Italian single picture sleeve
|Single by Cream|
|from the album Wheels of Fire|
|B-side||"Those Were the Days"|
|Recorded||July 1967 – April 1968|
|Studio||Atlantic, New York City|
|Cream US singles chronology|
|Cream UK singles chronology|
Intro and part of first verse
"White Room" is a song by British rock band Cream, composed by bassist Jack Bruce with lyrics by poet Pete Brown. They recorded it for the studio half of the 1968 double album Wheels of Fire. In September, a shorter US single edit (without the third verse) was released for AM radio stations, although album-oriented FM radio stations played the full album version. The subsequent UK single release in January 1969 used the full-length album version of the track.
Recording and composition
In 1967, at the initial session for Cream's third album (then still unnamed), recording for "White Room" reportedly began in London. In December, work continued at Atlantic Studios in New York City and was completed during three sessions in February, April and June 1968, also at Atlantic.
Jack Bruce sang and played bass on the song, Eric Clapton overdubbed guitar parts, Ginger Baker played drums and timpani, and Felix Pappalardi – the group's producer – contributed violas. Clapton played his guitar through a wah-wah pedal to achieve a "talking-effect". Both Bruce and Baker claimed to have added the distinctive 5
4 or quintuple metre opening to what had been a 4
4 or common time composition.
Recognition and other recordings
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Rolling Stone magazine ranked "White Room" at number 376 on its "List of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". A live recording appears on the group's Live Cream Volume II album (1972). Clapton, along with Phil Collins, began his act at Live Aid in 1985 with the song. In 1990, Clapton performed the song at his Royal Albert Hall concert series and in 1999 with Sheryl Crow at Crow's Sheryl Crow and Friends: Live from Central Park concert. In 2005, the reunited Cream played the song at the Royal Albert Hall, which was released on their Royal Albert Hall London May 2-3-5-6, 2005 album.
In a song review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine noted that the song has been "covered frequently, and by a bizarre group of artists: Broadway star Joel Grey, fusion guitarist Frank Gambale, the Cache Valley Drifters, and metal band Helloween. That wildly eclectic list proves that 'White Room' is a multi-faceted song, containing equal parts dramatic spectacle, intricate musicality, and hard rock menace. Other artists emphasize different elements in their interpretations, but the original Cream version wrapped it all up in one startling package".
|Austrian Singles Chart||19|
|Canadian RPM Top Singles||2|
|New Zealand (Listener)||2|
|UK Singles Chart||28|
|US Billboard Hot 100||6|
|US Cashbox Top Singles||5|
|US Billboard Hot 100||81|
|US Cash Box||48|
- Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 53 - String Man. : UNT Digital Library" (audio). Pop Chronicles. University of North Texas Libraries.
- "Spotlight Singles". Billboard. Cincinnati, Ohio. 21 September 1968. p. 72.
- 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.CS1 maint: others (link)
- 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.
- "Classic Rock Magazine, March 2010". Archived from the original on 13 November 2013.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Cream: White Room – Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
- "Go-Set Australian charts - 1 January 1969". poparchives.com.
- Hung, Steffen. "Cream - White Room". austriancharts.at.
- "The RPM 100". RPM Weekly. 10 (12): 5. 18 November 1968. Archived from the original (PHP) on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
- "flavour of new zealand - search lever". www.flavourofnz.co.nz.
- "Cream – Billboard Singles". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
- Hoffmann, Frank (1983). The Cash Box Singles Charts, 1950-1981. Metuchen, NJ & London: The Scarecrow Press, Inc. p. 135.
- "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". collectionscanada.gc.ca.
- "Top 100 Hits of 1968/Top 100 Songs of 1968". www.musicoutfitters.com.
- "Cash Box YE Pop Singles - 1968". tropicalglen.com.