Cream ruled the progressive rock FM airwaves from 1967 through 1969. Their albums were prized by psychedelic and blues rock fans alike. This supergroup formed the first rock power trio and played extensive “live” jams.
One Cream track I played often on my hi-fi system was “White Room“. The song originally appeared on the US release of their double album Wheels of Firein July 1968 and then was released as a single in September 1968. Wheels of Fire was the first platinum-selling double album. Jack Bruce wrote the song along with poet Pete Brown.
I especially love Eric Clapton’s wah-wah pedal on this track along with the kick of Ginger Baker slamming those skins in animated fashion while seated behind the drum kit.
Cream in 1968 had their first hit with the song “Sunshine of Your Love”. It was Cream’s only gold-selling single in the United States. It was written by Jack Bruce, lyricist Pete Brown, and Eric Clapton. What I find interesting is how the song relates to Jimi Hendrix. Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton attended a Jimi Hendrix concert at the Saville Theatre in London prior to the invention of the main riff of “Sunshine of Your Love”, which Jack Bruce created after the concert. The riff can be directly attributed to Hendrix’s style of playing, echoing in Jack Bruce’s head.
Pete Brown wrote the lyrics in that same all night session with Bruce. Clapton later added the bridge and Ginger Baker, the syncopation of African drums.
Jimi Hendrix recorded “Sunshine of Your Love” on February 16, 1969 at Olympic Studios in London. It appears on the 2010 Valleys of Neptune as a previously unreleased studio recording. The Hendrix track is an instrumental featuring The Jimi Hendrix Experience nucleus (Jimi Hendrix, Guitar, Noel Redding, Bass and Mitch Mitchell, Drums) plus Rocki Dzidzornu on percussion.
Carlos Santana recorded “Sunshine of Your Love” with Rob Thomas on vocal and Santana band backing them up on his CD Guitar Heaven. I have seen Santana perform “Sunshine of Your Love” twice live with Andy Vargas very ably handling lead vocal.