Saturday, June 7, 2014

Cream: Politician (Live)

Not counting Cream’s two live albums and “Best of Cream” that were posthumously released after the band’s breakup, “Goodbye Cream” is often cited as the band’s last hurrah. The release featured three studio tracks and three live tracks from their “Farewell” tour that began in October 1968. The album was released in February 1969, which was four months after Cream disbanded.

“Politician,” one of the live cuts, was recorded at the Los Angeles Forum on October 19. The song originally appeared as a studio track on the double LP “Wheels of Fire” in 1968. While it is not usually the case, I prefer the live version to the studio rendition that was recorded months earlier.

It is apparent that Cream honed their skills on this song while on the road, as Jack Bruce’s bass and vocals, Eric Clapton’s guitar, and Ginger Baker’s drums are all impeccable. The bass in the right channel while the guitar is mostly mixed to the left. “Politician’s” kicks show what master musicians can do with a piece of art like this. Bruce and Clapton are tight on their unison playing as well.

“Politician” was penned by Jack Bruce and lyricist Pete Brown who co-wrote a number of songs with members of Cream. Not released as a single either as a studio or live track, “Politician” is just one of the many great album cuts from the catalog of Cream.

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