Thursday, November 2, 2017

Today in Music (1967): Cream Disraeli Gears released

Disraeli Gears


Released: November 2, 1967

Peak: 4 US, 5 UK, 10 CN, 12 AU

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.1 UK

Genre: classic rock


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to charts.

  1. Strange Brew (Clapton/Collins/Pappalardi) [2:50] (6/18/67, 5 CL, 17 UK, 23 AU, 4 DF)
  2. Sunshine of Your Love (Brown/Bruce/Clapton) [4:13] (1/13/68, 5 BB, 6 CB, 2 GR, 4 HR, 1 CL, 25 UK, 3 CN, 18 AU, 1 DF)
  3. World of Pain (Collins/Pappalardi) [3:05]
  4. Dance the Night Away (Brown/Bruce) [3:36]
  5. Blue Condition (Baker) [3:32]
  6. Tales of Brave Ulysses (Clapton/Sharp) [2:49] (6/67, 10 CL, 23 AU, 13 DF)
  7. Swlabr (Brown/Bruce) [2:34] (12/67, 3 CN, 14 DF)
  8. We’re Going Wrong (Bruce) [3:29]
  9. Outside Woman Blues (Reynolds) [2:27]
  10. Take It Back (Brown/Bruce) [3:08]
  11. Mother’s Lament (traditional) [1:47]

Total Running Time: 33:02

The Players:

  • Eric Clapton (guitar, vocals)
  • Jack Bruce (bass, vocals)
  • Ginger Baker (drums)


4.211 out of 5.00 (average of 29 ratings)


(Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“The threesome of Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, and legendary guitarist Eric Clapton forming the band Cream was a monumental effort of jazz, blues, and psychedelic rock during the British rock period of the late 1960s. Cream, with their raw fury of intense sound, was renowned for their rare talent of taking songs of complex arrangements and making them an act of spontaneous beauty during live shows.” AMG

Disraeli Gears, their second release, was an essential landmark recording that brought listeners to the direction they were soon to take with Wheels of Fire. Taking on a circus-spinning arsenal of sounds and effects, Cream's fashionable art is a blend of highly sustained drenched distortion, rampant percussion, and a kaleidoscope of various musical textures and colors, both in melody and rhythm.” AMG

“Each of Disraeli Gears’ list of 11 tunes is original in format, containing it own unique brands of dashing blues-laden guitar riffs by Clapton, as well as thick basslines and smashing drum leads.” AMG The album saw “the group veering away, quite heavily, from their blues roots and induldging in more psychedelic sounds.” WK

“Highlights of the record feature Clapton's awe-inspiring and soul-gripping guitar leads, including hits such as Sunshine of Your Love and Tales of Brave Ulysses.” AMG The former features co-lead vocals from Bruce and Clapton while “the latter is a magical poem laced into a line of mesmerizing chordal changes. Disraeli Gears is a definitive staple of early British rock and a sensational addition to the avid classic rock listener.” AMG

Strange Brew “was based on a 12-bar blues song called ‘Lawdy Mama.’” WK “Take It Back,” which featured Bruce on harmonica, “may have been inspired by the contemporary media images of American students burning their draft cards.” WK Those two songs and Clapton’s arrangement of Outside Woman Blues are “the most blues-like tunes on the album.” WK

Amusingly, the album’s title came about when Mick Turner, one of the band’s roadies, was talking to Clapton about getting a racing bike with “disraeli” gears. What he meant was “derailleur” gears. Benjamin Disraeli was the name of a 19th century British Prime Minister. WK

The classic album cover is a psychedelic collage designed by Australian artist Martin Sharp. His goal was to capture what he called the “warm fluorescent sound” of the band’s music. WK The same cover was used for the 1997 Cream box set Those Were the Days.


Cream’s official output during their short existence consisted of two studio albums and two albums of both studio and live material. The Cream box set Those Were the Days is an excellent way to get all of that material, with all the studio material on 2 discs and the live material on 2 more. The live discs also encompass the two Live Cream collections released soon after the band dissolved in 1970 and 1972.

Resources and Related Links:

Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 4/7/2008; last updated 11/16/2023.

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