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Reviews: Cream: Goodbye

Reviews: 3

Review by analogue May 29, 2014 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This is Creams swansong and their last official studio album. It features 6 tracks and a paltry 30 minutes of music.
I consider this to be Creams weakest album by far and a shoddy throw together of songs not really good enough to merit this album. With one exception however....that being their excellent Badge song.
Thus we have 3 live tracks and three studio tracks.
That's it.

The first track......a live version of Im so glad sounds rather dreadful. I wonder what happened to Claptons lead guitar solo....it is so pushed back in the mix it is virtually absent. The bass is very well defined...so much so that the songs is completely dis-jointed.

Things get better with the second live track.....POLITICIAN..this actually has excellent sonics.... Its big, bold and powerful...especially with the volume raised. A very good live recording by Cream. Play this loud and you are almost there.

Tracks 3 sounds good but again.....a boring live cut. Its very raw sounding.

The lone classic hit on this album is Badge and it sounds quite good here. It has nice treble, air and soundstage. Bass is defined and deep. Hiss is actually heard which is always a good thing.

The final two tracks for my tastes are hardly worth mentioning. One is a clear rip off of the late Beatles period and the other is quite boring.

As you can tell I feel this is the weakest Cream release but the mastering is quite good. Unlike the other newer Cream releases this sacd has a consistent sound quality from track to track with the exception of the first track.
The other live cuts sound raw but clear....perhaps not the best recorded live stuff. The mastering tech did a good job here.....he let the music breathe and this shm sacd doesn't sound like it went through any sound reduction...unlike some of the new shm sacds releases as of late. Unfortunately he had some issues to contend with that were not his fault.

Recommended only for Cream completists.

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Review by feinstei August 3, 2014 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I felt exactly the opposite than the other reviewer. I thought that this issue of the Cream album collection was universally awful. This is NOT the fault of the Universal remastering staff, but just a characteristic of how badly this album was originally recorded due to the tremendous noise that the group made at the close of their career.

The first three tracks were recorded live in an environment (The L.A. Forum) that precluded any semblance of "high fidelity". The early-generation transistorized recording equipment was dreadfully overloaded and mike placement was way too close to the heavily amplified environment. Also, Ginger Baker's wouldn't keep his damned drums down to a reasonable level, so the resulting transistorized recording had no dynamic range whatsoever. All three live recordings are just a flat, lifeless blur.

The performances are not Cream's best. All three players were kind of sick of each other by this point in their career and they seemed to be substituting technical "show-off" playing for the musicianship that was evident on the live recordings released on the second record of "Wheels Of Fire". These live performances pale in comparison to those earlier performances.

As far as the live half of "Goodbye" -- this is probably the worst sounding SACD that I've ever heard. The $8.00 CD version sounds just as good as this $70 SACD.

The studio performances are much better performance wise and are witty and classic additions to Cream's legacy. Harrison and Clapton's "Badge" is a classic. Bruce's "Doing That Scrapyard Thing" is a witty classic track that contributes much to Bruce's legacy. Ginger Baker's great piece of rock and roll "What A Bringdown" is a fitting close to Cream's career.

The sound of the studio tracks is also lousy since you can't make a diamond out of manure. These tracks were very poorly recorded, again, due to the terrible sound of early transistorized mixing and recording equipment. The sound is tinny and flat. You won't be able to tell any difference between a cheap CD issue and this one. Adrian Barber, one of the two engineers, got as good a sound engineering this recording as he did recording the Beatles at the Star-Club in Hamburg back in 1962 (in other words -- lousy).

Again -- much of the blame for the thin-ness and lack of dynamic range on the tracks is due to the inability of the early transistorized equipment to produce decent sound.

The presentation of this package by Universal Japan is superb. The outside box encloses an exact mini-replica of the British gatefold Polydor sleeve (in the U.S. it was on Atco instead of Polydor) with heavy cardboard. The CD is packed separately inside the box within a scratch-protective sleeve. The usual Japanese lyric sheet is enclosed.

My opinion... buy the other three albums in this series on SACD since they are the best that they've ever sounded. Don't waste your money on this one unless you really want the great artwork. The sound on this one is no improvement over the cheap CD's. If only Cream had turned down the damned volume and Atlantic had stuck with vacuum tubes for this album, the master tapes could have sounded really good.

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Review by cooltype937 November 12, 2014 (2 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
The SHM-SACD of "Goodbye Cream" is the absolute worst disc I've ever bought. Granted, I had to buy it to complete my Cream SHM-SACD collection but it wasn't worth it. Sounds like a dusty cassette and only 30 min. long. Even "Badge" sounds awful. The should've re-issued "Wheels of Fire" in the second gen. format instead.

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