Things We Like

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Things We Like
Studio album by Jack Bruce
Released 1970 (UK), 1971 (US)
Recorded August 1968
Genre Jazz fusion
Length 42:44 (original LP release)
48:04 (2003 CD reissue)
Label Atco
(initial US release, SD 33-349)
Producer Jack Bruce
Jack Bruce chronology
Songs for a Tailor
Things We Like
Harmony Row
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Robert Christgau (B+)[1]
Allmusic 4/5 stars[2]

Things We Like is a jazz album by bassist Jack Bruce.

The album was Bruce's second solo album to reach the marketplace; it was released in the United Kingdom in late 1970, and in the United States in early 1971. However, it was chronologically his first solo album, as it was recorded in August 1968, while Bruce was still a member of the rock power trio Cream.

Things We Like is noteworthy in that it is Bruce's only all-instrumental album, mostly containing tunes that Bruce claims to have composed in 1955, when he was twelve years of age.[3] The album also prominently features Bruce's technique on the double bass, an instrument he rarely otherwise recorded with during his career.

Whereas most of Bruce's recorded work prior to this album was in the rock or blues music genres, Things We Like is jazz-flavoured, in particular drawing from 1950s bebop and 1960s free jazz influences. Perhaps not surprisingly given this, the album did not chart upon its release.

Bruce had previously worked with two of his backing musicians on Things We Like – guitarist John McLaughlin and saxophonist Dick Heckstall-Smith – during his tenures with the Graham Bond Organisation and Graham Bond Quartet prior to joining Cream. (In particular, the Graham Bond Quartet, including Bruce and McLaughlin, produced a live recording of Things We Like's "HCKHH Blues", under its full title "Ho Ho Country Kickin' Blues", in 1963; this track appears on the 1970 Graham Bond compilation album Solid Bond.) Bond's band was also Bruce's connection to drummer Jon Hiseman, who joined that band after Bruce's departure. Bruce would subsequently work again with McLaughlin in The Tony Williams Lifetime, and completed his last tour with Lifetime in the UK in late 1970, at about the time Things We Like was released there.[4]

The album's original release included tracks 1-7 listed below; "Ageing Jack Bruce" was included in Polydor's 2003 CD reissue of the album as a bonus track.

The original album featured a distinctly jazz stereo mix with the drums in the right hand channel only, similar to Miles Davis's 1960s Quintet releases. The 1988 US Polydor CD release featured a more rock-oriented mix with the drums centered, and bass and sax in the left and right channels respectively. The 2003 CD re-issue features the original jazz mix. While both mono and stereo versions of Things We Like were issued as promotional albums to US radio stations in 1971, a mono version of the album has not been commercially issued.

Track listing[edit]

All compositions by Jack Bruce, unless otherwise noted.

1. "Over the Cliff" – 2:56
2. "Statues" – 7:35
3. "Sam Enchanted Dick" – 7:28
a. "Sam Sack" (Milt Jackson)
b. "Rill's Thrills" (Dick Heckstall-Smith)
4. "Born to be Blue" (Mel Tormé, Robert Wells) – 4:26
5. "HCKHH Blues" – 8:59
6. "Ballad for Arthur" – 7:42
7. "Things We Like" – 3:38
8. "Ageing Jack Bruce, Three, From Scotland, England" (Heckstall-Smith) – 5:20



Arranged and produced by Jack Bruce.
Recorded at I.B.C. Studios, London, August 1968.


  1. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Robert Christgau: CG: Jack Bruce". Retrieved 3 December 2011. 
  2. ^ Planer, Lindsay. "Things We Like - Jack Bruce | AllMusic". Retrieved 3 December 2011. 
  3. ^ As per Jack Bruce's official Web site (
  4. ^ Liner notes to the 2003 CD reissue of Bruce's album Harmony Row, Polydor, catalog no. 065 605-2.