By the mid-60's, the British rock scene was bursting with some of the best blues musicians of the era. While the sound was usually coming from the muddy banks of the American South, these guys from England were studying the gospel of Robert Johnson and Howlin Wolf and putting their own spin to it. The blues may have been a good starting point, but Cream took the blues sound and dipped it in acid.
For as much noise as the band makes on record, it all came down to only three people to create their fury. Eric Clapton is normally pegged as the muscle behind the band thanks to his fiery lead work, but the tunes wouldn't be half as heavy without Ginger Baker delivering one of the most ferocious back beats in hard rock. Just right of center was Jack Bruce, whose broad musical palette and soulful vocal delivery gave the band just the right amount of accessibility to make their tunes irresistible on radio.
It seemed like a three-piece would give everyone equal footing, but the tension between the band members led to them calling it quits in the late '60s, with Clapton moving on to a stellar solo career. Though Clapton has had a handful of Cream classics pop up in his live catalog, what these three created as a unit is impossible to reproduce.