White Room

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For other uses, see White Room (disambiguation).
"White Room"
Single by Cream
from the album Wheels of Fire
B-side "Those Were the Days" (UK)
"Passing the Time" (Aus)
Released September 1968 (1968-09)
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
Length 4:58
3:05 (7" version)
Writer(s) Jack Bruce, Pete Brown
Producer(s) Felix Pappalardi
Cream singles chronology
"Sunshine of Your Love"
"White Room"
Music sample

"White Room" is a song by British rock band Cream, written by bassist Jack Bruce and poet Pete Brown.[1] Drummer Ginger Baker claims to have added the distinctive 5/4 opening to what had been a 4/4 composition.[2] 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.[3] 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[edit]

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.[4][5]

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.[6] Clapton played his guitar through a wah-wah pedal to achieve a "talking-effect".[7]


Charts (1968-1969) Peak
Australian Go-Set Chart 1[8]
Austrian Singles Chart 19[9]
Canadian RPM Top Singles 2[10]
Dutch Top 40 4[11]
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[12]
US Cashbox Top Singles[13] 5

Year-End Chart[edit]

Chart (1968) Peak
Canadian RPM Top Singles 39
Dutch Top 40 51
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 81
Chart (1969) Peak
Australian Kent Music Report 13

Covers and re-recordings[edit]


Other recordings[edit]

"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.


  1. ^ Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 53 - String Man. : UNT Digital Library" (audio). Pop Chronicles. Digital.library.unt.edu. 
  2. ^ "Classic Rock Magazine, March 2010". 
  3. ^ "Go-Set Number One Singles". Pop Archives. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ Felix Pappalardi interview, Hit Parader # 55, February 1969
  6. ^ Wheels of Fire (CD liner). Cream. Polydor Records. 1997. 531 812-2. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ "Go-Set Australian charts - 1 January 1969". 
  9. ^ http://austriancharts.at/showitem.asp?interpret=Cream&titel=White+Room&cat=s
  10. ^ "The RPM 100" (PHP). RPM Weekly 10 (12): 5. 18 November 1968. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  11. ^ Stichting Nederlandse Top 40. "Top 40". Top40.nl. 
  12. ^ "Cream – Billboard Singles". Allmusic. United States: Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 11 December 2010. 
  13. ^ Hoffmann, Frank (1983). The Cash Box Singles Charts, 1950-1981. Metuchen, NJ & London: The Scarecrow Press, Inc. p. 135. 
  14. ^ They Call Me Baba Booey, Gary Dell'Abate.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Hey Jude/Revolution by The Beatles
Go-Set National Top 40 number-one singles
1 January 1969 – 15 January 1969
Succeeded by
Going Up the Country by Canned Heat