Cream: Goodbye Cream – [Record 120]
Goodbye (also called Goodbye Cream) is the fourth and final original studio album by the English rock band Cream. The album was released in Europe by Polydor Records and by Atco Records in the United States, debuting in Billboard on 15 February 1969. A single, “Badge”, was subsequently released from the album a month later (see 1969 in music). The album was released after Cream disbanded in November 1968.
1. I’m So Glad.
1. Sitting on Top of the World.
3. Doing That Scrapyard Thing.
4. What a Bringdown.
Background and recording: Just before Cream’s third album, Wheels of Fire, was to be released, the group’s manager Robert Stigwood announced that the group were going to disband after a farewell tour and a final concert at the Royal Albert Hall in November.
Just before the start of their farewell tour in October 1968, Cream recorded three songs at IBC Studios in London with producer Felix Pappalardi and engineer Damon Lyon-Shaw. The songs “Badge” and “Doing That Scrapyard Thing” featured Eric Clapton using a Leslie speaker, while all three recordings featured keyboard instruments played by either Jack Bruce or Felix Pappalardi.
The group started their farewell tour on 4 October 1968 in Oakland, California and 15 days later on 19 October the group performed at The Forum in Los Angeles where the three live recording on Goodbye were recorded with Felix Pappalardi and engineers Adrian Barber and Bill Halverson.
Compiling, artwork and packaging: The original plan for Goodbye was to make it a double album, with one disc featuring studio recordings and the other with live performances much like Wheels of Fire, but with a lack of quality material on hand the album was only one disc with three live recordings and three studio recordings.
The original LP release of the album was packaged in a gatefold sleeve with art direction handled by Haig Adishian. The outer sleeve featured photography by Roger Phillips with a cover design by the Alan Aldridge ink Studios, while the inner sleeve featured an illustration of a cemetery by Roger Hane that had the song titles on tombstones. A Compact Disc reissue of the album for the Cream Remasters series in 1998 featured an inlay photograph and had the inner-sleeve illustration in the liner notes of the album.
Reception: The reviews for Goodbye were somewhat unfavorable. Allmusic’s Stephen Thomas Erlewine felt that the live tracks on Goodbye were better than those on Wheels of Fire, and that the album was composed of “moments”. Ray Rezos’ review of the album for Rolling Stone was less favourable, feeling that the band deserved to go out with a better album.