Song Of The Day - 05 Sep 2009: Crossroads


11. Sep. 2009, 3:26

Cream / Crossroads / Wheels Of Fire (III-1) / Jul 1968

I mentioned in the previous selection that the (relatively limited) works of Robert Johnson are mainly a historical curiosity, but yet served as the basis for many blues-based rock songs, some of them highly celebrated. Many artists have interpreted Cross Road Blues, but this live version from Cream is probably the mosy well-known, and likely the most popular and well-known interpretation of any Robert Johnson songs. "Interpretation," that is, rather than "cover" because it departs lyrically from Johnson's original. And songs, that is, because they also incorporate a verse of Traveling Riverside Blues, which would be covered in its own right to great effect by another huge English band about 15 months later.

Recorded on 10 March 1968 at the Winterland Ballroom during Cream's second tour of the U.S., it is a bit unusual for them since Eric Clapton takes the vocal rather than Jack Bruce. In my opinion that was a good move, not because I paticularly would want to hear Eric singing it, but because it freed Jack to offer up one of my favorite performances on bass.

Eric never really liked this recording, feeling that they got out of sync during his third chorus, but he's a bit harsh on himself IMHO because it doesn't really throw them off, and they adapt to it and finish fine. Could the last thing we hear Eric say into the mic at the very end of the track be "kerfuffle"? xD

So, is this your favorite version of this song? Or do you prefer a version by Rush? Or Lynyrd Skynyrd? Which Robert Johnson cover or interpretation do you like above all?

\m/ (ò_ó) \m/


  • GrantRS

    I don't know if anyone can legitimately answer anything other than the Cream version. However, there is a very good version by The Hamsters (Crossroads) which is different enough to be worth checking out, if you're interested in doing so. note: deleted and reposted to fix the tagging.

    11. Sep. 2009, 14:04
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