|Single by Cream|
|from the album Wheels of Fire|
|B-side||"Those Were the Days" (UK)
"Passing the Time" (Aus)
|Format||7" 45 RPM|
|Recorded||July 1967 – April 1968 at Atlantic Studios in New York City, New York|
|Genre||Psychedelic rock, hard rock, blues rock|
3:05 (7" version)
|Writer(s)||Jack Bruce, Pete Brown|
|Cream singles chronology|
"White Room" is a song by British rock band Cream, written by bassist Jack Bruce and poet Pete Brown. Drummer Ginger Baker claims to have added the distinctive 5/4 opening to what had been a 4/4 composition. It originally appeared on the US release of their double album Wheels of Fire in July 1968 and was released as a single in September 1968. It is one of their most famous songs, along with Sunshine of Your Love.
The single reached the top 30 in seven countries, including Australia, where it topped the Go-Set National Top 40 singles chart. The song was edited for the single release on AM radio stations, although album-oriented FM radio stations would play the full album version.
Background and recording
The recording of "White Room" reportedly began in July 1967 in London at the initial session for Cream’s as-yet-unnamed third album and work continued at Atlantic Studios in New York in December and finished during three separate sessions to complete the studio part of Wheels of Fire; February, April and June 1968, all at Atlantic Studios.
Jack Bruce sang and played bass on the song, Eric Clapton played overdubbed guitars, Ginger Baker played drums and a timpani, and Felix Pappalardi – the group's producer – contributed by playing violas. Clapton played his guitar through a wah-wah pedal to achieve a "talking-effect".
|Australian Go-Set Chart||1|
|Austrian Singles Chart||19|
|Canadian RPM Top Singles||2|
|Dutch Top 40||4|
|French Singles Chart||73|
|German Media Control Chart||28|
|New Zealand Singles Chart||2|
|U.K. Singles Chart||26|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||6|
|US Cashbox Top Singles||5|
|Canadian RPM Top Singles||39|
|Dutch Top 40||51|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||81|
|Australian Kent Music Report||13|
Covers and re-recordings
- Clapton performed the song at his Royal Albert Hall concert series
- Clapton performed the song with Sheryl Crow at Crow's 1999 concert in Central Park
- "White Room" was placed at #376 on the 2004 (and its 2010 update) List of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
- A cover of "White Room" appeared as a playable track in the 2008 music video game Rock Revolution.
- The song is featured at the conclusion of the Entourage episode, "The Resurrection". This scene also plays after wins at Keyspan Park for the Brooklyn Cyclones and Tropicana Field for the Tampa Bay Rays.
- "White Room" was prominently featured in the soundtrack of the drama Life on Mars in addition to the American version of the show.
- An instrumental version of the song is featured as the intro to Gary Dell'Abate's audiobook version of They Call Me Baba Booey.
- This song is played in the sixth episode of the TV series Freaks and Geeks, "I'm with the Band".
- The song appeared in the documentary Warren Miller's Children of Winter.
"White Room" has been covered by the following artists: Jeff Healey, Waylon Jennings, Joel Grey, Frank Gambale (in a jazz fusion style), Iron Butterfly, jazz guitarist Jimmy Ponder, Flower Travellin' Band on the album Challenge, Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band (with Jack Bruce, Peter Frampton on guitar, Gary Brooker on keyboard, Mark Rivera on saxophone and tambourine and two drummers (Ringo and Simon Kirke) doing the triplets in unison), Helloween, Demons and Wizards (Iced Earth/Blind Guardian), Ring of Fire, Jimmy Barnes, The Bobs, The Guess Who, The Vines, The Stranglers, Hugh Cornwell and Robert Williams (drummer) on the album Nosferatu, Vassar Clements, BBM, Lana Lane on the album Gemini; and Sheryl Crow performed it with Clapton during her Central Park concert. Eric Clapton also performed the song during his After Midnight Concert.
Towards the end, at 4:37, a microphone can be heard tipping over, changing the sound of the bass drum.
- Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 53 - String Man. : UNT Digital Library" (audio). Pop Chronicles. Digital.library.unt.edu.
- "Classic Rock Magazine, March 2010".
- "Go-Set Number One Singles". Pop Archives. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
- Hjort, Christopher (2007). Strange Brew: Eric Clapton & the British Blues Boom, 1965-1970. London, UK: Jawbone Press. pp. g. 126, 148, 159, 181. ISBN 978-1-906002-00-8.
- Felix Pappalardi interview, Hit Parader # 55, February 1969
- Wheels of Fire (CD liner). Cream. Polydor Records. 1997. 531 812-2.
- Bacon, Tony (1990). "Guitar Madness". The Marshall Cavendish Illustrated History of Popular Music 11 (Reference ed.). Marshall Cavendish. p. 1079. ISBN 978-1-8543-5015-2.
- "Go-Set Australian charts - 1 January 1969".
- "The RPM 100" (PHP). RPM Weekly 10 (12): 5. 18 November 1968. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
- Stichting Nederlandse Top 40. "Top 40". Top40.nl.
- "Cream – Billboard Singles". Allmusic. United States: Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
- Hoffmann, Frank (1983). The Cash Box Singles Charts, 1950-1981. Metuchen, NJ & London: The Scarecrow Press, Inc. p. 135.
- They Call Me Baba Booey, Gary Dell'Abate.
Hey Jude/Revolution by The Beatles
|Go-Set National Top 40 number-one singles
1 January 1969 – 15 January 1969
Going Up the Country by Canned Heat