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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Music > Rock > Albums > Classic Albums: Cream – Disraeli Gears

Classic Albums – Cream’s Disraeli Gears


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C+     Main Documentary: B-



Maybe I have such high expectations for the Classic Albums series that I am being harsh, but despite the volume on Cream’s classic album Disraeli Gears running the same length as other installments in the series, it just does not seem to be enough time.  Sure, we hear stories about classic tracks like Sunshine Of Your Love and Strange Brew, but it is just not enough.  That is why the DVD is so good, because the extras fill in the gaps.


Eric Clapton really set himself for up for a permanent place in Rock legend history before Blind Faith, Derek & The Dominoes – Layla (reviewed on the fine going-out-of-print audiophile SACD elsewhere on this site) and his enduring solo career.  The late, great Tom Dowd did some of his most enduring work here, which says something about a producer whose legacy is filled with enduring work.  I wanted to hear more about them and the connections to what came next and we do not get that, because the series wants to and needs to stick to the album at hand.  That is the best, most honest approach, showing how the strength of even a great series (only rivaled by the Under Review series from Britain we are also covering every installment on this site we can get our hands on) like this can have limits.


What the band did was help create the harder sound Rock would become known for into the 1970s spearheaded by The Beatles, Who, Rolling Stones, Lovin’ Spoonful and acts not delving into the Art Rock direction.  Along with The Yardbirds and Fleetwood Mac, the more deeply Blues approach to Rock led to a new explosion of energy that would define the stronger side of the post-Beatles era.  Disraeli Gears is as important an album in that direction as any and more of a landmark than it may get credit for.  That is why it may be so hard to define, but this Classic Albums installment will make fans, historians and music lovers happy just the same and is recommended.


The 16 X 9 (1.78 X 1) image is not bad and sometimes a bit touch soft, but not to the extent a few widescreen titles in this series had.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, however, does not have any real Pro Logic surrounds, but there is a half-hour of extras typical of the series with some that feature audio the producers knew did not belong in the body of a final product.  However, they are all extras fans will want to hear and include moments that should have been in the main feature.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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