While it never made it to their debut album, Cream’s very first single was a jazz-infused song called ‘Wrapping Paper’ that caught the music world off guard. The band that became the model for just about every heavy rock band that followed in the immediate wake, sounded like anything but a rock band.
Released by Reaction Records in the UK, on 22 October 1966, this piece of whimsical jazz influenced pop was written by Jack Bruce and Pete Brown (Pete co-wrote ‘I Feel Free’, ‘White Room’ and ‘SWLABR’ with Jack and ‘Sunshine of Your Love’. With Eric Clapton). ‘Wrapping Paper’ does feature a guitar solo, but it’s far from a trademark blistering blues outing. According to Ginger Baker, “I was totally against it, right from the start… Eric and I didn’t like it”.
‘Wrapping Paper’ made the UK singles chart on 22 October 1966 and eventually staggered to No.34, but no higher. The B-side is ‘Cat’s Squirrel’, a song made popular by bluesman Doctor Ross, that was also the opening track on Side Two of Fresh Cream, the band’s debut album that was released in early December 1966. Unsurprisingly given Ginger’s views it did not include ‘Wrapping Paper’: Fresh Cream did come out in Sweden with ‘Wrapping Paper’ included.
The 3LP deluxe edition of Fresh Cream can be bought here.