It’s amazing to think that all of this music in this recording was created by only THREE people.

RaR24 – Sunshine of My Love


Listen to the recording of the tune by clicking the attached mp3 file. This will open the recording in a new window or tab. Listen and follow along with the listening guide in the book.
Read the liner notes below.
Read the information “What to Listen For”
Respond to the Rate-A-Record/Questions by clicking on the assignment link and then click on on the button “Write Submission” (to the right of Text Submission) to record your response. Do not use the comments field.
Sunshine of My Love by Cream
Cream (or The Cream) was rock’s first power trio—bass, lead guitar, and drums—and one of the earliest supergroups. The band’s members were all veterans of London’s “rhythm and blues scene”; Eric Clapton was the original lead guitarist of the Yardbirds (replaced successively by Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page) and had risen to fame in John Mayall’s Blues Breakers, which was considered the most hard-core and serious of all British blues bands of the 1960s. He became known for his extended guitar solos, which at the time were a novelty in rock and roll. They were more common in the blues, and Clapton modeled his playing after blues musicians like Freddie King, B. B. King, and Albert Collins. His playing was regarded as so amazing that graffiti proclaiming “Clapton is God” began appearing on walls around London. Cream also included Jack Bruce, who had started his career as bass player for Blues, Inc., the first British R&B band, and had also been in Manfred Mann (in its pre-Earth band days), the Graham Bond Organization, and the Blues Breakers. In 1966 Ginger Baker, Bruce’s bandmate in Blues Inc., and the Graham Bond Organization, was looking for a new challenge. He proposed the idea of forming a band to Eric Clapton, who was becoming dissatisfied with the Blues Breakers. Clapton agreed to join, but on the condition that Jack Bruce would play bass. Despite significant personal animosity between Baker and Bruce, an agreement was reached, and Cream was born.

Musically, the band created a brand-new kind of rock music. Much of their early repertoire was blues, but added to it the idea of jazz-like extended improvisation. The blues jam was introduced to rock Yardbirds, who called these sections “rave-ups,” as they generally included a gradual increase in speed and intensity (ironically, in the blues this is called a breakdown). Cream took the sounds of Chicago blues, British pop, and the psychedelic rock that was just beginning to emerge and fused them into a new approach to the blues. As Clapton, Bruce, and Baker were arguably three of the finest musicians in London at the time, Cream focused on instrumental virtuosity: Clapton contributed long, liquid blues-based solos colored by wah-wah pedal, feedback, and distortion; Bruce added incredibly active bass lines, usually in counterpoint to Clapton’s. While common in American soul music, such lines were rare in British rock, and the innovation made Bruce the most prominent bassist of his day. When added to Baker’s polyrhythmic jazz drumming style, the results were explosive! Cream was at its best live, sometimes working through 10-, 15-, even 20-minute improvisatory explorations of each song’s possibilities.

Unfortunately, Cream was doomed from the beginning; Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce complement each other’s styles as musicians and work well together, but the two have never gotten along. It’s actually quite amazing that the band lasted for eighteen months!


The predominance of the beat patterns from the drums
The birth of the “Guitar God”! Eric Clapton’s amazing guitar sounds and solo launch him into legendary status as he blends blues, rock, psychedelia, distortion, all into one amazing sound.
The dominance of the riff and how it drives the tune
NO real refrain or hook – high level of “fear germ” effect – (i.e. tune/hook gets stuck in your head) – yet, it totally gets you!
Amazing drumming – more than just keeping time and a beat
Form: Read the paragraph on page 278. An incredible re-working of the traditional blues form.


It’s amazing to think that all of this music in this recording was created by only THREE people. Why is this important to know about? What was the advantage of the trio format?
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It's amazing to think that all of this music in this recording was created by only THREE people.


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