ARTIST:

CREAM

(UNITED KINGDOM)
TITLE:

WHEELS OF FIRE

(1968)
LABEL:

POLYDOR

GENRE:

ROCK

/ BLUES
TAGS:
Bluesy, Old School, Psychedelic
""Wheels Of Fire" remains a must-have album of late 60's blues and psychedelic rock. There is still time to catch up and listen to this monument."
OCERIAN (16.02.2016)  
5/5
(0) opinions from our readers (0) comment(s)

Reputed to be Cream's best album and to have been at its pinnacle, the double "Wheels Of Fire", released in 1969, is made up of a first record recorded in the studio and a second one featuring four tracks recorded in concert in San Francisco. The trio moves away a little more from the blues rock which has seen its birth to bring its stone to the foundation of rock.

Among the few anthology tracks on this album, 'White Room' is one of the most remarkable. It kicks off with an incredible bass line, a vocal that is sometimes deliberate, other times more aerial. Ginger Baker's drums are very prominent, showing the quality of the musician, while Clapton makes his wah wah guitar whirr in a masterly way in a forerunner style. This track definitely asserts Cream's subtle and original personality. Sitting On Top Of The World' is a kind of bluesy lament of a rare depth in which Jack Bruce's voice is simply of a huge sensitivity. Passing The Time' brings the trio closer to the pop and psychedelic environment of the Beatles, who at the same time were experiencing an ashram in India. A surprisingly diverse song that benefits from the organ played by the manager Felix Pappalardi, who will be found here and there with his string instruments (sometimes also played by Jack Bruce) or brass instruments. Politician' is another classic of the band co-written by Bruce and the poet Pete Brown, a kind of ritornello always based on the captivating bass of the one who imposes himself as the leader of the band.

The second disc opens in a masterly and terribly effective way with the frenzied rhythm of 'Crossroads', composed by Robert Leroy Johnson and arranged by Eric Clapton who will make it one of the favourite tracks of his career. This is followed by a memorable 'Spoonful', present on the first album "Fresh Cream", which is a bit long but displays the barely contained rage of Ginger Baker behind his drums, lets Jack Bruce show his know-how and his inspiration and allows Clapton to impose himself as God of the six-strings. Traintime' is the occasion for Jack Bruce to bring out his harmonica and the interminable drum solo of 'Toad' allows Baker to show his endurance. These last two tracks, of a lower interest, let us however guess the intensity of the concerts of this magic trio.

"Wheels Of Fire" is an album which contains some must-have titles but which imposes Cream in the firmament of the rock n' roll of the end of the years 1960. The disagreements between the three stars are known but they didn't prevent the British from offering a rich, convincing and finally essential album.


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TRACK LISTING:
01. White Room
02. Sitting On Top Of The World
03. Passing Thetime
04. As You Said
05. Pressed Rat And Warthog
06. Politician
07. Those Were The Days
08. Born Under A Bad Sign
09. Deserted Cities Of The Heart
10. Crossroads
11. Spoonful
12. Traintime
13. Toad

LINEUP:
Eric Clapton: Chant / Guitares
Ginger Baker: Chant / Batterie
Jack Bruce: Chant / Basse
   
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