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Released: December 1966

Rating: 3.667 (average of 6 ratings)

Genre: classic British blues rock

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. I Feel Free (Brown/Bruce) [2:53]
  2. N.S.U. (Bruce) [2:47]
  3. Sleepy Time Time (Bruce/Godfrey) [4:22]
  4. Dreaming (Bruce) [2:01]
  5. Sweet Wine (Baker/Godfrey) [3:20]
  6. Spoonful (Dixon) [6:33]
  7. Cat’s Squirrel (traditional) [3:05]
  8. Four Until Late (Johnson) [2:10]
  9. Rollin’ and Tumblin’ (Waters) [4:43]
  10. I’m So Glad (James) [3:59]
  11. Toad (Baker) [5:09]


sales in U.S. only ½ million
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated ½ million


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 39
peak on U.K. album chart 6


  • I Feel Free (12/15/66) #11 UK

Notes: “I Feel Free” was omitted from the original British version of the album; “Spoonful” was absent from the original U.S. version. The gold edition of the album adds Cream’s first single “Wrapping Paper” and “The Coffee Song,” which was featured on the original U.K. album release.

Cream’s official output during the short existence consisted of two studio albums and two albums of both studio and live material. The Cream box set Those Were the Days is an excellent way to get all of that material, with all the studio material on 2 discs and the live material on 2 more. The live discs also encompass the two Live Cream collections released soon after the band dissolved in 1970 and 1972.

Fresh Cream
“All of the raw material that would make Cream one of the finest bands of their era is present here on this, their debut release. Fresh Cream contains the band's signature mixture of psychedelic pop songs and blues-rock improvisations. The best of one extreme is the opener I Feel Free (absent on the original British release of the record). It is a '60s pop gem, with a catchy opening and a haunting verse. This excellent track was made present on the American release of Fresh Cream in January of 1967 at the expense of the omission of Spoonful. An excellent example of Eric Clapton's blues mastery, this reading of the Willie Dixon classic is ultimately the high point of the record. Not to downplay the contributions of Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, but it is Clapton's incendiary playing that really makes this blues come alive. This is where his (and, by extension, Cream's) muse really lies: in the extended, high-energy, improvised explorations of traditional blues tunes. However, Clapton seems a bit lost on some of the more pop-oriented fare; his rhythm guitar playing especially is often atrocious. Jack Bruce not only handles most of the vocal chores with panache, but also plays very innovative bass, using it both more aggressively and more melodically than most players of his generation were accustomed to doing. Also not to be missed is Bruce's harmonica playing, showcased on the bass-less Rollin' and Tumblin'. Ginger Baker's heavy drumming is notable throughout. His distinct, idiosyncratic style is best demonstrated by the drum solo on his own Toad, wherein he gives his drums such a primal pounding that the listener is not sure whether to laugh at his caveman-like intensity or to sit back in awe at the unrelenting assault. Either way, it is extremely entertaining, and is one of the best moments of the record. All in all, Fresh Cream is a fine first album, but Baker, Bruce, and Clapton would all go on to bigger and better things, both together with Cream and separately with other projects” (Gioffre).

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Previous Eric Clapton Album: John Mayall’s ‘Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton’ (1966) Eric Clapton’s DMDB page Next Album: Cream’s ‘Disraeli Gears’ (1967)

Last updated April 7, 2008.