Eric Clapton is, without doubt, one of the finest guitarists the world has ever known. You don’t get to earn the moniker ‘Guitar God’ by being below average. He’s had a gigantic career which has spanned decades, so it’s a joy when you can go back to the musician’s early moments and hear his music in a whole new way.
We’re dipping into the Far Out vaults to bring you the isolated guitar of Eric Clapton on his band Cream’s iconic track ‘White Room’. It will go down as one of the most arresting songs of the band’s career and is remarkable when heard in this way.
The song from 1968’s Wheels of Fire has often been lauded as one of the finest of the decade. The power that he, Ginger Baker on drums and Jack Bruce on bass, may have been a small outfit but they packed a hefty punch.
In that regard, ‘White Room’ was a staunch overhand right to the jaw, and it left everybody who heard (especially those lucky enough to hear it live) with a huge smile across their faces, albeit toothless ones.
Cream, more so than most, really represented an elevated form of rock and roll. These weren’t the mop-topped British invasion types, they were serious, methodical, and mercurial musicians—hellbent on dominance. The band were built out of an incredible array of talent that all seemed determined to push one another and excel as individuals.
Across the entire decade, one could argue, the studio was likely one of the most musically intimidating places to be. So when the band sat down to record ‘White Room’ Clapton may have been one of the better axemen in the country but he was faced with a fearsome ensemble of the powerhouse Baker on drums and the pin-sharp ear of Jack Bruce. Clapton would have to step up.
Of course, in 1968 there really weren’t many guitarists more respected than Eric Clapton, excluding the obvious shapes of Mr Page and Mr Hendrix in the corner, so he delivered a searing track for the song. Though the effort was, of course, a wholistic project, and it showed off the talents of all the members of the band—even including their producer Felix Pappalardi who played viola and Pete Brown’s lyrics— it is Clapton’s performance that shines brightest.
Below listen to the powerful isolated guitar track of Eric Clapton on Cream’s ‘White Room’ from 1968: