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Fresh Cream
Studio album by
Released9 December 1966 (1966-12-09)
RecordedJuly–November 1966
StudioRayrik & Ryemuse (London)
Genre Blues rock [1]
Length37:48 (LP version), 40:39 (CD version)
Label Reaction
Producer Robert Stigwood
Cream chronology
Fresh Cream
Disraeli Gears
Singles from Fresh Cream
  1. " Spoonful"
    Released: September 1967
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic [2]
BBC Music(Highly Positive) [3]
Robert ChristgauA− [4]
Uncut [5]
Daily Express(Positive) [6]
The 1000 Best Pop-Rock Albums[ citation needed]
Ultimate Classic Rock(Positive) [7]
MusicHound [8]

Fresh Cream is the debut studio album by the British rock band Cream, consisting of bassist Jack Bruce, guitarist Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker. The album was released in the UK on 9 December 1966, as the first LP on the Reaction Records label, owned by producer Robert Stigwood. It was released in both mono and stereo versions, at the same time as the release of the single " I Feel Free". [9] The album peaked at No. 6 on the UK Albums Chart. The album was released in a slightly different form in January 1967 by Atco Records in the US, also in mono and stereo versions. [10]

The mono versions were deleted not long after release and for many years only the stereo recordings were available. The UK mono album was reissued on CD for the first time in Japan, by Universal Music, in late 2013 as part of a deluxe SHM-CD and SHM-SACD sets (both editions also contain the UK stereo counterpart). [11]

In January 2017, the album was again reissued, by Polydor, in a 4-CD box-set containing mono and stereo versions of the original UK and US release along with singles and B-sides. [12]


Bass player Jack Bruce later said that the opening song "N.S.U." was written for the band's first rehearsal. "It was like an early punk song... the title meant " non-specific urethritis. It didn't mean an NSU Quickly – which was one of those little 1960s mopeds. I used to say it was about a member of the band who had this venereal disease. I can't tell you which one... except he played guitar." [13]


In 2012, the album was ranked number 102 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of all time (the highest-ranking album by Cream on the list). [14] Uncut describes the songs as "all about playing in a band and relaxing, the joy of being young, and they walk it like they talk it, being jumping-off points for wonderful spur-of-the moment improvisations". [15] Writing for the BBC, Sid Smith notes that "blues, pop and rock magically starts to coalesce to create something brand new". [3] Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic opined that the album was "instrumental in the birth of heavy metal and jam rock". [2]

Track listing

Original UK release

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."N.S.U." Jack BruceBruce2:43
2."Sleepy Time Time"Bruce, Janet GodfreyBruce4:20
4."Sweet Wine" Ginger Baker, GodfreyBruce3:17
5." Spoonful" Willie DixonBruce6:30
Total length:18:48
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."Cat's Squirrel" Doctor Ross, arr. Bruce, Baker, Eric ClaptonInstrumental3:04
2." Four Until Late" Robert Johnson, arr. ClaptonClapton2:07
3." Rollin' and Tumblin'" Hambone Willie NewbernBruce4:42
4." I'm So Glad" Skip JamesBruce3:58
5." Toad"BakerInstrumental5:09
Total length:19:00

Original U.S. version

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1." I Feel Free"Bruce, Pete BrownBruce2:52
3."Sleepy Time Time"Bruce, Janet GodfreyBruce4:20
5."Sweet Wine"Baker, GodfreyBruce3:17
Total length:15:10
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."Cat's Squirrel"Ross, arr. Bruce, Baker, ClaptonInstrumental3:03
2." Four Until Late"Johnson, arr. ClaptonClapton2:07
3." Rollin' and Tumblin'"NewbernBruce4:42
4." I'm So Glad"JamesBruce3:57
5." Toad"BakerInstrumental5:09
Total length:18:58

Later U.S. release

Original reissues in the U.S. on RSO/ Polydor use the same track listing as the original UK edition given above in which "I Feel Free" is replaced with "Spoonful" on Side 1. Polydor's original CD release from the 1980s combines the UK and US track lists but also includes "The Coffee Song" and "Wrapping Paper," which were removed from subsequent CD releases starting in the 1990s. [16] [17]

Scandinavian release

An edition released originally only in Scandinavia was a 12-track release, It had the same ten tracks as the UK version plus added two tracks: " Wrapping Paper", written by Jack Bruce and Pete Brown, and "The Coffee Song", written by Tony Colton and Ray Smith. Both vinyl and cover were made in Germany and exported to the Swedish market only – the German original had the same 10 tracks as the UK. The group didn't want "Coffee Song" to be issued at all, but a mono version was mixed and coupled with "Wrapping Paper" as a single. There were no plans at this stage to release it in stereo, so for the Swedish issue, a crude stereo mix was used. This was made during the sessions in early August 1966 for instructive purpose – the whole track as basic mono is mixed far right and a solo guitar overdub far left. Never intended for release, this mix was soon lost and for later stereo issues a new one was made.

The front cover and record no. (623 031) are the same as the German issue, but three different back covers exist. The first listed the correct 12 tracks, the second listed 10 tracks, and a third where the 12 track listing has been "glued" over the 10 track listing.

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."N.S.U."Jack BruceBruce2:43
2."Sleepy Time Time"Bruce; Janet GodfreyBruce4:20
4."Sweet Wine"Ginger Baker; GodfreyBruce3:17
5." Spoonful"Willie DixonBruce6:30
6." Wrapping Paper"Bruce, BrownBruce2:24
Total length:21:12
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."Cat's Squirrel"Doctor Ross, arr. Bruce, Baker, ClaptonInstrumental3:03
2." Four Until Late"Robert Johnson, arr. ClaptonClapton2:07
3."The Coffee Song"Ray Smith, Tony ColtonBruce2:45
4." Rollin' and Tumblin'"Hambone Willie NewbernBruce4:42
5." I'm So Glad"Skip JamesBruce3:57
6." Toad"BakerInstrumental5:09
Total length:21:43

This version of Fresh Cream was also released by Polydor (2384 067) in the UK in 1974 under the title "Cream".

This version of Fresh Cream was released by RSO (2658 142) & Polydor (2658 142) in Germany during 1981 as a boxset under the title "Cream". [18]





Chart (1966–1967) Peak
Australian Albums ( Kent Music Report) [20] 10
Finnish Albums ( Soumen Virallinen) [21] 4
French Albums ( SNEP) [22] 20
UK Albums ( OCC) [23] 6
US Billboard 200 [24] 39


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia ( ARIA) [25] Gold 35,000^
United Kingdom ( BPI) [26] Gold 100,000^
United States ( RIAA) [27] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ "The Top 30 British Blues Rock Albums of All Time". Classic Rock. Future plc. 23 March 2007. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  2. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Cream: Fresh Cream > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  3. ^ a b Smith, Sid (17 April 2007). "Cream Fresh Cream Review". BBC Music. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  4. ^ "Robert Christgau: Online Exchange, part 3". Archived from the original on 20 December 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  5. ^ "Cream – Fresh Cream Deluxe". Archived from the original on 15 June 2018. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  6. ^ "ALBUM REVIEW: Fresh Cream will satisfy the taste buds of any ultimate Cream fan". 7 February 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  7. ^ "The Story of Cream's First Album". 9 December 2016. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  8. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel, eds. (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p.  288. ISBN  1-57859-061-2.
  9. ^ Clapton, Eric (2007). "Cream". Clapton: The Autobiography (1st ed.). United States: Broadway Books. pp.  73–79. ISBN  978-0-385-51851-2.
  10. ^ Eyries, Patrice; Edwards, Dave; Callahan, Mike (22 January 2007). "RSO Album Discography, Part 1: The RSO Story & Pre-RSO Releases". Retrieved 27 September 2010.
  11. ^ "Fresh Cream (Stereo & Mono) +12 [Cardboard Sleeve (mini LP)] [Platinum SHM-CD] [Limited Release] Cream CD Album". CDJapan. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  12. ^ "Fresh Cream 1". Amazon. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  13. ^ Welch, Chris (1 December 2000). Cream: The Legendary Sixties Supergroup. Backbeat Books. ISBN  9781476851501.
  14. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time Rolling Stone's definitive list of the 500 greatest albums of all time". Rolling Stone. 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  15. ^ "Uncut". Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  16. ^ "Fresh Cream (1980's Polydor CD release)". Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  17. ^ "Fresh Cream (Remastered 1998 CD release)". Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  18. ^ Retrieved 25 October 2023
  19. ^ "Fresh Cream (1966)". Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  20. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN  0-646-11917-6.
  21. ^ Nyman, Jake (2005). Suomi soi 4: Suuri suomalainen listakirja (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. p. 100. ISBN  951-31-2503-3.
  22. ^ "Le Détail des Albums de chaque Artiste – C". (in French). Archived from the original on 22 October 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2024. Select Cream from the menu, then press OK.
  23. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 10, 2024.
  24. ^ "Cream Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved March 10, 2024.
  25. ^ "Australian Fun Countdowns: Accreditation Awards". Warner Music Sales International. BMI Music International. 7 April 2011. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  26. ^ "Best-selling Rock LPs". Billboard Magazine. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 28 September 1968. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  27. ^ "American album certifications – Cream". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 17 September 2015.

External links