TITLE: Disraeli Gears
YEAR RELEASED: 1967
CHART ACTION: #4 US, #5 UK
SINGLES: Strange Brew (#17 UK), Sunshine of Your Love (#6 US, #25 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Tales of Brave Ulysees
LINEUP: Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The powerful blues-rock trio moves a foot into the psychedelic world, and creates a song that’s an absolute monster to this day.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The Jack Bruce bass riff, coupled and carried forward by Eric Clapton, propelled “Sunshine of Your Love” and to this day, that simple riff is universally known and loved.
That track anchored this second album from the combustible power trio, which definitely varied their sonic attack and added tinges of psychedelia (“Tales of Brave Ulysses”) into their blues, and allowed for experimental arrangements like “Dance the Night Away”, “Blue Condition”, and “We’re Going Wrong”, and flat out rockers like “SWABLR”. Clapton’s wah-wah guitar is the sound of the record, though Bruce and Baker contribute their prowess as well.
The experimental pieces are hit-and-miss (Ginger Baker’s vocals are, well, an acquired taste), yet this is Cream’s best and most consistent album, and probably Clapton’s best and most consistent aside from Derek and the Dominos.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The titles was a malapropism when a roadie tried to say ‘derailleur gears’.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Outtakes and BBC sessions.
GRADE: A: It’s one of the best examples of blues melding with psychedelics.