Fresh Live Cream

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Fresh Live Cream Review

by JT Griffith

Cream's Fresh Live Cream is a wonderful music documentary, uniting first-person accounts, archival performances, and rare rehearsals into a retrospective on a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band that will thrill fans old and new alike. The 73-minute documentary begins with a look at how Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, and Ginger Baker came to form the supergroup. The DVD has many great archival treasures, including rare snippets of music by the previous projects that included future members of Cream, including John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, Bob Wallis' Storyville Jazzmen, Alex Korner's Blues Inc., the Johnny Burch Octet, and, of course, the Yardbirds. The strength of Fresh Live Cream comes from its interviews with the bandmembers themselves. Their thoughtful comments convey a deep passion for the music they made and the bonds they shared. Such candor and perspective are often missing when retrospectives like this are attempted. That Cream still causes Eric Clapton regret and pain to this day is a fascinating insight. So too, is how a hilariously odd performance of "Anyone for Tennis" on the Smothers Brothers' television show signaled the end for the band. Kudos to Image Entertainment for including many full-track live performances, where the viewer can enjoy a Cream hit at length, including a 1968 appearance at London's Revolution Club. Cream hits shown in this documentary include "Spoonful," "I Feel Free," "Tales of Brave Ulysses," "We're Going Wrong," "Anyone for Tennis," "Sunshine of Your Love," "I'm So Glad," "Politician," "White Room," and "Toad." Fresh Live Cream was first released on video in 1993 and on DVD in 1998.