3-14-13 “Goodbye Cream”
Happy birthday, Quincy Jones, born 1933. On 3/15/69, the LP “Goodbye” by Cream charted at No. 1 in England. And on March 15th: Happy birthday, Ry Cooder! (Born 1947).
“Goodbye Cream” might’ve been my opening into the rock music world at large. Here was a record that I’d waited for, yet it was disappointing when it arrived, why are they calling it “Goodbye”? Don’t Cream want to be our friend anymore?
The three studio cuts on this LP are tremendous beyond belief:
“Badge” with L’Angelo Mysterioso, who is, in fact, George Harrison. An Eric Clapton single with mellotron! Yes, you may have heard it a few times too many, over the years – on the FM radio. Still a really good track, though.
“Doing That Scrapyard Thing” is simply one of my favorite songs ever written. I would’ve been 11 years old (12 at most!) when I first heard it. It is intelligent, charming, whimsical – and has more mellotron on it. And my favorite set of Pete Brown lyrics – ever! Unlike many other songs of this era, I don’t cry when I hear this one – I imagine the better world where this song is being played in shopping malls, and I can continue my child-like life (such as when I was 11, 12 years old). Jack Bruce and Pete Brown! File under “Dandelion”, “Epistle To Dippy” etc.
“What A Bringdown” – guess Eric and Jack had to let Ginger Baker have a song – ostensibly for the publishing money? Not a bad track either, but clearly the weakest of these three. And what are the lyrics about, Ginger? They’re certainly not Pete Brown lyrics.
And the rest of “Goodbye Cream” are live recordings of varying quality. Rather amusing to me that when Vinyl Lovers re-issued this LP less than 10 years ago, they added tracks from the 4CD Cream boxed set – to flesh it out with even more studio “demos” and louche live tracks. At least the album isn’t 28 minutes long anymore!
And – unless I am mistake – this album came with one of two posters, each with essentially with the same basic design (Cream in suits / tails) – one says “Goodbye to the Cream” and the other says “Farewell to the Cream”. I think I have both of those in the files, awaiting Pete Brown’s signature – next time I see him.
But “Abbey Road” and “Let It Bleed” would go some way to easing the discomfort of Cream’s dismissal of their fans. Jack Bruce made some great solo album – and they’re all still alive as of this writing!
Note: 2/3 of Cream come from The Graham Bond ORGANization; Eric Clapton comes from The John Mayall Bluesbreakers.