September 15, 2023 -- Quarto Valley Records proudly announces new album “Heavenly Cream:An Acoustic Tribute To Cream.” The album takes us on a magical journey -- traveling the brief course of the iconic band’s musical life -- back to the raw, stripped-down magic of the creativity of Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, Eric Clapton, and Pete Brown. Passionately produced and mixed by Rob Cass, the new album will be released via Quarto Valley Records on November 3rd on Double 180 Gram Limited Edition Cream-Colored Vinyl, CD and Digital on all platforms and is now available for PRE-ORDER.
Formed in 1966, CREAM quickly became known for their explosive impromptu style – high-volume blues jamming, extended solos and flashy instrumental showmanship. Widely thought of as the first supergroup, CREAM paved the way for many other music genres.
The project honors CREAM’s legacy with a 15-track tribute album and features Pete Brown and Ginger Baker plus an impressive roster of renowned musicians who knew, or were inspired by the iconic supergroup including Joe Bonamassa, Deborah Bonham, Malcolm Bruce, Peter Bullick, Nathan James, Bernie Marsden, Maggie Bell, Rob Cass, Clem Clempson, Paul Rodgers and Bobby Rush. There were also invaluable musical contributions from Cheryl Alleyne, Winston Blissett, Moreno Buttinar, Abass Dodoo, John Donaldson, Pee Wee Ellis, Mo Foster, Neil Murray, Mo Nazam, Tony Remy, and Frank Tontoh.
While recording this tribute album, Pete Brown shared, “It took me a long time before I would attempt those songs. I grew up in Jack’s shadow, like Malcolm did as well, you know. I’m not trying to be Jack. No one will ever be Jack.” He added, “Eventually I felt, well, they’re my songs as well and eventually, I grew into those songs that Jack and I wrote.”
The first single off the album, released today, “Sunshine Of Your Love” features Ginger Baker on drums, Joe Bonamassa on vocals and guitar, Malcom Bruce on piano and Bernie Marsden on vocals and guitar, with Neil Murray on bass and Abass Dodoo on percussion. This iconic song, co-written by Jack Bruce and Pete Brown was included on Cream’s best-selling second album Disraeli Gears in November 1967 and became one of Cream’s fan favourites. With elements of hard rock and psychedelia, Cream bassist Bruce developed a distinctive riff for the tune which became his signature bass riff. An edited version of the song was released in the U.S. that December and became the band’s first and highest charting American single. It entered Billboard’s “Hot 100” chart in January 1968, reaching number 36. To this day, the song remains one of the band’s most endearing tunes. It was later included in Rolling Stone’s 500 “Greatest Songs of All Time,” ranking number 65. The endurance of “Sunshine of Your Love” makes it a fitting first taste of the new album and the magic of Cream and their music. Now available to stream on all platforms. The single is available on all streaming platforms HERE.
“Heavenly Cream: An Acoustic Tribute to Cream” was recorded at Sensible Music and the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London. Years in the making, Quarto Valley Records’ executive Mike Carden initially approached Pete Brown, his long-time colleague and friend in 2017 about a different project and out of that meeting came the concept of doing a recording -- a retrospective of CREAM music -- which both Pete and Mike mutually agreed to. Pete had remained friends with Ginger Baker over the years and brought him on board. Following suit came Malcom Bruce (Jack’s son), and the gathering of the incredible talent on the album began to fall into place.
On recording this album, Malcom Bruce said, “I feel very much that in my own small way I’m carrying on a tradition that’s incredibly unique in the musical canon as it were.”
“Quarto Valley Records is honored to be releasing this all-star tribute to one of the greatest bands in rock history,” said Bruce Quarto. “To have recorded this musical masterpiece with the incredible roster of musicians makes this project unbelievably special. And having worked with legends Ginger Baker, Pete Brown and Bernie Marsden truly takes it to a historical level. When you listen to this album, you can feel the passion that went into the project and hear it pouring out of every note. Enjoy!”
CREAM is a British rock trio that was the first “supergroup” (made up of musicians who had achieved fame independently before coming together as a band). Cream blended rock, blues, psychedelic rock, and a hint of jazz to create a unique sound. It was known for dexterous live improvisations that often turned into extended jam sessions. The members were guitarist Eric Clapton, bassist Jack Bruce, and drummer Ginger Baker. Often called the fourth member was poet Pete Brown who co-wrote most of the band’s lyrics with Bruce.
The band was formed in 1966 while Clapton was still the lead guitarist of the prominent British blues band John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. Before that he had been the lead guitarist of the Yardbirds (Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page [later of Led Zeppelin] would follow him in that position). Clapton was approached by drummer Baker to form a group focused on expanding the blues-jazz sound. He accepted the invitation with the caveat that Bruce play bass guitar. Despite the long-standing hostility between Bruce and himself, Baker reluctantly agreed, and the three musicians formed Cream. The band’s beginning marked the end of Clapton’s Bluesbreakers’ stint. Before forming Cream, Baker and Bruce had already gained fame as members of British blues musician Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated and later as members of the popular Graham Bond Organization, a jazz and rhythm-and-blues outfit.
Clapton’s style as a guitarist had long been influenced by Chicago and Delta bluesmen such as B.B. King, Robert Johnson, Buddy Guy, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, and Elmore James. Bruce (who was also the group’s lead vocalist) and Baker veered more toward jazz, with influences that included Art Blakey, Max Roach, Phil Seamen, Charles Mingus, Charlie Parker, and Dizzy Gillespie. Bruce was especially enamored of bassist James Jamerson (who played in Motown’s house band, the Funk Brothers), and Baker was also inspired by world music, specifically African popular music.
Many of the tracks on the band’s first album, Fresh Cream (1966), still retained the bluesy sound that its members were accustomed to producing. It appeared on the top 100 album charts in both the United Kingdom and the United States.
Cream’s second album, Disraeli Gears (1967) incorporated Brown’s and Bruce’s mystical lyrics and guitar techniques that alternated between droning distortion and wailing effects-pedal-assisted riffs. Bruce sometimes played his bass as something of a lead instrument, and Baker’s drumming incorporated jazz tempos—approaches that had not been heard much in rock music at the time. The album broke into the top 10 on both sides of the Atlantic. Its second track, “Sunshine of Your Love,” highlighted the smooth transition from blues to a more psychedelic sound and was touted by critics as the only Cream single to reach gold status in the United States (over 500,000 units sold). Cream’s third and best-selling album, Wheels of Fire was released in 1968 offering a mixture of studio and live recordings densely packed into two records that became the first platinum-selling double album (over 1,000,000 units sold). It showcased “White Room,” the group’s most popular song, which layered haunting vocals on top of shimmering guitars. The album also included a live rendition of Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads” that featured an oft-imitated solo by Clapton that is considered by many to be one of the greatest guitar solos ever.
In late 1968 Cream decided to disband. The group’s lifespan was just under three years. At the tail end of the 1960s into the ’70s, the former members of Cream went on to establish other supergroups such as Blind Faith and Derek and the Dominos, and Cream’s style greatly influenced progressive rock acts such as Rush and the live “jam band” performances of groups such as the Allman Brothers Band.
Cream was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, and the group performed for the first time in 25 years at the induction ceremony. In 2006 the band received a GRAMMY® Award for Lifetime Achievement. In 2005 the band got together for a reunion -- first for four nights at Royal Albert Hall in the spring; later for three nights at New York City’s Madison Square Garden in the fall.
1. I Feel Free (Ft: Deborah Bonham, Bernie Marsden and Malcolm Bruce) (3:17) 2. White Room (Ft: Pete Brown, Malcolm Bruce and Clem Clempson) (5:46) 3. Theme For An Imaginary Western (Ft: Pete Brown, Malcolm Bruce, Clem Clempson) (3:38) 4. We're Going Wrong (Ft: Malcolm Bruce and Clem Clempson) (3:32) 5. Sunshine Of Your Love (Ft: Ginger Baker, Joe Bonamassa, Malcolm Bruce, Bernie Marsden) (4:49) 6. Deserted Cities Of The Heart (Ft: Joe Bonamassa, Bernie Marsden, Malcolm Bruce) (3:51) 7. Sweet Wine (Ft: Ginger Baker, Nathan James, Pee Wee Ellis, Bernie Marsden, Malcolm Bruce) (3:08) 8. Tales Of Brave Ulysses (Ft: Ginger Baker, Nathan James, Pee Wee Ellis Bernie Marsden, Malcolm Bruce) (3:18) 9. Crossroads (Ft: Ginger Baker, Bernie Marsden, Joe Bonamassa, Malcolm Bruce) (2:53) 10. Take It Back (Ft: Maggie Bell, Bernie Marsden, Malcolm Bruce) (3:22) 11. Spoonful (Ft: Bobby Rush, Bernie Marsden, Malcolm Bruce) (4:39) 12. Sitting On Top Of The World (Feat: Bobby Rush, Maggie Bell, Bernie Marsden, Malcolm Bruce) (4:55) 13. Badge (Ft: Deborah Bonham, Bernie Marsden, Malcolm Bruce) (3:36) 14. Politician (Ft: Pete Brown, Bernie Marsden, Malcolm Bruce) (5:16) 15. Born Under A Bad Sign (Ft: Paul Rodgers, Bernie Marsden, Malcolm Bruce) (3:51)
ALBUM CREDITS Produced and mixed by Rob Cass Executive Producer Bruce S Quarto Executive Producer Pete Brown Associate Executive Producer Mark Waters Supervising Producer Michael Carden Project Coordinator Peter Conway Recorded at Sensible Music and Abbey Road Studios, London Studio Engineers: John Moon, Paul Pritchard, Jonny Firth, Joe Taylor, George Oulton, Pearse Macintyre Ginger Baker drum tech: Andy Chard
I FEEL FREE Deborah Bonham, vocals Bernie Marsden, guitar Malcolm Bruce, piano Neil Murray, bass Frank Tontoh, drums
WHITE ROOM Pete Brown, vocals Clem Clempson, Malcolm Bruce, guitars John Donaldson, piano Mo Foster, bass Cheryl Alleyne, drums Helen Hardy, Holly Morrison, backing vocals Calina de la Mar, John Smart, Laura Fairburst, Naomi Fairhurst, strings. String arrangement by John Donaldson
THEME FOR AN IMAGINARY WESTERN Pete Brown, vocals Clem Clempson, Malcolm Bruce, guitars John Donaldson, piano Mo Foster, bass Cheryl Alleyne, drums Helen Hardy, Holly Morrison, backing vocals Calina de la Mar, John Smart, Laura Fairburst, Naomi Fairhurst, strings String arrangement by John Donaldson
WE'RE GOING WRONG Malcolm Bruce, vocals Clem Clempson, guitar Cheryl Alleyne, drums Strings as above, arranged by Malcolm Bruce
SUNSHINE OF YOUR LOVE Joe Bonamassa, vocals, guitar Bernie Marsden, vocals, guitar Malcolm Bruce, piano Neil Murray, bass Ginger Baker, drums Abass Dodoo, percussion
DESERTED CITIES OF THE HEART Joe Bonamassa, vocals, guitar Bernie Marsden, guitar Malcolm Bruce, bass Moreno Buttinar, drums Abass Dodoo, percussion
SWEET WINE Nathan James, vocals Bernie Marsden, guitar Mo Nazam, guitar Malcolm Bruce, bass Ginger Baker, drums Pee Wee Ellis, tenor saxophone Henry Lowther, trumpet Abass Dodoo, percussion Rob Cass, Andy Hodge, backing vocals
TALES OF BRAVE ULYSSES Nathan James, vocals Bernie Marsden, guitar Mo Nazam, guitar Malcolm Bruce, bass Ginger Baker, drums Pee Wee Ellis, tenor saxophone Henry Lowther, trumpet Abass Dodoo, percussion
CROSSROADS Bernie Marsden, vocals, guitar Joe Bonamassa, guitar Malcolm Bruce, piano Neil Murray, bass Ginger Baker, drums Abass Dodoo, percussion
TAKE IT BACK Maggie Bell, vocals Bernie Marsden, Tony Remy, guitars Malcolm Bruce, piano Winston Blissett, bass Frank Tontoh, drums
SPOONFUL Bobby Rush, vocals, harp Bernie Marsden, Tony Remy, guitars Malcolm Bruce, piano Winston Blissett, bass Frank Tontoh, drums
SITTING ON TOP OF THE WORLD Bobby Rush, vocals, and harp Maggie Bell, vocals Bernie Marsden, Tony Remy, guitars Malcolm Bruce, piano Winston Blissett, bass Frank Tontoh, drums
BADGE Deborah Bonham, vocals Bernie Marsden, Tony Remy, Peter Bullick, guitars Malcolm Bruce, piano Neil Murray, bass Frank Tontoh, drums
POLITICIAN Pete Brown, vocals Bernie Marsden, Tony Remy, guitars Malcolm Bruce, piano Winsron Blissett, bass Frank Tontoh, drums
BORN UNDER A BAD SIGN Paul Rodgers, vocals Bernie Marsden, Mo Nazam, guitars Malcolm Bruce, bass Mareno Buttinar, guitar
About Quarto Valley Records
Founded by tech entrepreneur Bruce Quarto, the California-based independent label Quarto Valley Records represents Rock, Blues, Jazz and Americana genres with an impressive artist roster featuring legacy musicians Paul Rodgers, GRAMMY® award-winning Edgar Winter and Savoy Brown as well as the legendary talent that comprises The Immediate Family, GRAMMY® award-winning producer and renowned drummer and songwriter Tom Hambridge, GRAMMY® award-winning producer and percussionist Narada Michael Walden, blues-rock artist Sean Chambers, British blues sensation Bonham-Bullick, Wings member Denny Seiwell, acclaimed Americana singer-songwriter Al Staehely, the esteemed and soulful Richard T. Bear, and emerging artist Dominic Quarto. https://quartovalleyrecords.com.