Origins of Harder Rock Part 2
Suggested Albums From Cream, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath
In Part 1 of my review of late 1960s and early 1970s era albums which were fundamental to the development of hard rock and heavy metal, I explored some of the greatest albums from Jimi Hendrix, The Who and The MC5. You can now find this article in the “Features / Audio” section on www.canadahifi.com. In Part 2, I’ll examine several bands whose records redefined what could be done with hard music. The goal here is to provide some direction as to which albums you might want to add to your music collection in the on-going search for cool music which you may not have heard of.
Cream - The Very Best of Cream
Formed in July 1966 and considered by many to be the first rock ‘super group’ to ever exist, Cream consisted of Eric Clapton (guitars), Ginger Baker (drums and percussion), and Jack Bruce (bass and vocals).
Following tenures with The Yardbirds and John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, in early 1966, Eric Clapton was looking for a new band to pour his restless and relentless musical ideas and guitar virtuosity into. While all three members of Cream were well-known in the UK blues-rock music scene, when they formed in the summer of 1966, Clapton was widely regarded as the best blues-rock guitarist in the entire British Isles.
Despite only existing for 3½ years, Cream’s influence on modern hard rock music is out of all proportion to the 4 studio albums which they released.
The compilation album The Very Best of Cream [Polydor 314 523 752-2] contains a diverse crosssection of Cream’s songs from all four of their studio releases. Classic tracks from Fresh Cream (1966), Disraeli Gears (1967), Wheels of Fire (1968), and Goodbye (1969) present their uniquely heavy and technically challenging sound in all of its overdriven glory. While songs like ‘Spoonful’, ‘Born Under a Bad Sign’, ‘NSU’, ‘We’re Going Wrong’, and ‘Sitting on Top of the World’ all display Cream’s penchant for digging deep into monstrous electric-blues grooves, it’s some of their faster and heavier tracks like ‘Sunshine of Your Love’, ‘Tales of Brave Ulysses’, ‘White Room’, ‘Those Were the Days’, and ‘Crossroads’ that clearly influenced hard rock and heavy metal down through the next 5 decades. Fortunately for listeners, this compilation contains all of these amazing songs.