Cream's "Wheels of Fire" is a legendary album that showcases the remarkable talent and virtuosity of Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, and Ginger Baker. Released in 1968, this iconic double LP continues to captivate audiences with its electrifying performances and diverse range of musical styles. The original Polydor Privilege pressing from France, presented as a gatefold 12" vinyl LP, adds a touch of collectability and charm to this timeless masterpiece.
The album is divided into two distinct parts, each offering a unique listening experience. The first record, recorded in the studio, presents an extraordinary display of the band's songwriting prowess and studio expertise. The second record, recorded live at the Fillmore, captures the raw energy and improvisational genius of Cream's live performances. This combination of studio precision and live dynamism is what makes "Wheels of Fire" a truly exceptional album.
Produced by Felix Pappalardi in collaboration with Robert Stigwood, "Wheels of Fire" features the immense talents of Eric Clapton on guitar, Jack Bruce on bass and vocals, and Ginger Baker on drums. Each member contributes their distinctive style, resulting in a harmonious fusion of rock, blues, and psychedelia. The chemistry between these three extraordinary musicians is palpable throughout the album, creating a musical experience that is both captivating and awe-inspiring.
The first side of the album kicks off with the timeless classic "White Room", a song that exemplifies Cream's ability to craft unforgettable melodies and captivating lyrics. From the haunting intro to the explosive guitar solos, Clapton's virtuosity shines brightly. "Sitting on top of the World" follows, with Bruce's soulful vocals and Baker's thunderous drumming driving the rhythm forward. The introspective "Passing the Time" showcases the band's experimental side, incorporating elements of jazz and blues into their sound. "As You Said" closes out side one, featuring Bruce's poetic lyrics and emotive cello playing.
Side two opens with the enigmatic "Pressed Rat and Warthog", a spoken-word piece that adds a touch of psychedelia to the album. "Politician" follows, a bluesy anthem driven by Bruce's powerful vocals and Clapton's scorching guitar licks. "Those were the days" and "Born under a bad sign" continue to showcase the band's ability to effortlessly navigate through different musical styles, demonstrating their versatility as musicians. The hauntingly beautiful "Deserted Cities of the Heart" concludes side two, leaving the listener longing for more.
Side three captures Cream's blistering live performances, featuring two explosive tracks. "Crossroads" is an adrenaline-fueled rendition of Robert Johnson's blues classic, where Clapton's guitar skills reach legendary heights. "Spoonful" takes the listener on an extended blues jam, highlighting the band's improvisational prowess and telepathic musical communication.
Side four opens with "Traintime", a mesmerizing instrumental piece that showcases Clapton's dexterity and control. The album concludes with "Toad", a tour de force drum solo by Ginger Baker. The power and precision of his drumming leave an indelible mark on the listener, solidifying his reputation as one of rock's greatest drummers.
"Cream - Wheels of Fire" is a timeless masterpiece that has stood the test of time. The album's innovative blend of rock, blues, and improvisation remains influential to this day. Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, and Ginger Baker's exceptional musicianship and groundbreaking performances continue to inspire generations of musicians and music enthusiasts.
Music Genre:Prog Rock, Blues
|Producers: Produced by Felix Pappalardi by arrangement with Robert Stigwood|
Album Packaging / Information:Gatefold (FOC) cover design.
Record Label Information:Polydor Priviege 658 099 (658099), LPL 1809
Media Format:12" Double Vinyl LP
|Country of Origin||Made in France|
Band Members and Musicians on: CREAM Wheels of Fire
Track Listing of: CREAM Wheels of Fire
Note: The photos on this page are taken from albums in my personal collection. Slight differences in color may exist due to the use of the camera's flash. Images can be zoomed in/out ( eg pinch with your fingers on a tablet or smartphone ).
"Wheels Of Fire" Record Label Details: Polydor Privilege LPL 1809 , 658 099, G.U., Made in France
Eric Clapton (Full-name: Eric Patrick Clapton ) a British guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He is widely considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times. He first gained fame as a member of the band The Yardbirds, and later as a member of Cream, one of the first supergroups. Clapton has also had a successful solo career and has released numerous hit songs, including "Layla," "Wonderful Tonight," and "Tears in Heaven." He has won 18 Grammy Awards and has been awarded the Order of the British Empire for his services to music.
Clapton was born in Ripley, Surrey, England, in 1945. He showed an early interest in the guitar and began playing in local bands in his teens. He rose to prominence in the mid-1960s as a member of The Yardbirds, and later as a member of Cream, where he showcased his virtuosic guitar playing and blues-influenced style.
In the 1970s, Clapton launched a successful solo career, releasing several critically acclaimed albums and hit songs. He collaborated with a wide range of musicians, including George Harrison, Bob Dylan, and B.B. King, and became known for his emotional and soulful playing.
Throughout his career, Clapton has struggled with personal issues, including addiction, and has been open about his struggles with alcoholism and substance abuse. Despite this, he has continued to tour and perform, and has remained a popular and influential figure in the music world.
In addition to his musical achievements, Clapton is also known for his philanthropy and activism. He founded the Crossroads Centre in Antigua, a treatment and rehabilitation facility for individuals struggling with substance abuse, and has been involved in numerous charitable causes throughout his career.
Eric Patrick Clapton was born in Ripley, Derbyshire, England, United Kingdom on 30/3/1945. He is the first child of Edward Walter Fryer 21/03/1920 and Patricia Molly 07/01/1929.
When he was 40 years old, his father Edward Walter Fryer died (15/05/1985). When he was 54 years old, his mother Patricia Molly died (Mar 1999).
His partner is Lory Del Santo. His partner is Alice Ormsby-Gore. His partner is Yvonne Kelly. On 27/3/1979, he married Pattie Boyd in Tucson, Pima County, Arizona, United States. On 1/1/2002, he married Melia McEnery. He was 33 years old when he married Pattie Boyd. He was 56 years old when he married Melia McEnery. He got divorced from Pattie Boyd in 1989. He has three children with Melia McEnery: Julie Rose Clapton 13/6/2001, Ella May Clapton 14/3/2003, Sophie Belle Clapton 1/2/2005. He has one son with Lory Del Santo: Conor Clapton 21/08/1986. He has one daughter with Yvonne Kelly: Ruth Kelly Clapton 1985.