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Disraeli Gears by Cream: Retrospective review

Updated on June 27, 2015
Disraeli Gears: Cream
Disraeli Gears: Cream | Source

Classic rock album from Cream: Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce & Ginger Baker

In 1967 I wasn't yet a teenager. But as Christmas approached, my mum asked me what gifts I would really love to receive. Top of the list was Disraeli Gears. I'd heard tracks on the radio and I definitely wanted to hear more - and to have my own copy.

The 1960s

This was a wonderful era in which to grow up. There was so much for a child to take in and try to understand - if possible. There was Vietnam (forever associated with The Doors in my mind) and from America, I was hearing about hippies, pop festivals - and the musicians I had heard on pirate radio stations were getting known in the States.

Not quite mainstream music

Although Disraeli Gears is now a rock classic, in those days the music we really liked was rarely played on mainstream UK radio. We had to rely on tiny, battery powered transistor radios on which we could listen to Radio Caroline (music broadcast illegally from a ship just outside British territorial waters) and the American Forces Network. It was a musical voyage of discovery in those days.

Three experienced musicians

Eric Clapton was already well-known - I'd seen the famous graffiti, 'Clapton is God'. Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce were also familiar to me; both had played with jazz or blues bands that I'd listened to on my little 'tranny'. (John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Alexis Korner & the Yardbirds come to mind). And yet, when the three formed their own group, it went against the common pattern of the time - I can't think of any other successful trios.

Jazz, blues and rock

The three musicians had varied experiences within these three genres. When they came together, it would be inevitable that their music would be a combination of the three.

Classic tracks

I played this album until I'd more or less worn it away and the psychedelic record sleeve fell completely apart. Now that it's available on CD, that problem and the one of oft-played record literally wearing out, no longer exists.

When I hear the end of track, I know exactly what's coming next. Even the somewhat strange ditty Mother's Lament (that seems to be shoved onto the album to fill a gap) passed into our family as one of those songs-to-sing-on-car-journeys.


Discover or re-discover Cream

If you're a youngster and believe that your parents and grandparents listened to rubbish music then you're in for a shock.

What's more, at the time, this music was completely new - unlike most music we had heard.

If you were around in the sixties, there's no better way to indulge in nostalgia for that brilliant and innovative era.

Yes, they are definitely old guys now

Old guys now...

Youngsters, it will happen to you. One day you'll see the musical idols of your youth become parent and grandparents ... you'll see them age. Believe me, it's true.

Nevertheless, this is a fascinating video showing the making of Disraeli Gears.

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    • profile image

      reasonablerobby 

      4 years ago

      First riff I ever learned on the guitar was Sunshine of your Love. Class album.

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @anonymous: Lucky you - I never saw them live.

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @secrets4success: Well said - I agree.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      4 years ago

      I remember buying Disraeli Gears, mostly because of "Sunshine of Your Love." Actually, I bought Disraeli Gears a few times. I bought the album then years later bought the CD, then bought the remastered CD. A zillion years later it still holds up as a collection of brilliant songs, a pioneering work. I saw Cream's farewell tour and have the DVD for their 2005 reunion concert series. Still one of the great bands of all time.

    • profile image

      secrets4success 

      4 years ago

      Amazing album, love it! But then again ALL the Classic Rock of this era was really great music...real musicians who knew how to play

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @sousababy: I had a what's-his-face for many years who was a musician so during that time we must have listened to, discussed or analyzed almost every song in the world but luckily, this was way before he came onto the scene :)

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 

      4 years ago

      Some songs remind me of what's-his-face (too bad for the great bands of that era). These guys were a bit "before my time" though. Classic stuff, I love Eric Clapton.

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Erin Mellor: Oh yes, just think if we still had all the stuff we lost thanks to various what's-his-faces :)

    • Erin Mellor profile image

      Erin Mellor 

      4 years ago from Europe

      I lost my copy of Disraeli Gears in a teen break up. 30 years on I miss it more than what's-his-face.

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