500 Greatest Songs of All Time

Rolling Stone's definitive list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

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Cream, 'Sunshine of Your Love'

65. Cream, 'Sunshine of Your Love'

Writers: Jack Bruce, Pete Brown, Eric Clapton
Producer: Felix Pappalardi
Released: Jan. '68, Atco
26 weeks; No. 5 

Bassist Bruce and lyricist-poet Brown came up with "Sunshine" toward the end of an all-night session, which inspired the opening line: "It's getting near dawn/When lights close their tired eyes." The killer riff was inspired by Jimi Hendrix and based on a bass ostinato from Bruce; Clapton added the chorus hook, and drummer Ginger Baker laid down a mammoth, tom-tom-heavy beat. Bruce knew "Sunshine" would do well, but Atlantic Records nearly rejected it until some of the label's biggest acts started championing the record. "Both Booker T. Jones and Otis Redding heard it and told me it was going to be a smash," he recalled.

Appears on: Disraeli Gears (Polydor) 


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