Live Cream

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Live Cream
Live album by Cream
Released April 1970 (1970-04)[1]
Recorded May 1967 at Atlantic Studios, New York City
7 March 1968 at Fillmore West, San Francisco, California
9 and 10 March 1968 at Winterland, San Francisco, California[2]
Genre Blues rock, psychedelic rock, hard rock
Length 41:51
Label Atco
Producer Felix Pappalardi, Ahmet Ertegun, Robert Stigwood[2]
Cream chronology
Best of Cream
(1969)
Live Cream
(1970)
Live Cream Volume II
(1972)
Singles from Live Cream
  1. "Lawdy Mama"
    Released: July 1970 (1970-07)[1]

Live Cream (also called Live Cream, Volume 1) is a live compilation album by the English rock band Cream, released in 1970. This album comprises four live tracks recorded in 1968 and one studio track "Lawdy Mama" from 1967. The instrumental track for "Lawdy Mama" is the same as heard on "Strange Brew" with a different vocal and guitar solo by Eric Clapton.

Live Cream hit No. 15 on the Billboard 200,[3] and made No. 4 on the UK Top 40.[4]

Critical reception[edit]

In a 1970 review, Rolling Stone magazine called Live Cream "an excellent album" and "well-recorded, controlled, and tense; the timing of the band can capture the listener with an excitement that has nothing to do with nostalgia".[5] Paul Kresh of Stereo Review called it "a strangely uneven set of performances" highlighted by the "studio-made" "Lawdy Mama", which he called "three minutes of truly exciting music." He described the album as "disappointing jazz/rock" with excellent recording and stereo quality, particularly "superb" remixing by Adrian Barber, and felt that the longer tracks "suffer from interludes of aimlessness", but are generally "very good".[6]

In a retrospective review, Allmusic's Bruce Eder gave Live Cream four out of five stars and said that it "could well be their most consistently brilliant album for sheer musicianship", despite only featuring songs from Cream's "least ambitious and most rudimentary album" Fresh Cream (1966). Eder found the group's interplay throughout the jams "fascinating" and asserted that "performances like this single-handedly raised the stakes of musicianship in rock."[7] However, Robert Christgau gave the album a "C+" and said that, despite side one's "unmistakable and attractive" intensity, he prefers "Clapton's graceful picking on Fresh Cream '​s 'Sleepy Time Time' over the flat-out distortions here".[8] J. D. Considine, writing in The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), gave it two out of five stars and wrote that both Live Cream and its second volume are "muddled leftovers released solely to cash in on the band's enduring popularity."[9]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
  1. "N.S.U." (Jack Bruce) – 10:15
  2. "Sleepy Time Time" (Bruce, Janet Godfrey) – 6:52
    • Recorded 9 March 1968, Winterland, San Francisco.[2]
  3. "Lawdy Mama" (Traditional, arr. Eric Clapton) – 2:46
Side two
  1. "Sweet Wine" (Ginger Baker, Godfrey) – 15:16
    • Recorded 10 March 1968, Winterland, San Francisco.[2]
  2. "Rollin' and Tumblin'" (McKinley Morganfield) – 6:42

CD version track listing[edit]

  1. "N.S.U." (Bruce) – 10:15
  2. "Sleepy Time Time" (Bruce, Godfrey) – 6:49
  3. "Sweet Wine" (Baker, Godfrey) – 15:16
  4. "Rollin' and Tumblin'" (Morganfield) – 6:42
  5. "Hey Lawdy Mama" (Traditional) – 2:48

Personnel[edit]

Per liner notes[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Strong, Charles (2002) [Originally published in 1994]. The Great Rock Discography (Sixth ed.). United Kingdom: Canongate Books. p. 323. ISBN 1-84195-312-1. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Live Cream (CD liner). Cream. Polydor Records. 1997. 531,816-2. 
  3. ^ "Cream > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums" at AllMusic. Retrieved 28 September 2011.
  4. ^ "Live Cream". chartstats.com. Archived from the original on 22 July 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  5. ^ "Review: Live Cream". Rolling Stone (New York): 46. 28 May 1970. 
  6. ^ Kresh, Paul (September 1970). "The Cream: Live Cream". Stereo Review (Chicago) 25: 129. 
  7. ^ Eder, Bruce. "Live Cream, Vol. 1 – Cream". Allmusic. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  8. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Album: Cream: Live Cream". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  9. ^ Considine, J. D. et al. (2 November 2004). Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 198–9. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. Retrieved 30 March 2013.