Labours of love often don't get built in a short amount of time but, due to their magnitude and vision, they may sometimes take years, before they materialize.
This, in short, it is a little backstory behind the making on one of the most phenomenal retrospective albums that our website has come across for a very long time, concerning one of the most iconic Rock bands of all the time, which included Eric Clapton on vocals and guitars, Jack Bruce on bass guitar and vocals and Ginger Baker on drums. Naturally, we are talking about Cream.
The idea of creating a record that would pay tribute to the music catalogue of pure Rock Regalia, like Cream most certainly were, it came about during a conversation that Quarto Valley Records’ executive Mike Carden had, in 2017, with poet, songwriter and singer Pete Brown, who had co-written with Jack Bruce some of the most iconic songs part of the Cream's well known songbook.
Both Carden and Brown agreed that the idea was rather intriguing and, soon after, given the long-lasting friendship between Cream's drummer Ginger Baker and Brown, Baker got involved in the project too, swiftly followed by Jack Bruce's son Malcolm. From that point on, the backbone of the project was in place and soon enough, an impressive number of renowned artists and highly talented studio musicians came on board too, tickled by the idea of working on a record of such grandiosity.
Yes, because Heavenly Cream: An Acoustic Tribute To Cream, due to be released on 3rd November, it is indeed a rather grandiose 15 songs' star-packed album that includes some of the British Rock band's best ever material, recorded and arranged in a slightly more alternative and stripped-down version, in comparisons to the original but still maintaining that organic dynamism that made of Cream one of the most loved and respected music phenomenons of all time.
The first thing that quickly impresses, about Heavenly Cream: An Acoustic Tribute To Cream, it is the calibre of vocalists chosen for each track part of the album. From the late great Pete Brown himself, who delivers stellar vocal performances on songs like White Room and Theme From An Imaginary Western, to Bobby Rush, absolutely perfect on songs like Spoonful and Sitting On Top Of The World or from Joe Bonamassa's inspired vocal delivery on Deserted Cities Of The Heart to Nathan James, excellent on Tales Of Brave Ulysses and Sweet Wine, it's rather refrshing to notice that none of those music mega stars did indulge themselves artistically too much, on each song but they would rather respectfully stick to the singing style of the original, adding, obviously, an extra flavour to each of the album's songs through their personal, distinctive singing styles.
An even more welcomed addition to the fabulous array of singers chosen to perform on Heavenly Cream: An Acoustic Tribute To Cream comes from some truly First Ladies of Rock'n'Roll, like Deborah Bonham and Maggie Bell, for instance, who both deliver powerful, strong vocal performances on some of Cream's classics, such as I Feel Free (Bonham) and Take It Back (Bell), among others.
The number of artists giving their times to either sing, play or both, on Heavenly Cream: An Acoustic Tribute To Cream, is highly impressive and each and every one deserves a mention, due to the incredible work done on each of the tracks part of this very inspired retrospective album. Together with the aforementioned Pete Brown, Bobby Rush, Deborah Bonham, Joe Bonamassa, Maggie Bell and Nathan James on vocals, more big names of the music industry were involved on vocal duties too, like Paul Rodgers, Bernie Marsden and Malcolm Bruce.
Besides some of the artists being involved in this marvelous project in a more multi-tasking fashion, like Rush on vocals and harp, for example, Bonamassa and Marsden both on vocals and guitars and Malcolm Bruce on vocal duties, piano, guitars and bass guitar, the number of highly talented guest musicians involved in the making of each songs also includes Mo Foster, Neil Murray and Winston Blissett on bass guitars, Frank Tontoh, Cheryl Alleyne, Moreno Buttinar and Ginger Baker himself on drums, Clem Clempson, Mo Nazam, Tony Remy and Peter Bullick on guitars, Helen Hardy, Rob Cass, Andy Hodge and Holly Morrison on backing vocals, Calina De La Mar, John Smart, Laura and Naomi Fairburst on strings (String arrangements by John Donaldson), Pee Wee Ellis on tenor saxophone, Henry Lowther on trumpet and last, but not least, Abass Dodoo on percussion.
Each individual song included inHeavenly Cream: An Acoustic Tribute To Cream will bring you back to a time where Rock'N'Roll used to be not only all about power and precision, but it was also about the Soul, not intended as a music genre but instead, referred to the emotional context brought by each individual band member into a song, beside the artistic one. The same Soul that each musician that took part to this fabulous record genuinely brought in, judging by the intensity of each performance included in this album.
While Heavenly Cream: An Acoustic Tribute To Cream carries an even more emotional angle to it, given the fact that Brown, Marsden and Baker all sadly passed away before this wonderful album could be released, the fact remain that this record is a sort of double celebration. A celebration of musicianship, friendship and cameraderie among all the studio musicians and artists that accepted to be involved on this amazing musical project and, at the same time, the best way to celebrate one of the best and most inspired Rock bands ever existed.
Heavenly Cream: An Acoustic Tribute To Cream is die to be released on 3rd November and it is available to be purchased via Amazon and major record selling platforms