It's been ages since I've made a post but I got the sudden inspiration to write about Cream's Disraeli Gears, released in November 1967. Disraeli Gears is my favorite Cream album, and the second 1967 favorite album on here (the first was Axis: Bold As Love by the Jimi Hendrix Experience).

For those unaware, Cream is considered to be the first "supergroup;" a band formed by already successful, established artists. I've always found it to be a pretentious concept, but I digress. Cream was made up of Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, and Ginger Baker. Eric had come from The Yardbirds and John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, Jack from Manfred Mann, and Ginger from Blues Incorporated and The Graham Bond Organisation (both of which Jack had also played in).

The album starts with "Strange Brew," which was originally released as a single. Eric sang lead vocals on this track instead of Jack, and his guitar playing borrowed heavily from Albert King (side note, "borrowing" from Black blues guitarists is a really bad habit of his). It's a catchy, funky song that did relatively well commercially as it reached #17 on the UK Singles Chart. It is probably the second most-recognized track from this album, while the first is "Sunshine of Your Love."

"Tales of Brave Ulysses" was the B-side to the "Strange Brew" single and technically track 6 of the album (first track of side 2). "Tales" is distinctive in that it was Eric's first foray into the world of the wah-wah pedal. It gives the song the liquid-like glide we hear from his guitar, making the song even more memorable.

"Tales of Brave Ulysses" via YouTube

Another B-side that I want to highlight is "SWLABR" (She Was Like A Bearded Rainbow). It was the B-side to the "Sunshine of Your Love" single and what I'd probably consider my favorite track on the album. It's an upbeat and extremely fun 2 and a half minutes of Eric's guitar complementing Jack's delivery of the lyrics.

"Outside Woman Blues" is another result of Eric's bad habit I mentioned above. It was originally recorded by Blind Joe Reynolds in 1929. Cream's take was a bit more modern in that it was blues rock versus straight blues. It has the same funk sound that we hear throughout the album and serves well as a cover.

Overall the album is solid from beginning to end. It is a great mesh of Eric's guitar skills with Ginger's drum skills. If you're new to Cream, definitely start with Disraeli Gears. Not only is the album critically acclaimed, but it'll fully immerse you into their music in ways that Fresh Cream and Wheels of Fire just don't.