CREAM — Wheels Of Fire (review)

CREAM — Wheels Of Fire album cover Album · 1968 · Proto-Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
Warthur
Wheels of Fire by Cream combines a studio disc containing one fairly high-quality track (White Room), some lukewarm filler and a few real clunkers (such as the interminable Pressed Rat and Warthog) with a live disc which captures the band's ability to jam away in their glorious psych-blues style more or less indefinitely. What's particularly notable is how the band are able to show off the technical excellence they could bring to bear in their jams without turning their compositions into a tedious noodle-fest; yes, the improvisations are long, but they never lose sight of the emotional context of the songs they appear in. I kind of think that by this point Cream had already lost the heavy blues-rock lead, with acts like Deep Purple, Iron Butterfly and Vanilla Fudge having already upped the ante to an extent which Cream failed to match, and the fuzzy production quality on the studio album is several notches down what you'd expect from the era, but if you have to Cream, this is as good a Cream as any.
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