On guitar: Eric Clapton. Lead singer and bass guitarist: Jack Bruce. On drums: Ginger Baker. Their motto: "Forget the message, forget the lyrics, and just play." Their name: Cream. For two glorious years, Cream's high-volu... more »me blues, jamming and extended solos blazed a path into rock history. But the time to part had come, and all that remained was one wild, unforgettable concert. Now you are there, on November 26, 1968, inside London's illustrious Royal Albert Hall, jammed to its gilded rafters with rock fans ready for the final concert of what many still consider the greatest band that ever played. Includes rare off-stage interviews with the band members. BURST: Five Additional Songs! SONGS: Sunshine of Your Love ? White Room ? Politician ? Improvisations ? Stepping Out ? Sitting on Top of the World ? Spoonful ? Toad ? I'm So Glad ? Improvisations ? Crossroads Blues« less
"Cream was a great band. Their importance and influence in the rock world (and jazz and blues, too) can't be over-stated. I love these guys. Having said that, I must warn anybody who isn't aware of this movie - that it is one of the most horrible botch jobs in the history of rock documentaries. I think everybody from the director to the camera to the sound must have been awfully stoned. If you want to see a movie featuing Jack Bruce's acne scars with psych-ay-dell-ik sperm overlays crowding the frame, and almost unlistenable muddled sound in the background, then this film is for you. Or perhaps you'd like to see the camera zoom in and out on Clapton's nose to the movment of his wah-wah pedal.
I read in an interview that Clapton was so incensed when he saw this botch of a movie that he actually went looking for tony palmer. I can only hope he found him and soundly kicked his ass.
The only plus are the interviews with Clapton and Baker. Baker comes across as incredibly stupid (which he most certainly isn't), but it's funnier than hell. And his drumming speaks for itself."
Don't judge it by the film quality alone
BVSC fanatic | United States | 10/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this along with the 2005 reunion concert DVD in order to flesh out my order for that free shipping thing. And even though I already own the ORIGINAL version of the 1968 Farewell Concert DVD, and am very happy that I bought this one. The interviews are greatly enhanced, as is the play set. Also, it's a great companion to the 2005 reunion DVD.
Honestly, the filming quality DOES leave much to be desired, but is not atypical for those times. This vintage Cream footage from "the day" is well worth having and should not be judged on the same basis that we might judge a modern day music video. It should be appreciated for what it is -- a historical document. In the less than 3 years that Cream was together, the group left a legacy that influcences music to this day, and the group still has millions of devoted fans. What else compares with the improvisational jazz/blues/rock style that was so uniquely Cream?
The real value of this video became clear to me the day I played it for three teenagers who all play music. They all knew who Eric Clapton is, but were shocked to see footage of him in his mid-20's. It was as if they believed he'd been born a middle-aged guitarist. I laughed until I cried.
Vastly superior to the original
Kevin A. Padula | Parsippany, NJ USA | 11/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I originally saw this film as a child on TV and then later on as a PBS special. I finally was able to find a copy of the VHS tape and then eventually I also bought the DVD. Yes I am a long time hard core Cream fan but spending more money on yet another version of this dated account of a truly incredible band gave me some pause. Let me just say it was money well spent. The original concert DVD was only 48 minutes long while this restored version is now 80 minutes in length. It also includes the original theatrical release as well. The sound quality is vastly superior and is now in both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 surround. The songs that were shown only as clips in the old version have now been restored to their full length and several new songs have been added. In particular, the song "Crossroads" which is a Cream staple has now been included in its entirety. Previously, this song was only availably in black and white on another Clapton compilation which had marginal sound quality. The sound on this version is much cleaner and now Clapton's solos can really be heard and appreciated.
This DVD should not be compared to a video of today in that it was filmed almost 40 years ago when filming styles and standards were different. It will not stand up to the quality of the 2005 Cream reunion DVD which is arguably the finest concert recording I have heard to date. It is a good companion to that concert in that you can see how Jack, Ginger, and Eric looked when the band was in their "prime" (see Jack and Eric's between song banter in the 2005 reunion DVD for an inside joke). Just as "How the West was Won" gives a good account of what Led Zeppelin was like in their prime, this DVD gives you the closest account of what a Cream concert would have been like. It is unfortunately the only account of a Cream concert that is currently available and unfortunately the only way to see why this trio of blues and jazzmen who were only together for three short years are still talked about and admired 40 years later. It also explains why "Ticket brokers" were getting over $4k per ticket for seats up close to the stage at MSG.
Let us just hope that some more archival footage of Cream can be discovered and restored just as Jimmy Page did for Led Zeppelin. And while we are at it, lets keep our fingers crossed that Jack, Ginger and Eric will stay together for a while and give us more of what we have been waiting almost 40 years to see and hear. "
A disappointment for fans.
J. Blake Fichera | New York, NY | 03/27/1999
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The video documenting Cream's Farewell Concert is an extreme disappointment. First of all it is only 50 minutes. For a band that is known to play twenty and sometimes thirty minute songs, this doesn't leave much time for the music. There is not one complete song on the whole video. If they show a full song it has some bad narration over the beginning. Not to mention the many songs that were played that night that must have been forgotten(Sitting on top of the World & Crossroads). If your looking for a good Cream documentary on video, I suggest Cream's Strange Brew. It has all the good stuff form the Farewell Concert and a lot more. There is also The Fresh Live Cream on DVD that just came out. It sounds really good too."
Good value for true Cream fans
S. Underdahl | Minnesota, USA | 01/28/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not going to rehash some of the valid comments about the filmaking, but I will also say that it does reflect the time period it was created in. I saw this back in the early 70's in a theater and enjoyed immensely. After seeing it again now, I must say I enjoyed it even more. I love the parts where they talked to each musician about their influences and their styles. One of the things that made Cream so great was that it seemed like they were all playing a different songs, but doing it together. To hear them describe how they create some of the sounds, and then play an example amazes me. As for the comments in some of the other reviews saying this is not as good as the reunion concert, I really think they miss the point! In terms of production quality there is a huge difference, but that's not what important. This documents Cream while they WERE a band in the musical climate of the time. The reunion concert documents them today's musical climate. There are distinctive differences. Their playing in the 1968 performance is much more intense and driven. The extended jam on "Spoonful" is mind boggling. "Crossroads" is much more driven in this performance. The 2005 show while being awesome(and a must purchase),is much more laid back. It's not until they start playing the blues numbers like "Stormy Monday", "Sleepy Time Time" and "Born Under A Bad Sign", that Clapton starts really feeling the groove. You can see his passion and intensity level go up. Check out the differences between the "Sleepy Time" takes and I'll bet you'll notice a difference. I believe both DVD's are necessary in the true fans collection. At least a must watch! "