CREAM – ” Farewell Cream ” Documentary

Posted: February 22, 2016 in MUSIC
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<b>Cream</b> – Crossroads (<b>Farewell</b> <b>Concert</b> 1968) | Tom Caswell Music

On this day (February. 20th) in 1969: the ill-fated rockumentary ‘Farewell Concert’, documenting Cream’s final performance at London’s Royal Albert Hall, opened in Baltimore, Maryland; director Tony Palmer incorporated pieces of six performances with narration by BBC announcer Patrick Allen & interviews with the band members themselves, showcasing their playing abilities; it was critically panned for its mediocre sound & visual effects; a much-improved special extended edition was issued in 2005, featuring full versions of all songs separated from the narration & interviews, digitally remastered sound & video, plus three bonus songs

The band had performed two sets at the Albert Hall, but it is believed only the second set was filmed in its entirety. Several times during the performance, it is apparent that the on-screen shot is not in sync with the audio. In fact, in several songs, including during Ginger Baker‘s drum solo, he seems to change clothes at lightning speed due to careless post-editing, as well as Eric Clapton playing 2 different guitars. This is because footage from both sets, with the band wearing different clothes and Clapton using a Gibson Firebird for the first set, a Gibson 335 for the second, were edited together. The BBC used 4 static cameras and 2 hand held cams, all recording onto video tape, whilst Palmer himself filmed footage at the front of the stage, utilising a 16mm film camera. The difference in quality can be detected easily during the broadcast. However, the BBC “Pete Drummond” version was better quality overall, and is the only version that has these 16mm film clips removed – the remastered release on the 2005 DVD presents both audio and video in excellent quality.

Ginger Baker himself has lashed out in an interview against the Farewell Concert video, claiming: “Cream was so much better than that.” Nonetheless, most Cream fans regard the actual performance with great enthusiasm, discarding the poor quality of the video.


Farewell Concert is the live recording of the Cream’s final concert at the Royal Albert Hall on 26th November 1968. Aside from the band’s reunion concert in 2005, it is Cream’s only official full concert release on video. It was originally broadcast by the BBC on 5th January 1969. It was not released on video in the US until 1977. The opening act for the concert was future progressive rock stars Yes who were just starting out.

My Classic Rock Page: <b>CREAM</b>: Rock music's power trio


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