Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker gave birth to the power trio, redefined rock improvisation and sold millions of albums. For all their success, Guitar World tells how nothing could stop the Cream from curdling.
"It is with great sadness that we, Jack’s family, announce the passing of our beloved Jack: husband, father, granddad, and all round legend. The world of music will be a poorer place without him, but he lives on in his music and forever in our hearts," the Bruce family wrote. Bruce's publicist added, "He died today at his home in Suffolk surrounded by his family."
"It’s so funny, this,” Clapton says. “I’ve always had that held up as like, ‘This is one of the great landmarks of guitar playing.’ But most of that solo is on the wrong beat. Instead of playing on the two and the four, I’m playing on the one and the three and thinking, ‘That’s the off beat.’ No wonder people think it’s so good—because it’s fucking wrong.” [laughs]
There was a time when the name Eric Clapton meant one thing and one thing only: guitar god. His incendiary six-string exploits with the Yardbirds, followed by a pair of mind-blowing 1966 albums—Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton and Fresh Cream—briefly put the passionate young Clapton atop the U.K.’s, if not the world’s, guitar hierarchy.
The origin of heavy metal is a very fuzzy thing, but most historians and fans alike can agree that Black Sabbath’s eponymous 1970 debut was the first true heavy metal album. Its thunderous drums, sinister riffs and downright evil lyrics left little to be debated, but what we wanted to know was this: What was the heaviest song before Black Sabbath?
The list of songs with great guitar tone is endless, and singling out any one as the best is, of course, subjective. But some guitar tones scream out for attention, and the best ones don’t do that literally. Instead, they pull at the melody and cut across the bed created by the rhythm section, without being too showy or abrasive or predictable.
Just as “Crossroads” introduced a new generation of music fans to the mystique of Robert Johnson, Cream’s “Spoonful” brought extra exposure to Willie Dixon, who wrote the song, and Howlin’ Wolf, who originally recorded it in 1960.