Cream's Goodbye Tour Live 1968 - a rollercoaster ride from start to finish

Four Cream concerts brought back to life, warts ‘n’ all, from 1968's Goodbye Tour

Cream: Goodbye Tour 1967
(Image: © UMC - Polydor)

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The indefatigable demand for Cream concerts currently being satisfied by YouTube and the like has finally prompted the band’s record company into action. 

This four-CD set features three Californian shows from their final US tour in October ’68 and their farewell concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall the following month. 

Whereas previous live Cream albums have cherry-picked from a variety of shows, with Goodbye Tour Live you get the full rollercoaster ride, the peaks and troughs of a complete concert. 

Cream collectors will be wetting themselves over it. The set-list doesn’t vary much. Oakland, at the start of the tour, is more expansive, taking Crossroads at a leisurely pace, trying out Deserted Cities Of The Heart (one of three previously unreleased tracks) and wrapping Ginger Baker’s drum solo around Passing The Time

It’s also loose to the point of sloppiness, and the 17-minute Spoonful breaks down in the middle.

Both Los Angeles and San Diego are tighter and harder. Crossroads is back to its coiled menace and Toad is restored. 

The LA sound is good, but the San Diego show is rough and may have sounded rough on stage as well. Spoonful is truncated after just nine hectic minutes. 

The Royal Albert Hall show is already out on DVD, but the CD gives you the uninterrupted concert, the most focused of the lot, maybe because they wanted to impress their neglected British audience. It was good enough for a couple of them to briefly reconsider breaking up. 

In truth, Cream had run its course.

Hugh Fielder

Hugh Fielder has been writing about music for 47 years. Actually 58 if you include the essay he wrote about the Rolling Stones in exchange for taking time off school to see them at the Ipswich Gaumont in 1964. He was news editor of Sounds magazine from 1975 to 1992 and editor of Tower Records Top magazine from 1992 to 2001. Since then he has been freelance. He has interviewed the great, the good and the not so good and written books about some of them. His favourite possession is a piece of columnar basalt he brought back from Iceland.