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* Studio/Live Recordings *

Recorded: March 10, 1968 *

Released: June 1968

* live part of collection

Rating: 4.220 (average of 15 ratings)

Genre: classic British blues rock

Quotable: --

Album Tracks – Disc 1 (recorded in the studio):

  1. White Room (Brown/Bruce) [4:57]
  2. Sitting on Top of the World (Chatmon/Vinson) [4:56]
  3. Passing the Time (Baker/Taylor) [5:45]
  4. As You Said (Brown/Bruce) [4:19]
  5. Pressed Rat and Warthog (Baker/Taylor) [3:14]
  6. Politician (Brown/Bruce) [4:11]
  7. Those Were the Days (Baker/Taylor) [2:53]
  8. Born Under a Bad Sign (Bell/Jones) [3:09]
  9. Deserted Cities of the Heart (Brown/Bruce) [4:36]
  10. Anyone for Tennis? (Clapton/Sharp) [2:39] *
Album Tracks – Disc 2 (recorded live):
  1. Crossroads (Johnson) [4:14]
  2. Spoonful (Dixon) [16:45]
  3. Train Time (Bruce) [6:52]
  4. Toad (Baker) [15:53]

* see ‘Notes’ below.

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only 0.5 *
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 0.5

* Sales of double albums are reported in the U.S. as having double the sales, so this album was officially certified as selling a million copies.


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 1 4
peak on U.K. album chart 3

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Anyone for Tennis? (5/11/68) #64 US, #40 UK
  • White Room (10/5/68) #6 US, #28 UK
  • Crossroads (live) (1/25/69) #28 US

Notes: This is a double album with one disc devoted to studio material and the other to live material. The single “Anyone for Tennis” was later added to the studio disc.

Cream’s official output during the 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.


Rated one of the top 1000 albums of all time by Dave’s Music Database. Click to learn more.

Wheels of Fire
With Eric Clapton on guitar and vocals, Ginger Baker on drums, and Jack Bruce serving up duties on bass and vocals, Cream has become one of history’s most celebrated rock power trios. This album showcased their work in the studio as well as on the stage with a two-album set.

The live disc, recorded in San Francisco, includes “what became Clapton’s signature piece, Robert Johnson’s Crossroads, plus a version of Spoonful that clocks in just short of 17 minutes. On such pieces, Cream approached blues-based rock with a jazz aesthetic, using the song as a framework to begin and end a performance. The strength of the performance is in the improvisation. When it worked, as it does on ‘Spoonful,’ they were brilliant. When it didn’t, as on Traintime and Toad, the band became excess incarnate.” RB

The disc is labeled Live at the Fillmore, which has propelled the “common misconception that Cream played at the Fillmore West. They never did. That venue was originally the Carousel Ballroom and was rechristened as the Fillmore West in June/July 1968 and Cream didn’t play in San Francisco in that period or at that venue thereafter. In February and March 1968 Cream did a long run of concerts at Winterland and at the old Fillmore Auditorium. It was this Fillmore venue (which still exists) at which Cream played and not the later Fillmore West (which no longer survives).” WK Even then, “only ‘Toad’ was recorded at The Fillmore. The other tracks were recorded live at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco.” WK

“The studio disc contained their second Top Ten single, Jack Bruce’s White Room, as well as a stunning cover of Albert King’s Born Under a Bad Sign. Other tracks, particularly those written by Ginger Baker, do not hold up.” RB

Review Source(s):

Related DMDB Links:

Previous Album: Disraeli Gears (1967) Eric Clapton’s DMDB page Next Album: Goodbye (1969)

White Room (live in 1968)

Crossroads (live in 1968)

Toad (live from 2009 reunion with Ginger Baker drum solo)

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Last updated August 19, 2010.