Put Your Cream Knowledge to the Test With These Facts

Iconic Classic Rockers

Cream Lineup
The Lineup for Cream Including Eric Clapton.

WIkimedia Commons / CC BY 4.0

In their short time together, the rock band Cream had a huge impact on the music industry. The band began in 1966 and split up in 1968. From there, the legendary Eric Clapton went on to have a successful career. But if you want more insight on his roots, take a listen to an album by Cream.

Original members of the band included Eric Clapton on guitar and vocals, as well as Ginger Baker on drums and Jack Bruce on bass guitar, harmonica, and vocals.

History of the Band

On paper, Cream seems an odd lot for a rock band. Lead vocalist-bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker were primarily jazzmen. Eric Clapton played blues guitar. Prior to joining Cream, Baker and Bruce were in a group called the Graham Bond Organization. The friction between them sometimes erupted into sabotage of one another's equipment and onstage fights. The two managed to put aside their feud when Clapton and Bruce left John Mayall's Blues Breakers to form Cream, along with Baker.

When they came together, they really turned heads. Cream was one of the first “power” rock bands to use only guitar, bass, and drums. The band was noted for improvising both their set lists and their musical arrangements, sometimes jamming for as long as 20 minutes on one song. Clapton claims that he once stopped playing in the middle of one such jam and that the other two played on without noticing. It was this loose style that led Clapton to leave the band, signaling its end just under three years from the time it was formed.

The group performed a brief set during the 1993 ceremony in which they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Jack Bruce nearly died after a liver transplant in 2003. In May 2005, the group reunited for a series of concerts at London's Royal Albert Hall, the same venue where they played their farewell concert in 1968. Cream performed another series of reunion concerts at Madison Square Garden in New York City in October 2005.

Fun Facts About Cream

  • Produced just seven original studio and live albums, and three compilations, yielding sales of more than 35-million. By comparison, Styx, with 22 studio and live albums and six compilations also have sales of 35-million
  • Performed more than 300 live shows in less than 30 months on tour
  • Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993

The Essential Cream Album

Released in 1968, Cream's third album went to the top spot on the U.S. album charts and the third in the U.K., highlighting the group's considerable range of styles. It features one of their most successful singles, "White Room," as well as a blues-rock anthem, "Born Under A Bad Sign" and the surrealistic "Pressed Rat and Warthog."