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Released in November 1967, Disraeli Gears stands as the second studio album by the iconic British rock band, Cream. This groundbreaking album achieved considerable success, reaching No. 5 on the UK Albums Chart, No. 1 in Sweden and Finland, and securing the top spot on the Australian album chart for two weeks. Notably, it was crowned the No. 1 album of 1968 by Cash Box in the United States. The singles “Strange Brew” and “Sunshine of Your Love,” along with their B-sides “Tales of Brave Ulysses” and “SWLABR,” further propelled the album into the limelight.
Recorded at Atlantic Studios in New York over a mere three-and-a-half days in May 1967, the album emerged swiftly following Cream’s participation in Murray the K’s “Music in the 5th Dimension” concert series. Produced by Felix Pappalardi, the sessions witnessed the collaboration of Cream’s members, with Tom Dowd as the engineer and the presence of Atlantic Records owner Ahmet Ertegun.
The evocative cover art, crafted by Australian artist Martin Sharp, captures the essence of the music. Sharp’s psychedelic collage, adorned with a floral arrangement, was created to embody the warm, electric sound of Cream. The photographs, taken in London’s Hyde Park and the Scottish Highlands, depict guitarist Eric Clapton with a bouffant, permed hairstyle, encapsulating the visual aesthetic of the late ’60s.
Disraeli Gears marks a departure from Cream’s blues roots, delving into psychedelic sounds. Tracks like “Tales of Brave Ulysses” and “SWLABR” showcase this shift. Despite the album’s psychedelic explorations, some blues influences persist, notably in Clapton’s arrangement of “Outside Woman Blues.”
Praised for its innovative fusion of blues and psychedelia, Disraeli Gears received critical acclaim. In 1999, it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time ranked it at 112 in 2003, re-ranking at 114 in 2012, and 170 in 2020. The album has endured as a quintessential heavy rock masterpiece of the ’60s, securing its place in the pantheon of rock history.
In 2008, Disraeli Gears was honoured with a Classic Rock Roll of Honours Award for Classic Album, solidifying its status as a timeless and influential work in the rock genre.
A1 Strange Brew
A2 Sunshine Of Your Love
A3 World Of Pain
A4 Dance The Night Away
A5 Blue Condition
B1 Tales Of Brave Ulysses
B3 We're Going Wrong
B4 Outside Woman Blues
B5 Take It Back
B6 Mother's Lament
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