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Album Review

Eric Clapton was contracted to Polydor Records from 1966 to 1981, first as a member of Cream, then Blind Faith, and later as a solo artist and as the leader of Derek & the Dominos. The 19-track, 79-minute Cream of Clapton disc surveys his career, presenting an excellent selection from the period, including the Cream hits "Sunshine of Your Love," "White Room," and "Crossroads"; "Presence of the Lord," Clapton's finest moment with Blind Faith; "Bell Bottom Blues" and "Layla" from Derek & the Dominos; and 11 songs from Clapton's solo work, among them the hits "I Shot the Sheriff," "Promises," and "I Can't Stand It." The selection is thus broader and better than that found on 1982's Time Pieces collection, and with excellent sound and liner notes by Clapton biographer Ray Coleman, The Cream of Clapton stands as the single-disc best-of to own for Clapton's greatest recordings. (Not to be confused with the popular 1987 Polydor (U.K.) compilation The Cream of Eric Clapton.) [An import version was also released.]

Biography

Formed: 1966 in England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '90s, '00s

Although Cream was only together for a little more than two years, their influence was immense, both during their late-'60s peak and in the years following their breakup. Cream was the first top group to truly exploit the power-trio format, in the process laying the foundation for much blues-rock and hard rock of the 1960s and 1970s. It was with Cream, too, that guitarist Eric Clapton truly became an international superstar. Critical revisionists have tagged the band as overrated, citing the musicians'...
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