Forty-six years ago this week, British blues-rockers Cream unveiled their debut album, Fresh Cream, one of the most deeply influential rock and roll records of all time.
The original supergroup, the band was intended to unite the "cream" of the late-'60s British blues scene, featuring Eric Clapton on guitar, Ginger Baker on drums and Jack Bruce on bass. Each was already a rock star in his own right across the pond, and the release of Fresh Cream helped mightily to shove the genre in a thunderous new direction.
Though thoroughly steeped in the blues, Fresh Cream (and the material that would follow) was heavier and more psychedelic than Robert Johnson's most hellish nightmares. Powered by Baker's explosive pounding and the most deafening amplifiers of the day, Cream pioneered a stomping, virtuosic and unabashedly loud version of rock that would go on to inform the histrionic wailing of early metal bands including Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.