Friday, January 09, 2015

Live Cream - Volume II

After watching the Ginger Baker documentary last night I felt like pulling out some Cream and what better way to really appreciate Ginger's madness than in a live setting?

"Deserted Cities of the Heart" is one of their most rockin', fast paced numbers and here all three go a little crazy, flailing away in wild abandon and still making it all work. Of course, "White Room" is a classic and the live treatment changes things enough to add plenty of interest to this already terrific tune. The monstrous riff-rocker "Politician" is again expanded a bit, but no power is lost here. Another one of their best known songs, "Tales of Brave Ulysses" is given the raw, heavy treatment here and becomes much more of a rocker and less of a psych song than on the studio take.

Flip over the vinyl and you get their smash hit, "Sunshine of Your Love", also lengthened and with everything overdriven to the max, things even get a bit outta tune, but no one cares as they all go their own ways, but still lock in, especially as they come together for the explosive choruses. They even jam out on the last note far beyond any reason or sanity and well past any expected conclusion - longer than some group's full songs - until they finally call it quits. Freddy King's instrumental "Hideaway" is, of course, a platform for Eric to wail'n'riff, but Jack and Ginger get their licks in around him, as well, and they do work as one - not simply jamming but cueing each other for starts'n'stops and playing off of each other and truly exploring dynamics.

This is not a record for those who only like short'n'simple punk rock tunes, but if you're interested in hearing three master musicians - the cream of the crop - work together and stretch out their sonic boundaries, this is a goodie.