Disraeli Gears: Wikis


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Disraeli Gears
Studio album by Cream
Released 2 November 1967 (UK)
9 December 1967 (US)
Recorded May 1967 at Atlantic Studios, New York City
Genre Blues Rock
Psychedelic rock
Hard rock
Length 33:39
Label Reaction (UK)
Polydor Records (Remaster)
Producer Felix Pappalardi
Professional reviews
Cream chronology
Fresh Cream
Disraeli Gears
Wheels of Fire

Disraeli Gears is the second album by British blues-rock group Cream. It was released in November 1967 and went on to reach #5 on the UK album chart. It was also their American breakthrough, becoming a massive seller there in 1968, reaching #4 on the American charts. The album features the two singles "Strange Brew" and "Sunshine of Your Love". By this time, the group was veering quite heavily away from their blues roots to indulge in more psychedelic sounds.

The title of the album was taken from an inside joke. Eric Clapton had been thinking of buying a racing bicycle and was discussing it with Ginger Baker, when a roadie named Mick Turner commented, "it's got them Disraeli Gears", meaning to say "derailleur gears," but instead alluding to 19th Century British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli. The band thought this was hilarious, and decided that it should be the title of their next album. Had it not been for Mick's turn of phrase, the album would simply have been entitled "Cream."

Clapton, Baker, and Jack Bruce all contributed songs with the help of lyricist Pete Brown and producer Felix Pappalardi. The track "Blue Condition" was unusual in that Baker, although not well known for his singing, took the lead vocal. The album was recorded at Atlantic Studios in New York during May 1967, following the band's nine shows as part of Murray the K's "Music in the 5th Dimension" concert series. Cream's American label, ATCO, was a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlantic Records.[1] [2]

The psychedelic cover art was created by Australian artist Martin Sharp, who lived in the same building as Clapton at the time of the Chelsea artists colony The Pheasantry. At their first meeting in a London club, Clapton mentioned that he had some music that needed lyrics, so Sharp wrote out a poem he had composed on a napkin and gave it to Clapton, who recorded it as "Tales of Brave Ulysses."

When interviewed on the episode of the VH1 show, Classic Albums, which featured Disraeli Gears, Bruce stated that when writing the song "Take it Back", he had been inspired by the contemporary media images of American students burning their draft cards and wrote the song in that spirit of rejecting militarism.[3]

In 2004, the album was released as a 2-disc Deluxe edition including the complete album in both mono and stereo, demos, alternate takes and tracks taken from the band's live sessions on BBC radio. In 2003 the album was ranked number 112 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time[4]. VH1 also named it their 87th greatest album of all time the same year.


Track listing


Original album

Side 1

  1. "Strange Brew" (Eric Clapton, Felix Pappalardi, Gail Collins) – 2:46
    • Lead vocals: Eric Clapton
  2. "Sunshine of Your Love" (Clapton, Jack Bruce, Pete Brown) – 4:10
    • Lead vocals: Jack Bruce & Eric Clapton
  3. "World of Pain" (Pappalardi, Collins) – 3:03
    • Lead vocals: Eric Clapton & Jack Bruce
  4. "Dance the Night Away" (Bruce, Brown) – 3:34
    • Two-Part Harmony: Jack Bruce & Eric Clapton
  5. "Blue Condition" (Ginger Baker) – 3:29
    • Lead vocals: Ginger Baker

Side 2

  1. "Tales of Brave Ulysses" (Clapton, Martin Sharp) – 2:46
    • Lead vocals: Jack Bruce
  2. "Swlabr" (Bruce, Brown) – 2:32
    • Lead vocals: Jack Bruce
  3. "We're Going Wrong" (Bruce) – 3:26
    • Lead vocals: Jack Bruce
  4. "Outside Woman Blues" (Blind Joe Reynolds, arr. Clapton) – 2:24
    • Lead vocals: Eric Clapton
  5. "Take It Back" (Bruce, Brown) – 3:05
    • Lead vocals: Jack Bruce
  6. "Mother's Lament" (Traditional, arr. Clapton, Bruce, Baker) – 1:47
    • Three-Part Harmony: Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker

Disraeli Gears - Deluxe Edition (2004)

Disc one (stereo)

Original album
Tracks 1-11
  1. "Lawdy Mama" - version 1 1 (Traditional, arr. Clapton) – 2:00
Recorded 3 April 1967 at Atlantic Studios
  1. "Blue Condition" - alternate version (Baker) - 3:13
Eric Clapton vocal, previously unreleased
Demos 1
  1. "We're Going Wrong" (Bruce) – 3:49
  2. "Hey Now, Princess" (Bruce, Brown) – 3:31
  3. "Swlabr" (Bruce, Brown) – 4:30
  4. "Weird of Hermiston" (Bruce, Brown) – 3:12
  5. "The Clearout" (Bruce, Brown) – 3:58
Recorded 15 March 1967 at Ryemuse Studios, London

Disc two (mono)

Original album and out-takes
Tracks 1-13
BBC recordings 2
  1. "Strange Brew" (Clapton, Pappalardi, Collins) – 3:00
  2. "Tales of Brave Ulysses" (Clapton, Sharp) – 2:55
  3. "We're Going Wrong" (Bruce) – 3:25
Recorded 30 May 1967, broadcast 3 June on BBC Light Programme
  1. "Born Under a Bad Sign" (Booker T. Jones, William Bell) – 3:03
  2. "Outside Woman Blues" (Reynolds) – 3:18
  3. "Take It Back" (Bruce, Brown) – 2:17
Recorded 24 October 1967, broadcast 29 October on BBC Radio 1
  1. "Politician" (Bruce, Brown) – 3:59
  2. "Swlabr" (Bruce, Brown) – 2:32
  3. "Steppin' Out" (James Bracken) – 3:37
Recorded 9 January 1968, broadcast 14 January on BBC Radio 1
  1. ^ Tracks previously released on the Those Were the Days box set.
  2. ^ Tracks previously released on the BBC Sessions compilation album.
  3. ^ Swlabr stands for "She Was Like A Bearded Rainbow".




  1. ^ "First US show for Cream and The Who that most fans don't know about." Songheads. http://songheads.com/?p=93 1 August 2009.
  2. ^ "Eric Clapton Interview," HOEPLA Television Show, VPRO Television, The Netherlands, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHoU3w-IVL8 28 July 1967.
  3. ^ "Cream: Disraeli Gears", Classic Albums on VH1, 3 November 2006
  4. ^ "The RS 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone Magazine. 2003-11-18. http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/5938174/the_rs_500_greatest_albums_of_all_time/2. Retrieved 2009-03-19. 
  5. ^ http://www.jr.com/product/music/pm/_93639/#productTabCredits
  • Cream, Disraeli Gears (1967)
  • Cream, Disraeli Gears - Deluxe Edition (2004)

External links

Preceded by
John Wesley Harding by Bob Dylan
Australian Kent Music Report number-one album
30 March 1968 – 12 April 1968
Succeeded by
A Man and a Woman (soundtrack)
by Francis Lai


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