Sunshine of Your Love
Writer(s): Peter Brown, Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton (see lyrics here)
Released: December 1967
First Charted: January 6, 1968
Peak: 5 US, 6 CB, 4 HR, 1 CL, 25 UK, 3 CN, 18 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales (in millions): 1.0 US
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 33.0 video, 300.94 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
In 1966, Eric Clapton had established himself as the premiere blues guitarist in Britain, thanks to stints in the Yardbirds and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. Feeling confined by the latter group, he and fellow Bluesbreaker Jack Bruce formed a power trio with drummer Ginger Baker, who’d worked with Bruce in the Graham Bond Organisation. The resulting supergroup, Cream, only lasted two years but had a lasting impact on rock music.
“No song illustrates this better than “Sunshine of Your Love,” which mixed hard rock with aspects of psychedelia to wonderful effect. The song centers around what is perhaps one of the most simplistic guitar riffs of all time, courtesy of ‘Slowhand’ himself, Eric Clapton. In many ways though, restraint is what propels “Sunshine of Your Love” forward, although Clapton’s remarkable skill with the guitar are on prominent display throughout the solo section.” UCR
“Vocal duties are shared between Clapton and Jack Bruce, as the latter’s menacing bass gives the song it’s hefty low end. Drummer Ginger Baker cuts slightly loose during the song’s chorus, but otherwise keeps time as if he were in a military band.” UCR The lyrics were written by Peter Brown, a beat poet who was friends with Baker and Bruce. He also wrote the words for Cream’s songs “I Feel Free” and “White Room.” SF
Bruce based the song a distinctive bass riff he developed after seeing Jimi Hendrix in concert on January 29, 1967, at the Saville Theatre in London. WK As Clapton said, “it was strictly a dedication to Jimi.” WK After Cream released “Sunshine of Your Love,” “the guitar legend began adding the song to his concert setlists,” UCR Unaware that he’d inspired the song. SF
According to Bruce, Booker T. Jones and Otis Redding heard the song before its release and both said it would be a smash. SF Atlantic Record’s Ahmet Ertegun initially dismissed it as “psychedelic hogwash,” SFSF
First posted 8/1/2022.
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