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DR. SPIN
Dr. Spin Loses His Letters
What happens when the doctor has no letters?

by Dr. Spin
July 15, 2002

Dr. Spin Loses His Letters_Dr. Spin-What happens when the doctor has no letters? Hello once again, loyal readers! During the past few months Dr. Spin has received many letters, some fun, some thought-provoking and some just plain weird. I have enjoyed receiving so many letters and have tried to respond to most of them. But Dr. Spin has run into a little problem.

When I receive a letter, I immediately store it onto a Word document, answer it the best I can, delete the original message, and save my Word document onto a disc. Unfortunately, I’ve misplaced that disc, so about three columns worth of material is now lost somewhere in my office. This would not be quite the problem, had I not lost the disc two days before my column was due. Since I have no new letters to answer, I am now forced to improvise my column.

I have recently purchased “The Very Best of Cream,” a CD compilation of the legendary British power-trio that included Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, and Ginger Baker. (Was that his real name? I mean, come on, a “ginger baker?”). I realize a lot of Rock purists are in shock; how could a man who claims to have a degree in Rockolgy stoop to buy a compilation CD of CREAM? Shouldn’t I own every Cream album already? Well, I do have a worn out vinyl copy of “Disraeli Gears,” but on the whole, I never really got into Cream.

Cream always seemed to me to be a band whose legend surpassed their actual greatness. Yeah, yeah, Clapton is God, Bruce and Baker are genius virtuosos. Yeah, yeah, modern Rock owes a heap to Cream’s innovations and sound. But when I listen to this “best of” collection, I find that Cream really didn’t have as many accessible and enjoyable songs as we’re led to believe. Songs like “Tales of Brave Ulysses,” “White Room,” and “Sunshine of Your Love” are classics, and lesser known gems like “SWLABR,” and “I Feel Free” are great, but Cream seemed to have a tendency to noodle out excessive and (blasphemy alert!) boring jam sessions. Very, very rarely is a song interesting after 4 minutes. Even some of their shorter songs, such as “Politician” and “N.S.U.” seem to clunk along, too.

“The Very Best of Cream” has 18 songs which seems to me about 5 or 6 songs too many. It is a better compilation than the other “Very Best” I purchased over a decade ago, that had only about 10 songs and excluded “Ulysses,” and “SWLABR.”

Anyway, now that I’ve damaged my credentials and alienated all Cream fans, feel free to send me any questions or comments about the Rock world, or music in general, and look for my next non-letter column, where I explain why Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” is one of the most over-rated songs in Rock’s history.


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