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45 Years Ago: Cream Perform ‘Farewell Concert’

George Stroud/Hulton Archive, Getty Images

After just over two years as a band, Cream gave their final performance on Nov. 26, 1968. The concert was held at the Royal Albert Hall In England. Cream’s decision to disband took fans by surprise, though simmering tensions within the band, primarily between Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, came to a head, as Eric Clapton was losing interest in the band. They embarked on a ‘farewell tour’ of 19 cities in the U.S. before the two-night stand finale, Nov. 25 & 26, at the Royal Albert Hall.

The concerts were recorded and broadcast by the BBC in early 1969. The recordings were to serve as part of the band’s final album. Planned as a double album, with half recorded live and half in the studio, the idea was scrapped in favor of a single LP with one side live and one side previously unissued studio material. Issued as ‘Goodbye,’ the live selections were taken from a show at the L.A. Fourm. A concert film followed a decade later.

The band were apparently unhappy with those final shows and even die hard fans admit it wasn’t the band at the peak of their powers. In the documentary, ‘Cream: Classic Artists,’ Baker said “It wasn’t a good gig. Cream was better than that. We knew it was all over, we knew we were just finishing it off.”

Opening acts on the various tour dates included Rory Gallagher’s Taste, Deep Purple and the newly formed Yes. Cream finally reunited in 2005 for a series of shows in the U.K. and U.S., which were a huge critical and financial success.

Next: Cream’s ‘Disraeli Gears’ Released

Watch Cream’s Farewell Concert

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