Album no. 88/1001
Our mate Eric Clapton is back on the list, this time with a band and a songwriter who can actually write songs!
This album is the second that Cream released and includes arguably one of the most well-known guitar riffs of all time. It also went to number one in Australia, while only peaking at number 4 in the US and number 5 in the UK.
In 1993, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – if that even means anything anymore.
Have you listened to this album before?
CL: No. Only ever heard ‘Sunshine of Your Love’
NK: Yes! Finally something I recognise. What a relief. I’m not a massive Cream fan but at least we’re off the path to folk rock for the time being.
CL: It’s pretty obviously ‘Sunshine of Your Love.
NK: It probably has to be ‘Sunshine of Your Love’, although I like ‘Tales of Brave Ulysses’ as well.
CL: …probably because it’s the only good song on that album. Bleugh. I personally prefer when Girl Talk puts it underneath some Biggie. I actually find it very difficult to listen to it properly. Anyway. Aside from this track, and maaaaaaaybe ‘Swalbr’, the rest was a bit same-same for me. Soz (not soz) Clapton and co.
NK: ‘Strange Brew’ is good too. I feel sorry for Ginger Baker, he sang ‘Blue Condition’ and he just isn’t quite as good a singer next to the others.
CL: That’s a crap song too though, so not just his fault.
When would be the best time to listen to this?
CL: I feel like this is one of those albums you discover when you’re 13 or 14 and think you’re so cool and retro and then decide to buy flares and grow your hair because that’s what they did in the 60s. So maybe when you’re trying to find a “look” for your young self.
NK: As the cover of this album might suggest, possibly under the influence of some mind-altering substances. There are definitely some songs that can get a bit dull otherwise.
Why has this album been included on the list?
CL: Oh, I don’t know. maybe this was a big deal at the time, but as we’ve already established, I care not for fancy guitar playing, so this doesn’t impress me much.
NK: They’re putting the psychedelic stuff together with the blues! We’re on the way to Jimi Hendrix, among others. The guitaring is still really good, but the songs have a bit more shape than when Clapton was with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers.
Will you be listening again?
CL: No. I just don’t care for this.
NK: Yeah maybe. I think the album after this, Wheels of Fire, is more fun, especially the live stuff that makes up the second half.
NK: This could be inflated just because it’s the first album with any guts for what seems like weeks.
Listen to Disraeli Gears on Spotify or buy it in iTunes.