Cream were a 1960s British rock supergroup power trio consisting of bassist/singer Jack Bruce, drummer Ginger Baker, and guitarist/singer Eric Clapton. Their unique sound was characterised by a hybrid of blues rock, hard rock and psychedelic rock, combining psychedelia themes, Clapton's blues guitar playing, Bruce's powerful, versatile vocals and prominent bass playing, Baker's distinctive, pulsating, jazz-influenced drumming and Pete Brown's poetic lyrics.
By July 1966, Eric Clapton's career with The Yardbirds and John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers earned him a reputation as the premier blues guitarist in Britain. Clapton, however, found the environment of Mayall's band confining, and sought to expand his playing in a new band. In 1966, Clapton met Ginger Baker, then the leader of the Graham Bond Organisation, which at one point featured Jack Bruce on bass guitar, harmonica and piano. Baker felt stifled in the Graham Bond Organisation and had grown tired of Graham Bond's drug addictions and bouts of mental instability. "I had always liked Ginger", explained Clapton. "Ginger had come to see me play with the Bluesbreakers. After the gig he drove me back to London in his Rover. I was very impressed with his car and driving. He was telling me that he wanted to start a band, and I had been thinking about it too."
Each was impressed with the other's playing abilities, prompting Baker to ask Clapton to join his new, then-unnamed group. Clapton immediately agreed, on the condition that Baker hire Bruce as the group's bassist; according to Clapton, Baker was so surprised at the suggestion that he almost crashed the car. Clapton had met Bruce when the bassist/vocalist briefly played with the Bluesbreakers in November 1965; the two also had worked together as part of a one-shot band called Powerhouse (which also included Steve Winwood and Paul Jones). Impressed with Bruce's vocals and technical prowess, Clapton wanted to work with him on an ongoing basis.
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