Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Cream - Goodbye (1969)


 

Released February 1969

This was Cream's final album after a breakneck three years or so of hard, heavy rock. It was a mix of three live songs and three studio ones. The live recordings are vibrant and full of extended improvisation but they suffer from a muffled, often hissy sound, but do not let that detract from what are fine performances anyway. For some, there is an opinion that the live songs are unnecessarily "bluesified", playing them as blues numbers when they were originally psychedelic-style rock songs. As a blues fan, that does not worry me, and the more Eric Clapton lets his blues side out, the better.

TRACK LISTING

1. I'm So Glad (Live)
2. Politician (Live)
3. Sitting On Top Of The World (Live)
4. Badge
5. Doing that Scrapyard Thing
6. What A Bringdown

"I'm So Glad" is far more improvised than it ever as on "Fresh Cream" and the excellent guitar makes one overlook its lyrical shortcomings. For me, it is much better in its live form than on its studio orignal. "Politician" is great - big, bassy and heavy as whatever. Its sound is better than on the slightly muffled "I'm So Glad". "Sitting On Top Of The World" is the most bluesy of the three. Again, though,  it suffers a bit from poor sound.

Of the studio recordings, "Badge" is a short, relatively poppy number written by Clapton with George Harrison. It has a great guitar solo in it and has a late sixties rock appeal to it. Despite remastering, the sound still has a few limitations, however, and I have always felt the song ends far too soon, a bit like a demo version would.

I have always felt that the Beatles-esque Jack Bruce song "Doing That Scrapyard Thing" was a bit of a throwaway, silly number, with its "I Am The Walrus"-style lyrics. Look, it is ok, but nowhere near the band's best work. It also has a bit of hiss on it. Some people think this a work of genius. I am not so sure. I prefer Ginger Baker's sligtly proggy "What A Bringdown", if I'm honest.

This is an album with some good moments in it, but it somehow lacks cohesion and it over before you know it, clocking in at only thirty minutes.

B-

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