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‘White Room’: The Definitive Cream Recording?

There’s no question; if we had to pick just one track by Cream that epitomises Jack Bruce’s vocal delivery it would be ‘White Room’.

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Cream White Room
Cover: Courtesy of Polydor

There’s no question; if we had to pick just one track by Cream that epitomizes Jack Bruce’s vocal delivery, it would be “White Room.” There is something so special about the way he comes in following the track’s distinctive opening, an opening that Ginger Baker says he came up with. Add to this Ginger’s perfect drum patterns, Eric Clapton’s great wah-wah guitar, ringing chords, and brilliant solo on the outro, and what you have is pure Cream.

The song was co-written by Jack and Pete Brown, who fronted the Battered Ornaments at the time and also had a solid reputation as one of Britain’s better beat poets. Recorded (mostly) at Atlantic Studios in New York City, it was destined to be part of the studio tracks for Wheels of Fire that was released in high summer 1968.

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At the end of September, “White Room” was released as a single and on October 5, 1968, it entered the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 58, the highest new entry of the week. By the week of November 9, it had climbed to No. 6 on the Hot 100 and only just failed to better “Sunshine of Your Love,” which reached No. 5.

The Beatles - Now And Then
The Beatles - Now And Then
The Beatles - Now And Then

It topped the charts in Australia and got to No. 2 in New Zealand and Canada, yet in the UK it could get no higher than No. 28, which is probably a reflection of a shift towards album buying in Britain by rock and blues aficionados. The single was increasingly seen as a promo tool for the album. In the US, an edited version of the song was delivered to AM radio stations, whereas FM stations played the full five minute version as heard on Wheels of Fire.

During Cream’s October tour of the U.S., “White Room” was played nightly and anyone who was there, or who has heard the various live recordings that are in circulation, will attest to the power of the song in concert.

Cream’s Wheels Of Fire can be bought here.



  1. YILMAZ -

    November 9, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    I have an albums BLIND FAITH . I bouht it when I was in USA for a few days., I am allways litening these songs : Do what you like, sea of joy, had to cry today, can’t find my way home , well all right, presence of the lord. steve, eric, ginger and Rick they are so great players .


    • uDiscover

      November 9, 2015 at 6:39 pm

      YILMAZ, we are with you!

  2. George

    October 3, 2016 at 10:56 am

    I think it did define them very well. I have figured that they used a kazoo on the vocal intro part but have never seen it used live. I have tried to replicate it with my wah wah but the kazoo sounds better.

  3. Karainsantaclara

    September 30, 2021 at 10:53 pm

    “White Room” is the song by Cream. How do you describe it? “Sunshine” is good, it’s got the killer riff. But “White Room” I think is one of those songs that is not only timeless, but also defines an era: The 1960’s. Psychedelic? Oh yeah, but not the whimpy kind. This song has muscles. “Tired starlings,”” In her dark eyes, “I wait in the queu.” It’s the perfect combo of wild, wild description with the here and now. It’s also forboding, the talisman to the dark part of the sixties: the Manson and Altamont part, not the intense and pepperment.

  4. Vladimir Avilov

    October 23, 2021 at 10:55 am

    Great stuff forever!

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The Beatles Red and Blue Boxsets
The Beatles Red and Blue Boxsets
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