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November 15, 2004 1:23 PM   Subscribe

The original power trio is back. Reunions are distressingly common these days, but these guys playing together again is historic. Old farts everywhere rejoice....
posted by jonmc (45 comments total)

 
Also, the original power quatro
posted by BigPicnic at 1:30 PM on November 15, 2004


Gang of Four are getting back together too. And there is a new New Order album coming out next year. And The Wedding Present have a new album coming out and Wire is back and Mission of Burma are as well. The Pixies are touring like crazy. Duran Duran have a new album out.

Everything old is new again. Such a strange time.

(on preview, beat by BigPicnic!)
posted by shoepal at 1:30 PM on November 15, 2004


Me and my old highschool band are thinking about getting back together, too.
posted by xmutex at 1:32 PM on November 15, 2004


As good as those bands are, Cream hasn't shared a stage together in almost 40 years and they changed popular music irrevocably. I'll just have to hope they do some American shows, too.

I also worry that they might have to bring Ginger Baker out on a stretcher, but whatever it takes, man.
posted by jonmc at 1:34 PM on November 15, 2004


From EC's perspective, this takes guts. The odds against them producing anything even near as good as their 60s output are astronomical, and yet he's still throwing in, apparently for the fun of it. Bruce and Baker have nothing to lose, obviously. I'm rooting for them, I guess magic is possible.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 1:35 PM on November 15, 2004


xmutex, you guys were great! I think we're all ready for the reunion if you can get over your creative differences in exchange for piles of cash from inflated ticket prices, best of cds, DVDs, and assorted swag. Are you going to re-release all those albums on vinyl "remastered" with new artwork as well?
posted by shoepal at 1:35 PM on November 15, 2004


BigPicnic, that link isn't about the Who.

And although Bruce and Baker haven't enjoyed nearly the same mainstream success and attention as Clapton, they've got some quite creditable releases to their name. Both have played with some pretty heavy jazz hitters (eg Bruce with Carla Bley, I think, and John McLaughlin).
posted by kenko at 1:44 PM on November 15, 2004


This better not be like that shitty Velvet Underground reunion. That's all I'm saying.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:45 PM on November 15, 2004


I remember reading a Downbeat review of a Cream concert and the reviewer noticed that during the Ginger Baker drum solo he broke into the beat from Sing, Sing, Sing.

But anyway, ROCK AND ROLL!!!
posted by tommasz at 1:46 PM on November 15, 2004


Oh dear. Despite not even being born until after they broke up, I guess I'm now officially an old fart because I actually yelped with delight when I heard the news on the radio the other day.
posted by scody at 1:54 PM on November 15, 2004


Not to derail, but recalling cream and, subsequently, Blind Faith, made me wonder...what happened to the supergroup? It seems artists "graduate" from groups to solo projects, but don't often move from being in one successful band to being in another band with other successful musicians. Has this just been judged to be completely unworkable due to egos, label problems, etc.?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 2:00 PM on November 15, 2004


Well, the Golden Smog and the New Pornographers are sort of supergroups...
posted by COBRA! at 2:10 PM on November 15, 2004


Supergoup? How about Audioslave?
posted by sexymofo at 2:11 PM on November 15, 2004


i'd note that they are talking two shows, not reforming the band, and that they already did this once in 1993.

beyond that, the fiery improvisation and interaction between the players is what stoked cream's fire. clapton hasn't approached anything remotely "fiery" in 30 some years. i predict some remarkably mediocre jams and lots of patronizing reviews.
posted by quonsar at 2:13 PM on November 15, 2004


If Clapton doesn't play a Les Paul thru a Bassman turned all the way up to ear-blistering, it won't quite be Cream. So I hope he does.

Although, I would probably ascribe this to what I call the Daltrey Syndrome; the Who goes out on tour every few years when Daltrey's getting late on some bills...

/tongue-in-cheek
posted by zoogleplex at 2:19 PM on November 15, 2004


Oh, man, I thought this was about the Dixie Power Trio.

Who cares about a washed-up old guitar picker anyway?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:22 PM on November 15, 2004


Supergroups usually suck, probably for reasons akin to too many cooks spoiling the broth. But they are still being formed. I liked Rage Against The Machine but not Audioslave. Fans of Soundgarden may disagree. See also Colonel Claypool's Bucket of Brains and Dave Grohl and Mark Lanegan playing and singing with Queens of the Stone Age.
posted by liam at 2:28 PM on November 15, 2004


Supergoup? How about Audioslave?

See also A Perfect Circle and Velvet Revolver and Queens of the Stone Age.

As long as there are band break-ups, the supergroup will never die.
posted by ChasFile at 2:43 PM on November 15, 2004


I must say, the level of snide condescension in this thread is way outrunning people knowing what they're talking about.

Ginger Baker doesn't need a goddamned stretcher. The Ginger Baker Trio album called "Going Back Home" -- with Bill Frisell and Charlie Haden, fer chrissakes -- is one of the most aggressive, imaginative and vital trio albums of the last ten years.
posted by digaman at 2:45 PM on November 15, 2004


I must say, the level of snide condescension in this thread is way outrunning people knowing what they're talking about.

Actually, it's been more charitable than I expected, digaman. The joke about Baker and the stretcher was a reference to his prodigous (even by British rock standards) drug intake over the years. And I consider myself an old fart, too, since, like scody, I've been a Cream fan since I was a teenager.

As far as the reunion goes, I'm hoping they play some American shows. This isn't (and it pains me to say this as a fan) the fucking Who, where they reunite every 5 years. Clapton dosen't need the money, and I doubt Baker and Bruce are starving either. I think they're just in the mood to play together again. And the music these guys made back in the day had an impact that still reverberates, in a lot of unlikely places. A large chunk of modern music wouldn't exist without the innovations of Cream and their contemporaries.

As far as supergroups go, it's something that seemed to fall out of favor after punk, the good work of Golden Smog notwithstanding. But Blind faith had a couple great tracks on their LP, and the Electric Flag (featuring Dylan/Butterfield guitar genius Mike Bloomfield, Buddy Miles, and Nick Gravenites) showed signs of greatness before dissolving.
posted by jonmc at 3:27 PM on November 15, 2004


Personally, I despise the generations of tedious guitar wankers these guys spawned, but for my money, Badge is one of the greatest pop songs ever written, and as far as improvisational pyrotechnics, it doesn't get any better than the live version of Crossroads.
posted by psmealey at 3:32 PM on November 15, 2004


I hope they do some American shows, too. Cream is one of the few bands that I would pay some serious money to see. Depends, though, on whether Clapton comes to play, that is actually take some chances and improvise, or remains content, as he has for a while, to do a hackneyed, guitar skool version of himself. My hope is that, with the other two pushing him, we just might see God again.
posted by Ty Webb at 3:37 PM on November 15, 2004


I'd love to see them live, but I highly doubt they'll come anywhere near Calgary. And I get the impression the inevitable reunion album/concert DVD cash-in is gonna suck. So unless either of those is proven untrue, I'm (sadly) gonna have to dust off my much-abused LP of Disraeli Gears, instead.
posted by arto at 3:45 PM on November 15, 2004


Me too, Ty.

That's the thing about these old warhorses. The old stuff is so good that it makes you forgive them for 20-odd years of rote tripe. At work today I had to enter data on the SACD version of the Layla album. You can talk about cliche and overplay all you want, and you'd be right but that dosen't change the impact of what's in the grooves one iota.

Somebody once wrote that one that album, everyone plays and sings as if actual human lives depended on it. When you look at how some of the people involved in that reord ended up, that's not so off base.

Yeah, music changes and evolves and it's important to be open to those changes, but I'd never ever deny the continuing impact, emotional and musical that some of these old bastards have. And if we get to have a little taste of what it must'v been like back in the day with these guys through these shows, then that's great, I think.
posted by jonmc at 3:53 PM on November 15, 2004


Ty Webb, did you know you're a dead (wo)man?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:46 PM on November 15, 2004


Another recent supergroup: Claypool, Anastasio, and Copland in Oysterhead. Definitely less than the sum of its parts, but a supergroup nonetheless.
posted by Acetylene at 4:58 PM on November 15, 2004


.. or even .. Husker Du II ...
posted by stuartmm at 5:42 PM on November 15, 2004


You know, all the articles on the reunion refer to Clapton as the vocalist, and Bruce as just the bassist. "Crossroads" was the only song Clapton sang with Cream. Sheesh.
posted by kenko at 5:50 PM on November 15, 2004


...Badge is one of the greatest pop songs ever written...

It was written by George Harrison and Eric Clapton.
posted by euphorb at 6:40 PM on November 15, 2004


"Crossroads" was the only song Clapton sang with Cream

No ,there were others, Badge among them. But Bruce was the primary vocalist.
posted by Ty Webb at 6:47 PM on November 15, 2004


I predict a Clapton let-down. It's just Vegas odds. He already performs Cream songs live and they taste like soggy dick.

Hopefully Bruce and Baker will push Clapton to stretch and vice-versa, but how often do these things work out?

Next year we'll see a Yardbirds reunion.
posted by swift at 7:32 PM on November 15, 2004


Next year we'll see a Yardbirds reunion.

That would require divine intervention.
posted by jonmc at 7:40 PM on November 15, 2004


Next year we'll see a Yardbirds reunion.

Not with Keith Relf dead, I don't think so. And who would play lead, Beck, Clapton or Page? Just imagine the knockdown dragouts over that one, if Page could get sober for a day or two.

Anyway, for those of you who remember Cream, Derek and the Allmans so fondly, I recommend you find a copy of the Tom Dowd docu-biography to watch. Just see how he made things happen from the '40s until his death very recently.
posted by billsaysthis at 7:44 PM on November 15, 2004


And who would play lead, Beck, Clapton or Page?

Didn't they all play at the Ronnie Lane ARMS Benefit show back in the 80's? I don't recall them doing any Yardbirds tunes though.
posted by jonmc at 7:49 PM on November 15, 2004



posted by Satapher at 9:32 PM on November 15, 2004


Yes, Jack Bruce played on "Escalator Over the Hill". Quite a line-up in that band. I've only heard this on vinyl, but I see it is out on CD now. I must get a copy! Ginger Baker lives out here in Colorado and was into Polo.
posted by Eekacat at 11:00 PM on November 15, 2004


Satapher, why does it bother you so much that people are enjoying discussing music you don't like?
posted by jonmc at 6:41 AM on November 16, 2004


"Layla" is available on SACD?
posted by caddis at 7:20 AM on November 16, 2004


It should be out soon. It sounds great.
posted by jonmc at 7:23 AM on November 16, 2004


Didn't Jeff Beck have the White Stripes come in to sing and play drums while he played guitar on some Yardbirds tunes in a multi-night retrospective at (probably) RAH? Those concerts sounded like they were probably pretty awesome.
posted by kenko at 7:33 AM on November 16, 2004


im not bothered, you are... im a void filling void space.
posted by Satapher at 2:13 PM on November 16, 2004


*rolls eyes*

Stop reading Camus on acid, junior. You come across like a high school sophomore who thinks lower case letters and non-sequitirs are the acme of "cool."

I got news for you: pretentious posturing != depth.
posted by jonmc at 5:32 PM on November 16, 2004


"im calmer than you are"

"fuck you walter"

"im calmer than you are"
posted by Satapher at 10:51 PM on November 16, 2004


metafilter != depth... im rolling with the punches sweetheart, i enjoy combing feathers, and i read celine on acid, uncle jess.
posted by Satapher at 10:53 PM on November 16, 2004


furthermore, i dig you jonmc, keep on rockin in the freeworld.
posted by Satapher at 11:00 PM on November 16, 2004


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