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Reviews: Cream: Wheels of Fire

Reviews: 6

Review by analogue December 28, 2010 (5 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Great album from the late 60's.
A mixed bag of sonic quality. Some tracks sound great while others are a tad flatlined and non-eventful.
White room sounds excellent but Ginger Baker's drum solo on toad is simply unbelievable. Just gorgeous sounding and lifelike. And long which really impresses. tHE DRUNMS SOUND LIKE REAL DRUMS.
I wonder why the whole album was not of a more consistent quality?

It is no ones fault if the recording of this album was not more impressive but there are some tracks that are killers to be found and as such I CAN RECOMMEND IT.

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Review by tdunster December 1, 2012 (0 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This SACd is far an away the best sounding version I have heard. Ginger Bakers drums will simply blow you away and both Bruce and Clapton sound delightful as well.

This is by no means a great album, nor is it refernce quality sound - but with this SACD version I'm confident that those familiar with the record will not be disappointed in any way.

Highly recommend for fans of the album and anyone interested in hearing three of the best musicians in rock history do their thing.

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Review by Sergey June 5, 2013 (0 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Only one desire: to have the other albums in the same format. Writing is not for every audio system, but a good system all falls into place.

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Review by gellie August 23, 2013 (0 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Much better than the original red book. Still can get water from a stone. Clapton's leads sound a bit thin.Gingers drums much improved.

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Review by feinstei April 17, 2014 (5 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I only rated this a "5" in terms of sonics because it's the best sounding issue of Wheels Of Fire that's ever been done. The studio album was recorded miserably because the volume of Cream's oversized amps and Baker's overwrought drums overloaded and clipped the recording equipment that Mr. Dowd used (Didn't these guys know the meaning of dynamics? -- everything that they did on this album was soooo obnoxiously over-amplified! They should have taken Mr. Dowd's good advice and turned their noise down a bit).

The Atco album sounded awful in 1968, so did the Polydor issue (I bought both at Laurie's Records in Evanston, IL on the day of release and still have them). The DCC was no big revelation to me either. Whoever engineered (mastered) this release performed some sort of miracle to make this magnificently performed album sound really really great. Did they use some master tape that nobody else had access to? It's a mystery to me why this release sounds so good -- maybe I'm becoming less sensitive to the "stuffy overload" that resulted from Dowd's recording equipment being so overloaded. But, I blind A/B'd it against the the DCC and this issue actually has dynamics, a high end, and allows one to hear the instruments separated instead of as one big over-clipped blob.

"White Room" still has it's flaws ie: "she was KINDness, in the hard crowd" etc. But all-in-all, this release sounds drier, less congested, and and more "precise" than any previous release (God, I hate audiophile terminology). The subtleties of "Pressed Rat" are where the superiority of this release are most obvious. You can actually hear textures and little hidden pieces that you couldn't hear before, even on the DCC.

All-in-all, be skeptical of my kudos, but invest the $60.00 or so to get a copy. You won't believe how good this release is!

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Review by Marpow November 30, 2014 (1 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Cream: Wheels of Fire SHM SACD 2010 Japanese Stereo
Serial # UIGY-9600

I saw Cream once, Madison Square Gardens when they reunited for there London and NY shows.

This will be my third and final Cream SHM SACD purchase after Disraeli Gears and Goodbye. Happy to say this disc has best sonics of the three. The April review from feinstei is quite good, especially his explanation of original recordings of these discs being over amplified.

Performance: This single disc has what would have been previously released as, Disc 1 being a 9 track studio recording and Disc 2 being a 4 track Live recording from my home town, two venues in SF. I do like the performance as a whole. All songs fun to listen to with some hits and standouts.

I have to mention, for me, the highlight of the entire single disc is Ginger Bakers drum solo on the track TOAD. As good as you will ever hear a drum solo. This SHM SACD disc really makes this a GREAT sonic drum solo.

Stereo Sonics: Referring back to the 1968 release of an early over amplified recording it is not as bad as the two Cream SHM SACD's I mentioned above. In fact out of all the Wheels of Fire releases except for the HDTracks (DR10) issue, all the releases have a DR 11 or better. This disc a DR of 12. I quite enjoyed the stereo stage and felt comfortable not making any adjustments except turning it up louder as I settled in.

Packaging: Keeping in mind this is Japans SHM SACD re release and fortunately unlike other reviewers paying as much as $60.00 my cost was $29.50. Plastic jewel case with square corners. Mini paper original front, back and inside gate fold. Disc is Japanese green. A separate paper mini liner book, with all lyrics English and Japanese.

Not a sonic stand out by any stretch but a recording of my youth and quite enjoyable.
Glad It is in my library.

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