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    Disraeli Gears 8 ( 1967 )
    Strange Brew / Sunshine Of Your Love / World Of Pain / Dance The Night Away / Blue Condition / Tales Of Brave Ulysses / Swlabr / We're Going Wrong / Outside Woman Blues / Take It Back / Mothers Lament

    Focus is made on Eric Clapton of course - he was 'the star', or at least, would later become so. But little in Eric Clapton's subsequent solo career could prepare you for this, Cream's classic work of blues psychadelia. Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker both make important contributions not least in terms of songwriting. And, the vocals are great! Well, no, they're not, but they sound good and, shall we say, suitable. Certainly on the likes of 'Strange Brew' which is hard to pin down but strangely addictive all the same. 'Sunshine Of Your Love' is more what you might expect from Clapton with an insidious guitar riff and a blues vocal. Even here the hazy psychedelic harmonies come into the play during the chorus parts. Those opening two songs are dead famous of course but listen to the likes of 'World Of Pain' and especially 'Dance The Night Away' and you'll have a whole different kettle of fish. Stoned but beautiful vocals, intriguing melodies touched by the summer of love. The album was released in 1967 after all. 'Blue Condition' sounds like Punk/New Wave practioners 'The Only Ones'. They came much later of course and its possible they were influenced by this. Still, 'Blue Condition'. Ahead of it's time!

    'Tales Of Brave Ulysses' is full of top guitar work, the strangely titled 'Swlabr' possesses lots of great riffs and an urgent exciting rhythm. 'We're Going Wrong' doesn't impress me. It's all pattering drum patterns but lacks much of a tune. 'Outside Woman Blues' is as it's title suggests but it's also a whole load of fun. 'Take It Back' also 'takes it back' - to the blues of course. Whilst these blues based numbers are all good - they don't match the fun, weird psychedelic nature of some of the other material here. The closing 'Mothers Lament' is all 'Small Faces' but also all novelty. Thankfully it's short - but really I could have done without it. Still, an impressive album. Lots of good songs, especially during the first half. A decent album overall.

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    Readers Comments

    Alan Brooks albrookscentury21@yahoo.com
    The granddad of blues-rock albums. This paved the way for Led Zeppelin and all the rest.

    Mike Harrison fughedaboudit455@yahoo.com
    I think there's a lot less blues-rock here than many Cream fans (or Eric Clapton fans) would like to believe. Their first album, FRESH CREAM, was a better representation of their blues influence, but on that album the playing was nondescript, the original material sounded like lackluster blues retreads, and the production was terrible. DISRAELI GEARS is closer to psychedelic pop. That's actually a good thing, because it allowed Cream to expand upon their sound and experiment without getting too far removed from their blues-rock roots. And DISRAELI GEARS is a lot more fun to listen to! I like Clapton's playing here....forget about his solo work, listen to Clapton gnarl at his guitar on "SWLABR". "Dance the Night Away" is a good psych-pop number. This album, and the studio portion of WHEELS OF FIRE, probably representation Cream's best work. rest.

    bassplayeredd eddie123zeppelin@hotmail.com
    I'd give the album a 9. I agree not as bluesy as "fresh cream". "Strange Brew" and the front cover should bring up to a 10 but a 9 would be fair.

    Cala bebban12@aol.com
    I love your site, it's wonderful to meet a crazed music freak like myself! But I trust you are posting reviews for all the other Cream albums??? Cream is, without a doubt, one of the top five bands in the HISTORY of MUSIC!!!! And to have only reviewed Disraeli Gears?? Not ok!

    andy andydisk@msn.com
    Disraeli Gears was a bit of a disappointment at the time as I remember. It's an OK album that could have been greatly improved by a proper production. As far as I'm concerned, Pappaladi couldn't produce to save his life. Wheels Of Fire also suffered at the hands of this bozo. As for 'Gears' being the forerunner of things like Led Zeppelin One, I think you should refer to Jeff Beck's 'Truth' album. Still.....As far as plagiarism goes, Zeppelin are masters at it.

    Bill Keats billkeats@hotmail.com
    Yes I agree, a good review. But I disagree on We're going wrong which I consider a powerful and beautiful. The drams add appropriate variety. I would give it 9/10 though. not given enough acclaim as one of the great psycadelic rock albums

    Olivia led_zep_4eva@hotmail.com
    I love this album. Eric Clapton is definitely the star of the show. But I love Jack Bruce's vocals. Correct me if i'm wrong, his are the vocals on songs such as Tales of Brave Ulysses and S.W.L.A.B.R???

    Tommy Joyner joynerzuni@aol.com
    Sunshine of your love captivated me from the first time I heard it on A.M. radio as a kid. I swear I think its on of the best rock tunes ever recorded. "We're Going Wrong" has grown on me over the years, but hearing and seeing it done at the Royal Albert Hall on the recent video makes me beleive it has also grown on The Cream also because here it receives an interpretation it deserves. And thats all I have to say about that. Overall a 9.9!

    Stew Godwin godders49@hotmail.com
    Although you have given the album a high rating, I dont think you have taken the album and the band for what they were. Cream were not a pop rock band like the beatles or a blues rock band like the Stones. Cream were a combination of two jazz rythem sectionist and a blues guitarist. Your description of the vocals being "suitable" is, well, laughable really. Bruce is a unique vocalist who brings more to the table than most. I also disagree with your view of Clapton being the "star". All three individuals in Cream were the best around for their instrument, no one person was the star. Clapton is seens as the most important and creative member purely because he played the guitar and the guitarist is OBVIOUSLY the one who writes the riffs. WRONG! take sunshine of your love, Bruce came up with the riff and was lead vocal on the track, similarly with many other tracks on the album. Dont get me wrong Clapton circa Cream was a genius, but so were Bruce and Baker! Very good albu! m, but not as good as Wheels of Fire, a classic! on a different note good site

    Tom Mullen tom@skepticsongs.com
    I always thought that Jack Bruce sang the lead vocal on Sunshine of Your Love - I've never been sure and can't find confirmation anywhere (I do have the album on vinyl somewhere). It's like The Cars with Ocasek and Ben Orr. Orr sounds enough like him that you are never sure without liner notes, but he's a slightly better vocalist, as Bruce was a bit better than Clapton. My apologies to all of you purists that object to my talking about the Cars and Cream in the same entry - it's all just three chord rock, when you get down to it (which is great!) :)

    Amy Melbourne
    hey, you are giving this album way less credit than it deserves! this is THE BEST cream album and cream is most defiently one of the best and most influential bands of the 60s bands. this album has nothing on wheels of fire (with the exception of white room of course), and talking bout wheels of fire, where is your review for it? oh and fresh cream at that. 'whole load of fun' and 'decent' are not descriptions that do this album justice, im sorry. this album is more than just decent. and we're going wrong is way way way better than blue condition, which in my opinion is a pretty weak song compared to the other tracks (apart from mother's lament of course, which i agree, we could do without) its just a tad tedious. this is a sick album, yes by this stage they had made a significant shift away from blues, and yet blues is inevitably ever present and, particularly in the vocals/guitar work. the album artwork pretty much sums up everything that this album is about ... complete ! and utter AWESOMENESS! If thats a word :)

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    this page last updated 23/08/09

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