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Cream – Disraeli Gears (1967)

April 27, 2017

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Fabulous logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

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[Album 534/1001]

“1 and 1 and 1 is 3, got to be good looking ‘cause he’s so hard to see”
– The Beatles, Come Together

At this time of year, NHL player faces are getting harder to see.

Whether it’s due to them being ridiculously good looking is debatable; it’s more likely a case of playoff beard ubiquity.

For the coaches, it’s also a time of line-juggling, striving to find the optimal combinations.

Creating those forward lines where 1 and 1 and 1 is no longer 3.

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Slide1

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Scenario A: 1 and 1 and 1 is 2.
“The Anti-Synergy”

In the fall of 2015, the Pittsburgh Penguins were expected to be off-the-charts-amazing, thanks in part to their star off-season acquisition, Phil Kessel.

However, regardless of the forward line he played with, the results were underwhelming.

Expectations were nowhere near met, the on-ice team performed well below their on-paper potential.

That is until…

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Scenario C: 1 and 1 and 1 is 4.
“The Synergy”

…the spring of 2016, when Kessel was placed on a forward line with Nick Bonino and Carl Hagelin.

From that point onward, the HBK line was dominant, performing well above any possible off-ice expectations, 3 forwards combining for the expected output of 4 (or more), playing an instrumental role in the team’s Stanley Cup victory.

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Scenario B: 1 and 1 and 1 is 3.
“The Expected Value”

In the spring of 2017, I’m finally exploring Cream’s Disraeli Gears.

I gather the band is considered to be one of the first successful super-groups.

And when I hear the term super-group, I automatically start doing the math: is the whole less than/greater than/or equal to the sum of its parts?DisraeliGears

In Cream’s case, I think the Beatle math applies: on Disraeli Gears, 1 and 1 and 1 is indeed 3.

It doesn’t feel like a disappointing combination of the trio’s individual talents, nor does it seem unfathomable that performers could reach even greater heights with subsequent projects.

Overall, Disraeli Gears met my expectations, which I recognize is a bit of a careful assessment, as it depends on the level of my initial expectations.

Fortunately for Cream, my initial expectations were high.

Fortunately for me, they delivered.

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Verbalize the Positive

On the subject of beards (no playoff beard for me this year), the track, SWLABR, has perhaps my favourite beard lyric ever, “but the rainbow has a beard.”

After my initial befuddled reaction (a bearded rainbow you say?), I remembered that I’d read about that line previously in this fine post courtesy of 1537, a post in which he references an equally fine/bearded-rainbow-explaining post by VinylConnection.

That being said, the lyric still surprises me every time!

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From → 1960s

9 Comments
  1. The =2 and =4 answers had me expecting something Einseinian from the much respected science teacher, but no, it was ice hockey (I think). That really is relativity at work.

    Thanks for the shout-out Geoff. The dusted down and spruced up version of that post you linked to (part of the current 1967 series) is actually called ‘Bearded Rainbows’, btw. Fancy that!
    https://vinylconnection.com.au/2017/02/10/bearded-rainbows/

    • It’s such a standout line – if I gave my post titles (other than artist/album name/year), inevitably the beard would have made an appearance, cheers Bruce!

  2. It’s too early for math, even though Jack Black told us (in School Of Rock) to “get off your ath & do some math.” I can’t imagine what Disraeli Gears must sound like to someone hearing it for the first time, with or without expectations. I had this album cover painted on the back of my denim jacket that I wore throughout high school. I remember feeling especially proud when I wore it the first time I saw Clapton in concert, in early ’83. I thought I was the coolest kid in the venue. At 16 it’s easy to look past the fact that I was likely the dorkiest kid in the venue…with the coolest jacket. I still have it hanging in a closet, and I’m proud to say that it still fits. And I still think this album is amazing. A product of its time for sure, but what a time it was.

    • I’m glad I finally got off my ath and listened to Cream!
      And that jacket sounds spectacular, glad to hear it’s still in the collection

  3. Essential stuff, Geoff. Reckon this is a case of 1 + 1 + 1 = 4 (or more)… Bruce, Baker and that chap Clapton were phenomenal together and I don’t think there’s a better example of that than on here. I know I’ve said this elsewhere, but this is my favourite Cream album and favourite slice of Clapton. Incredible stuff.

    Glad you dig it… it’s the kind of album that stays with you and continues to reveal itself. Or at least that’s how it’s been with me for the last 20 years or so!

    • And it’s only been revealing itself for the last 20 days or so for me – so I’m excited for the next 20 years, cheers J!

  4. I’m with you and J., this one’s a must. Glad they met your expectations!

    As for beards? No. Too itchy.

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