died from liver disease on the 25th of October 2014, at the age of 71, which more or less ends any chance of further Cream reunions.

Cream's influence has extended far, from progressive rock bands such as Music/{{Rush}} to jam bands such as Music/TheGratefulDead to heavy metal bands such as Music/BlackSabbath. Creator/VH1 and Rolling Stone have both called Cream one of the best bands of all time. Most of all, one of their number one fans was of course Music/JimiHendrix, who came to England in hope of meeting Music/EricClapton, his idol.

!!Principal Members (Founding members in '''bold'''):

* '''Ginger Baker''' - drums, percussion, occasional lead vocals, bells, glockenspiel, timpani, cowbells (1966-1968, 1993, 2005)
* '''Jack Bruce''' - bass, lead vocals, harmonica, piano, cello, guitar, calliope, recorder, organ (1966-1968, 1993, 2005, died 2014)
* '''[[Music/EricClapton Eric Clapton]]''' - guitar, lead vocals (1966-1968, 1993, 2005)

!!Studio Discography:

* 1966 - ''Fresh Cream'' [[note]]The British, Swedish and American editions of this album all had different track-listings. The Swedish version added "Wrapping Paper" and "The Coffee Song", while the American version (released in 1967) omitted "Spoonful" and added "I Feel Free".[[/note]]
* 1967 - ''Music/DisraeliGears''
* 1968 - ''Wheels of Fire'' [[note]]The first half of the album was recorded in the studio[[/note]]
* 1969 - ''Goodbye'' [[note]]The last three songs on side 2 was recorded in the studio[[/note]]

!!Live Discography:

* 1968 - ''Wheels of Fire'' [[note]]The second half of the album was recorded live[[/note]]
* 1969 - ''Goodbye'' [[note]]Side one of the album and the first song of side two were recorded live[[/note]]
* 1970 - ''Live Cream''
* 1972 - ''Live Cream Volume II''
* 2003 - ''BBC Sessions''
* 2006 - ''Royal Albert Hall London May 2-3-5-6, 2005''

!!Non-album singles:

* 1966 - "Wrapping Paper" [[note]]Otherwise available on the Swedish version of their 1966 album ''Fresh Cream'', but not on a UK album[[/note]] / "Cat's Squirrel"
* 1966 - "I Feel Free" [[note]]Otherwise available on the US version of their 1966 album ''Fresh Cream'', but not on a UK album[[/note]] / "N.S.U." [[note]]Otherwise available on their 1966 album ''Fresh Cream''[[/note]]
* 1968 - "Anyone For Tennis" / "Pressed Rat And Warthog"

!!This band provides examples of:

* BluesRock: If not the TropeCodifier, then certainly the most important GenrePopularizer.
* CoolOldGuy: Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker.
* CoverVersion: Side two of ''Fresh Cream'', almost the entire live discs of ''Wheels of Fire'' and ''Goodbye'', and parts of ''Music/DisraeliGears''. Worth noting is they would often [[RearrangeTheSong rearrange them.]]
* DistinctDoubleAlbum: ''Wheels of Fire''.
* DreamTeam: The [[TropeNamer first super-group.]]
** When Clapton recruited Bruce and Baker, he was unaware that the two had in fact had a feud running between them. This stemmed from the time they had played together in another band, where Baker had fired Bruce and threatened him with a knife. Surprisingly (and luckily), they put aside their differences in order to work with Clapton.
* EpicRocking: These were the guys who started it! To EndingFatigue levels, in fact. Which was due to a severe GoneHorriblyRight: at their first concerts, they didn't have a big repertoire so they'd stretch out by jamming. Pretty soon the only reason people came to their shows was to hear their jamming. [[Music/VanHalen Eddie Van Halen]] once referred to their style by saying "they had this quality of falling down the stairs and landing on their feet."
* GratuitousPanning: In most songs on ''Fresh Cream'' and ''Music/DisraeliGears'', all the drums were on the right channel. In "I Feel Free," all the main instruments were on the right channel, the tambourine was on the left, and the vocals were in the middle. In "Mother's Lament," the reverb on the vocals was only on the right channel.
* ImportFilter: Both ways. Cream had many American influences like Music/RobertJohnson and Music/HowlinWolf (in fact, they were much more into these people than Americans). [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff And Cream were VERY popular in America]].
* LeadBassist: Jack Bruce was a Type A and a Type B. When Cream were recording most of their material he was by far the best-known member of the band, and he was also their lead vocalist as well as by far the largest contributor in terms of original songs. Also somewhat averted, though, as Clapton's fame has obviously overshadowed his these days, and Ginger Baker has gotten quite a lot of exposure since the band's break-up as well. Then again, in a power trio as influential as Cream and consisting of three virtuosos, they're all going to attract quite a lot of attention.
* LeadDrummer: Ginger Baker provided one of the first examples in rock music, and he remains one of the most noteworthy. He's also managed to accrue enormous respect as a jazz drummer (and indeed, he came from a jazz background to begin with).
* LoudnessWar: Baker and Bruce actually engaged in a live version, loading the stage with newer and increasingly advanced amplifiers, attempting to drown one another out. Clapton eventually realised he could stop playing completely unnoticed.
* NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly: They incorporated elements of jazz, blues, psychedelia, and elements of classical and world music in a manner that had never before been tried in rock music.
* NonAppearingTitle: "Badge."[[note]]George Harrison wrote the song with Clapton and he and Clapton were writing different parts of the lyrics together, sitting opposite each other. Clapton was supposed to write the lyrics for the bridge but hadn't yet, so Harrison wrote on his own piece of paper "BRIDGE". Clapton looked at it, reading it upside-down and said "What's 'Badge'?" They both thought it was so funny that it became the song's title.[[/note]]
* ProgressiveRock: Arguably one of the {{Trope Codifier}}s or {{Ur Example}}s, depending on your interpretation.
* PsychedelicRock: Again, one of the {{Trope Codifier}}s.
* RearrangeTheSong: "Crossroads", from Music/RobertJohnson's "Cross Road Blues". Those awesome guitar solos? Clapton's additions.
* RockTrio
* StepUpToTheMicrophone: Clapton takes the lead on "Four Until Late", "Crossroads", "Strange Brew", "Outside Woman Blues" and "Crossroads", and has joint lead vocal on "Sunshine of Your Love". Baker sings (sort of) "Blue Condition", provides SpokenWordInMusic on "Pressed Rat and Warthog", and sings additional vocals on "Those Were the Days". All three of them sing "Mother's Lament".
* UncommonTime: Parts of "White Room" on ''Wheels of Fire'' are in 5/4 time, and "Those Were The Days" has some quirky rhythmic shifts, with bars of 3/4 and 5/4 along with 4/4 in the chorus. "Deserted Cities of the Heart" has patterns of two bars of 4/4, one of 3/4, and one of 4/4 in the verses.
* UrExample: Of about seven different rock genres, arguably - seminal artists in genres as diverse as jam bands (Mickey Hart of the Music/GratefulDead), ProgressiveRock (Neil Peart of Music/{{Rush}}), ThrashMetal (Lars Ulrich of Music/{{Metallica}}), and PunkRock (Music/JohnLydon of Music/SexPistols and Music/PublicImageLtd) have attested to Cream's influence, and Cream provide early examples of tendencies like {{improv}}, EpicRocking, and UncommonTime that later became de rigeur in various rock genres. Despite being together only two years, Cream ended up being one of the most influential acts of TheSixties.
* WordSaladLyrics: "Doing That Scrapyard Thing", courtesy of Jack Bruce's regular lyricist Pete Brown. First verse:
-->When I was young they gave me a mongrel piano,\\
Spent all my time inventing the cup of tea.\\
Writing your name in the sea,\\
Banging my fav'rite head.
** "Badge"
-->I told you not to wander 'round in the dark\\
I told you 'bout the swans, that they live in the park[[note]]According to Creator/GeorgeHarrison, this line was contributed by a drunken Creator/RingoStarr, who dropped by while he and Clapton were writing the song [[/note]]\\
Then I told you 'bout our kid, now he's married to Mabel.\\