They chose the name “Cream” because they were considered “the cream of the crop” of British blues musicians. Their debut album, “Fresh Cream”, was followed by the classic “Disraeli Gears”. Clapton and Bruce shared singing and songwriting duties, and on the hit single “Sunshine of Your Love”, they traded vocal lines. The tune was their tribute to Jimi Hendrix, and included a speed dating spectacular solo by Clapton that quoted the 50’s song “Blue Moon” in the opening phrase. The ingredients for Clapton’s Cream recipe were the Gibson Les Paul, SG, ES-335, and Firebird, plugged into two 100-watt Marshall stacks. Eric was one of the first guitar players to popularize the Vox Wah Wah pedal, which was heard on “Tales of Brave Ulysses”, from “Disraeli Gears”, and “White Room”, from the studio disc of the two-record set, “Wheels of Fire”. The live disc of “Wheels of Fire” contained a reworking of Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads”, in which Clapton took the colors of a Mississippi delta blues Rembrandt and painted a psychedelic rock guitar Picasso. “Badge”, from “Goodbye Cream”, featured the use of a Leslie rotating speaker to create a phasing effect during the bridge section of the song. The DVD “Cream’s Farewell Concert” offers a taste of Cream’s live performances, which were flavored with extended jams cooked up by the three instrumental virtuosos.
During his time with Cream, Clapton jammed with several other British rock bands, including the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. As a guest in the studio, he contributed the solo to George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, from the Beatles’ “White Album”. The DVD “The Rolling Stones’ Rock and Roll Circus” contains Clapton’s performance with “The Dirty Mac”, a group lead by John Lennon, which included Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell and Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards on bass.After Cream’s breakup, Clapton formed Blind Faith, a congregation which included singer/ songwriter/ keyboardist Steve Winwood, bassist Ric Grech, and former Cream drummer Ginger Baker. The highlights of Blind Faith’s self-titled album were the hit single