Goodbye (Cream album)

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Studio album / Live album by
Released5 February 1969 (1969-02-05)
RecordedOctober 1968
VenueThe Forum, Los Angeles
StudioIBC, London[1]
ProducerFelix Pappalardi[1]
Cream chronology
Wheels of Fire
Best of Cream
Singles from Goodbye
  1. "Badge" / "What a Bringdown"
    Released: March 1969

Goodbye (also called Goodbye Cream)[2] is the fourth and final studio album by Cream, with three tracks recorded live, and three recorded in the studio. It was released in Europe by Polydor Records and by Atco Records in the United States, debuting in Billboard on 15 February 1969.[3] It reached number one in the United Kingdom and number two in the United States. A single, "Badge", was subsequently released from the album a month later. The album was released after Cream disbanded in November 1968.[4]

Background and recording[edit]

Just before Cream's third album, Wheels of Fire, was to be released, the group's manager Robert Stigwood announced that the group would disband after a farewell tour and a final concert at the Royal Albert Hall in November.[5] Just before the start of their farewell tour in October 1968, Cream recorded three songs at IBC Studios in London with producer Felix Pappalardi and engineer Damon Lyon-Shaw.[1] The songs "Badge" and "Doing That Scrapyard Thing" featured Eric Clapton using a Leslie speaker,[5] while all three recordings featured keyboard instruments played by either Jack Bruce or Felix Pappalardi.[1] The group started their farewell tour on 4 October 1968 in Oakland, California[5] and 15 days later on 19 October the group performed at The Forum in Los Angeles where the three live recordings on Goodbye were recorded with Felix Pappalardi and engineers Adrian Barber and Bill Halverson.[1]

In a 1969 Rolling Stone interview, producer Phil Spector told a possibly apocryphal story about how Atlantic Records head Ahmet Ertegun caused the album to happen: "Like the Cream are breakin’ up, and he said, 'like man you have to do a final album for me.' They said, 'Why man, we hate each other,' or somethin’ like that. Ahmet said, 'Oh no man, you have to do one more album for me. Jerry Wexler has cancer, and he’s dyin’ and he wants to hear one more album from you.' So they go in, make the album and he says, 'Like man, Jerry Wexler isn’t dyin’, he’s much better, he’s improved.'”[6]

Compiling, artwork, and packaging[edit]

The original plan for Goodbye was to make it a double album, with one disc featuring studio recordings and the other with live performances like Wheels of Fire. With a lack of quality material on hand, however, the album was only one disc with three live recordings and three studio recordings.[5]

The original LP release of the album was packaged in a gatefold sleeve with art direction handled by Haig Adishian. The outer sleeve featured photography by Roger Phillips with a cover design by the Alan Aldridge ink Studios, while the inner sleeve featured an illustration of a cemetery by Roger Hane that had the song titles on tombstones.[7] A Compact Disc reissue of the album for the Cream Remasters series in 1998 featured an inlay photograph and had the inner-sleeve illustration in the liner notes of the album.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Retrospective reviews
Review scores
Chicago Tribune[9]
Christgau's Consumer GuideA−[10]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[11]

In a contemporary review for Rolling Stone, music critic Ray Rezos felt Cream deserved to depart with a better album. He wrote that most of the live songs sounded inferior to the original recordings and that the studio tracks were marred by the same flaw as on Wheels of Fire, namely the presence of blues playing on songs whose compositions were not blues in his opinion.[12] Nonetheless, Goodbye was voted the 148th best rock album of all time in Paul Gambaccini's 1978 poll of 50 prominent American and English rock critics.[13]

In a retrospective review for AllMusic, senior editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine called Goodbye a work of "hard, heavy rock" and "strong moments" rather than cohesiveness, with live music that is generally better than on Wheels of Fire and a side of studio recordings that also found Cream "at something of a peak".[8] Robert Christgau also reacted favourably to the album, citing it as his favorite record from the group.[10] J. D. Considine was less impressed in The Rolling Stone Album Guide (1992), deeming Goodbye an incomplete record with "exquisite studio work" but mediocre live performances.[11]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
1."I'm So Glad"Skip JamesJack Bruce, with Eric Clapton9:13
2."Politician"Bruce, Pete BrownBruce6:20
Side two
3."Sitting on Top of the World"Walter Vinson, Lonnie Chatmon; arr. Chester BurnettBruce5:01
4."Badge"Clapton, George Harrison[14]Clapton2:44
5."Doing That Scrapyard Thing"Bruce, BrownBruce3:15
6."What a Bringdown"Ginger BakerClapton, with Bruce3:57
  • Sides one and two were combined as tracks 1–6 on CD reissues.
CD bonus track
7."Anyone for Tennis" (The Savage Seven theme)Clapton, Martin SharpClapton2:37


  • [1–3] recorded live at The Forum, Los Angeles, 19 October 1968.
  • Original pressings of the album (as well as the single) list composer credit on "Badge" to Clapton alone.
  • "Anyone for Tennis" was originally released as a non-album single, as well as by Atco on the soundtrack album to the film The Savage Seven (catalogue no. SD 33-245, 1968). The song was subsequently sometimes included on pressings of Wheels of Fire (1968) and later pressings of Goodbye by Polydor.



  • Ginger Baker – drums (all tracks), backing vocals (1, 6), percussion (6)
  • Jack Bruce – bass guitar (1-5), lead vocals (1-3, 5, 6), piano (5, 6), organ (6)
  • Eric Clapton – guitars (all tracks), lead vocals (4, 6) backing vocals (1)

Additional musicians



Chart (1969) Peak
Australian Albums (Kent Music Report)[15] 6
Canada Top Albums/CDs (RPM)[16] 5
Finnish Albums (Soumen Virallinen)[17] 3
French Albums (SNEP)[18] 3
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[19] 9
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[20] 7
UK Albums (OCC)[21] 1
US Billboard 200[22] 2


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[23] Gold 35,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[24] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[25] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Goodbye (CD liner). Cream. Polydor Records. 1969. 31453 1815-2.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  2. ^ Baker, Ginger. "Ginger Baker History Archive 1968". Archived from the original on 3 April 2015.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel. "Joel Whitburn's Record Research: Online Music Vault". Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  4. ^ Welch, Chris (4 August 2005). "The Farewell". Archived from the original on 16 May 2008. Retrieved 28 June 2008.
  5. ^ a b c d Schumacher, Michael (2005). "Chapter 5: Do What You Like (1968–69)". Crossroads: The Life and Times of Eric Clapton (First ed.). New York City, United States: Hyperion Books. pp. 107, 111, 113, 114. ISBN 0-7868-6074-X.
  6. ^ Wenner, Jann S. (1 November 1969). "Phil Spector: The Rolling Stone Interview". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 29 July 2023.
  7. ^ Goodbye (Vinyl sleeve). Cream. New York City, United States: Atco Records. 1969. SD 7001.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  8. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Cream: Goodbye > Review at AllMusic. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
  9. ^ Kot, Greg (1993). "It's A Roller-coaster Career From Blues To Pop And Back". Chicago Tribune. No. February 21. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  10. ^ a b "Robert Christgau: Online Exchange, part 3". Archived from the original on 20 December 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  11. ^ a b Considine, J. D. (1992). "Cream". In DeCurtis, Anthony; Henke, James; George-Warren, Holly (eds.). The Rolling Stone Album Guide (3rd ed.). Random House. p. 166. ISBN 0679737294.
  12. ^ Rezos, Ray (5 April 1969). "Review: Goodbye by Cream". Rolling Stone. San Francisco: Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  13. ^ Gambaccini, Paul (1978). Rock Critic's Choice: The Top 200 Albums. Omnibus. pp. 83–4. ISBN 0860014940.
  14. ^ Per BMI records, BMI Work #80556. Some releases of the album erroneously credit Clapton only.
  15. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  16. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 5957". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  17. ^ Nyman, Jake (2005). Suomi soi 4: Suuri suomalainen listakirja (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. p. 100. ISBN 951-31-2503-3.
  18. ^ "Le Détail des Albums de chaque Artiste – C". (in French). Archived from the original on 22 October 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2012. Select Cream from the menu, then press OK.
  19. ^ " – Cream – Goodbye" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  20. ^ " – Cream – Goodbye". Hung Medien. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  21. ^ "Cream | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  22. ^ "Cream Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  23. ^ "Australian Fun Countdowns: Accreditation Awards". Warner Music Sales International. BMI Music International. 7 April 2011. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  24. ^ Best-selling Rock LPs. 28 September 1968. p. 1. Retrieved 19 September 2015. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)
  25. ^ "American album certifications – Cream". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 17 September 2015.