In the almost four decades since Cream decided to disband there have been numerous retrospectives, books, videos, not to mention websites!
It should come as no surprise then, that this new DVD has little "new" to offer.
The interviews with the band are recent, taken around the time of the Albert Hall reunion, and in Ginger's case, following their MSG shows as well.
There are commentaries by all of the usual suspects.
Unfortunately, the producers missed out on an opportunity to interview Janet Bruce and Eric's then girlfriend Charlotte Martin, (the future Mrs. Jimmy Page).
The women travelled extensively with the band and could have provided an interestingly fresh perspective. Whether their exclusion was an oversight or they simply chose not to participate in the project is something I can't possibly know.
On the plus side, Ben Palmer has been recruited to provide his insight. Ben talks at some length about the Glands ill fated "world tour".
The DVD does contain some clips from Eric's "Rolling Hotel, 1978", an interview with Eric discussing their recording of Disraeli Gears and some rare photos, including a number of Phil Jonhstone's pictures from Windsor.
The interviews with Jack and Eric are pretty much standard fare, but Ginger's interviews provide a deeper insight into the man than we have previously seen.
Ginger becomes emotional in retelling the story of Jack's forced departure from the Graham Bond Organization, and clearly regrets having resorted to violence.
Jack and Ginger were actually quite close in the very early days. Jack looked up to Ginger as he might a big brother and the two even shared a flat for a short time. Perhaps Ginger somewhat regrets the course their relationship was to take.
Still, the acrimony between them clearly is as strong as ever. Ginger is very upset that he never received proper recognition, or compensation, for his contribution to the group's repertoire. This may be fuelled further by the fact that it was he who had first called in Pete Brown to help out.
The second disc contains more commentary and interviews, including one with B.B. King
that has nothing at all to do with Cream, but is very interesting nevertheless.
It also contains footage of Cream performances.
The promise of previously unreleased performances had me hoping that we might finally get to see Cream's Sunshine of Your Love from the Smothers Brothers Show, their Hall of Fame performance, or even Tales of Brave Ulysses from MSG, (the only song that was not included in their Royal Albert Hall set).
I was disappointed to discover that none of the above had been included.
The three numbers from their televised rehearsal at the Revolution Club were released years ago on the Fresh Live Cream video.
I Feel Free and Strange Brew, both from Germany's Beat Club television show, have surfaced in the past.
In fact, the only thing I hadn't seen before is a rather amusing television video of N.S.U.
I did not receive a copy of the bonus CD with my preview copy, but I rather suspect that it is from their Stockholm show of March,1967.
If so, the songs are,
2) Steppin' Out
5) I'm So Glad
The package, which is scheduled for release on September 25, 2006, (November 21, in North America) will also include a photo gallery and a sixteen page insert containing rare photos and commentary by Chris Welch.
In conclusion, in spite of my whining and complaining, I found this to be a very
informative, entertaining, and thoroughly enjoyable program.
Cream fans, both old and new, will no doubt love it!