Cream's fourth and final 'studio' album, appropriately titled Goodbye, was released on February 5, 1969 (February 28 in the UK) and hit #1 in the UK on today's date, where they would stay for two weeks. The announcement of their disbandment occurred just before their previous album Wheels of Fire was released, but the band did still perform a farewell tour and final recording session in October 1968. Let's take a closer look at this beloved band's final release.
Three live tracks start off the record, with a nine minute version of Skip James' "I'm So Glad" leading the way. Even though the melody and lyrics sound somewhat strained at times, the band's improvisation show just how far they've matured from Fresh Cream. The hard, Zeppelin-esque blues feel continues in "Politician," which is just like the band's style. Clapton solos are right on point (as always). Side two opens with "Sitting on Top of the World" and while it may not be as good as the original on Wheels of Fire, Jack Bruce gets an excellent chance to hold down the fort and show how Cream is not just Clapton.
Co-written by George Harrison (who also contributes rhythm guitar), "Badge" shows excellent flow and another killer solo by Clapton. Who would've thought some drunken ramblings between two Beatles would influence song lyrics? The elements of Traffic are evident in Bruce's "Doing That Scrapyard Thing," which does include Felix Pappalardi on piano and mellotron. It also sounds like a Beatles B-side. The album ends with Ginger Baker's "What a Bringdown," which may bring the tempo down, but not the intensity. It shows, ironically, how well Cream was hitting their stride, even at the end.