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 Studios, New York City|
|Length||3:04 (US single)|
4:58 (album & UK single)
|Cream US singles chronology|
|Cream UK singles chronology|
"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". Baker claims to have added the distinctive 5
4 or quintuple metre opening to what had been a 4
4 or common time composition.
- Additional musicians
Recognition and other recordings
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Rolling Stone magazine ranked "White Room" at number 376 on the 2004 "List of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" (as well as its 2010 update). 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.
"White Room" has been covered by a variety of artists: Helloween, Jeff Healey, Waylon Jennings, Joel Grey, Ace Frehley, 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, Ring of Fire, Jimmy Barnes, The Bobs, The Guess Who, The Vines, Hugh Cornwell and Robert Williams on the album Nosferatu, Vassar Clements and BBM. In Joker (2019), the song appears at the climax of the urban uprising caused by the character.
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