Uncut (6/03, p.115) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Complete with evocative contemporary radio intros, their own compositions such as 'Strange Brew' and 'Tales of Brave Ulysses' stand the test of time....An essential companion to 1997's box set, THOSE WERE THE DAYS..."
Cream: Eric Clapton (vocals, guitar); Jack Bruce (vocals, harmonica, piano, bass); Ginger Baker (vocals, drums).
Additional personnel: Brian Matthew (spoken vocals).
Producers: Jeff Griffin, Bill Bebb, Bernie Andrews, Bev Phillips.
Compilation producer: Bill Levenson.
Recorded at Maida Vale 4, BBC Playhouse Theatre and Aeolian 2 Studios, London, England between November 1966 & January 1968. Includes liner notes by John McDermott.
This is part of Polydor Records "BBC Sessions" series.
Recorded for the BBC between 1966 and 1968, the 22 songs on this set find Cream at their most concise. Only two songs break the four-minute mark, which is striking for a trio that blazed a trail as an improvisational live act with all three members soloing furiously and at great length. Recorded live specifically for radio broadcast, these tracks capture Cream's furious and sometimes raw interplay. The earliest sessions predate the release of their debut, FRESH CREAM, by a few months. While blues tunes--both covers and originals--make up a significant portion of their offerings, it's some of their stabs at their own brand of pop that are the most riveting. Progressive rock in the literal sense, "N.S.U.," "Wrapping Paper," the moody "Tales of Brave Ulysses,"and the slightly funky, rather Hendrix-like Strange Brew"all have a richly unique character, standing completely on their own terms apart from the era's blues revival or any other genre.