Ori­gins of Harder Rock Part 2

Sug­gested Al­bums From Cream, Deep Pur­ple, Led Zep­pelin and Black Sab­bath

NOVO - - FRONT PAGE - Dou­glas Brown

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.

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