In November of 1968, the rock trio Cream, featuring Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, and Ginger Baker, played a farewell concert in London's Royal Albert Hall. The subsequent album from this event, "Goodbye," remains one of the classic live rock albums of the 60s. Cream's work explored the hard rock edge via its blues influence, inspired the punk movement with the repetitious lyrics of songs like "I'm So Glad," and investigated jazz influences with long jams like "Toad." Despite their discernible edge, many Cream songs made their way into the Top 40, the 60s being a decade when something this offbeat and challenging could merit mainstream inclusion. Songs like "Sunshine of Your Love," "White Room," and "Badge,” continue to be staples on classic rock stations.
Kino Lorber's new DVD documenting the event was originally produced for the BBC series "Omnibus" and is narrated by Patrick Allen. The narration is described as "charmingly inept" as it "attempts to 'explain' rock music to a middlebrow audience," but now it just seems like a quaint artifact from an era that has long since passed us by. The interviews with various band members are candid and fascinating. The music itself is exhilarating.
Cream, when performing live, would exhibit their jazz-motivated influence by improvising jams even on their most noted songs. "Sunshine of Your Love" and "White Room" are here, as are the bluesy "Spoonful" the blues homage "Crossroads," the proto-punk "I'm So Glad," and the extended jamming of "Toad." The satire of "Politician," which remains relevant nearly 45 years later, and the quick, yearning "Sittin' On Top of the World" round out the live set.
The Kino Lorber DVD is a restored extended edition remastered in 5.1. Surround sound. It is highly recommended to anyone interested in rock music of the 1960s; an era that allowed for experimentation and exploration without limitation