Cream, 'Disraeli Gears'
Cream's best album distilled their prodigious chops and rhythmic interplay
into psychedelic pop that never strayed far from their blues roots. Except for
the electricity, "Outside Woman Blues" is nearly identical to Arthur
Reynolds' 1930s original. And the riff to "Sunshine of Your Love,"
written by bassist Jack Bruce, is Delta blues in jab and drive. But Disraeli
Gears decisively broke with British blues purism in the ecstatic jangle of
"Dance the Night Away," the climbing dismay of "We're Going
Wrong" (driven by Ginger Baker's circular drumming) and the wah-wah
grandeur of "Tales of Brave Ulysses." Producer Felix Pappalardi and
engineer Tom Dowd contributed song sense and studio expertise; lyricist Pete
Brown was unique in his union of Dada and confession. When Bruce sang "And
the rainbow has a beard" in "SWLABR," you knew that didn't come
from Robert Johnson.