Fresh Cream is the debut studio album by Cream released in 1966. It was the first LP release of producer Robert Stigwood's new "Independent" Reaction Records label, released in the United Kingdom as both a mono and stereo version on 9 December 1966, the same time as the single release of "I Feel Free". The album was released a month later, in January 1967, in the United States by Atco Records in both mono and stereo versions. For many years, only the UK and U.S. stereo mixes were available in CD. The UK mono album was reissued on CD for the first time in late 2013, as part of a deluxe SHM-CD and SHM-SACD sets (both editions also contain the UK stereo counterpart) sold only in Japan.
The album peaked at No. 6 on the UK album chart and No. 39 on the U.S. album chart.
In 2003, the album was ranked number 101 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
Jack Bruce later said that the opening song "N.S.U." was written for the band's first rehearsal. "It was like an early punk song... the title meant "non-specific urethritis. It didn't mean an NSU Quickly - which was one of those little 1960s mopeds. I used to say it was about a member of the band who had this venereal disease. I can't tell you which one... except he played guitar."
A later release in the U.S. on RSO/Polydor uses the same track listing as the original UK edition given above, with the addition of the song "I Feel Free" as track 1. Polydor's CD release from the 1980s included the same track list but added "The Coffee Song" and "Wrapping Paper," which were removed from a second CD release in the 90's.
An edition released only in Sweden in 1966 was a 11-track release like that in the UK which also added two tracks: "Wrapping Paper", written by Jack Bruce and Pete Brown, and "The Coffee Song", written by Tony Colton and Ray Smith. Both vinyl and cover were made in Germany and exported for the Swedish market only – the German original had the same 10 tracks as UK. The group didn't want "Coffee Song" to be issued at all, but a mono version was mixed and coupled with "Wrapping Paper" as a single. There were no plans at this stage to release it in stereo, so for the Swedish issue a crude stereo mix was used. This was made during the sessions in early August 1966 for instructive purpose – the whole track as basic mono is mixed far right and a solo guitar overdub far left. Never intended for release, this mix was soon lost and for later stereo issues a new one was made.
The front cover and record no. (623 031) are the same as the German issue, but three different back covers exist. The first listed the correct 12 tracks, the second listed 10 tracks, and a third where the 12 track listing has been "glued" over the 10 track listing.