With the sad passing of former Cream front man and solo artist Jack Bruce, I figured it would only be appropriate to take some time to list off five of his most notable tracks both with and outside of Cream. He had a remarkable career, worked with a multitude of high caliber musicians, and left a legacy that will not be forgotten any time in the near future. That being said, here are five of Jack Bruce's most notable songs (in no particular order):
1. White Room - Cream
From Cream's Wheels of Fire album, this song instantly became a classic. It's intro is loud and crashing. The solos are long, creative, and psychedelic beyond anything that the world had heard up to that point in time. Most importantly of all in this case, Bruce's legendary singing voice shines through like none other. It reminds me of a good smooth drink of Scotch, to be honest. It is strong, but has a lot of character and smooth over tone.
White Room, by Cream
2. The Loner - Cozy Powell
In 1979, drummer Cozy Powell who was well known for his session work and from having worked with some notable artists up to that point (Rainbow, Jeff Beck, and many others since then) decided to do a solo album. This album became known as Over the Top. Although there was no singing whatsoever on this album, Jack Bruce was the featured bass player on all of the songs. The Loner is a sad bluesy ballad of a song, but that kind of music was right up Bruce's alley. Bruce added a kind of depth to the song that made you feel it through your chest and straight to the heart.
The Loner, by Cozy Powell
3. Sunshine of Your Love - Cream
Who doesn't know this song even today? The signature riff is so thick you could cut it with a knife (although the guitar tone and solos were created all by guitarist Eric Clapton). It ingrains itself into your brain forever the moment you hear it. Originally featured on Cream's album Disraeli Gears, Bruce came up with the riff one night and then spent an all night creative session with poet Pete Brown coming up with the majority of the lyrics to the song. It became Cream's only gold selling single in the United States.
Sunshine of Your Love, by Cream
4. Into Money - B.L.T.
In 1981, Bruce teamed up with guitarist Robin Trower and drummer Bill Lordan for a collaboration that became known as B.L.T.; like the sandwich but with each of their last names being a different part of the acronym. Much of Trower's flashy bluesy almost Hendrix-like guitar work is prominent in the album's opening song Into Money, but Bruce sings this hot upbeat track with a fiery attitude that not many other people could really ever come close to matching. Once more however, what impresses me more than anything about Bruce's performance on this song is not just his singing and his impressive bass playing but the fact that he was able to do both simultaneously. B.L.T. isn't a very well known album, but it's still worth checking out.
Into Money, by B.L.T.
5. I Feel Free - Cream
Another one of Cream's more well known songs, I Feel Free has a very doo-wop a-Capella intro that leads into a groove that has a vibe very signature of the time period that it came from. It comes from Cream's first album Fresh Cream. At the time it was made the band still had much of the pop sound that The Beatles had put into place, but you could already hear bits and pieces of the psychedelic direction they would take as they would progress onward in their career. Again, Bruce's deep smooth voice is very prominent and is one of the crown jewels that makes I Feel Free as good as it is.
I Feel Free, by Cream