December 31, 2005

Best of 2005

Here goes:

Best overall release
Cream - Royal Albert Hall DVD (Rhino)

In May Cream went back to the Royal Albert Hall for four live shows. That the trio reformed is nothing short of a miracle. Bass player Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker were great on stage together, but even better at getting on each other nerves0. After the band broke up only Eric Clapton made it big as a solo artist.

Were the reunion concerts any good? Expectations went sky high. Would there be lengthy jams like in the old days? I have been listening to some audience recordings which quickly surfaced after the shows, and yes, there was a bit of magic coming through the static, but most of all it was obvious that the trio were enjoying themselves.

Obviously the band choose the best performances of each night, with a single bonus track on the CD version, and three for the DVD set. The DVD is the superior release, picking a few tracks that are not to be found on the CD version. The camera's get close, giving it it "on stage" feel. It's a bit sad that Ginger Baker is making a speech about the purchasing of T-shirts and other memorabilia in the hall after finishing his vocal duties on Pressed Rat and Warthog. Come on, Ginger, cut the crap and hit the drums. Highlights are the alternate take of Sleepy Time Time and Clapton fucking up the lyrics of Sunshine of Your Love before launching into a memorable solo. And Bruce is standing there, smiling.

Cream has stood the test of time in a galant way. There was some careless talk of them getting together to record new material. I for one keep my fingers crossed for another miracle - a new studio album in 2006 (or 2007). I am sure that the guy in the front row holding up a vinyl copy of Disraeli Gears shares my feelings.


Stand-out live shows

  1. Gov't Mule
  2. Patti Smith
  3. John Cale

Studio albums

  1. New Monsoon - The Sound
  2. Jack Stafford - Exes
  3. Tom Langford - Here Comes Memory
  4. John Cale - blackAcetate
  5. Gov't Mule - Deja Voodoo
  6. Neil Young - Prairie Wind


Sony BMG president Thomas Hesse who was stupid enough to be quoted:
"Most people don't even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it?"

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