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Cream: Royal Albert Hall London 2005 Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English LPCM 2.0 (48kHz/16-bit), English Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 167 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: October 11th, 2011
  • List Price: $19.98

[amazon-product]B005HWAOCA[/amazon-product]

Purchase Cream: Royal Albert Hall London 2005 on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Performance
[Rating:5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Performance

[Rating:5/5]

What a difference a few decades makes! Cream, the power-trio consisting of Eric Clapton on guitar and vocals, Jack Bruce on bass and vocals, and Ginger Baker on drums were officially together only from 1966 to 1968 and released four albums. Those four studio albums, Fresh Cream, Disraeli Gears, Wheels of Fire, and Goodbye, yielded numerous hits, but the band hadn’t played together four nearly four decades until coming together again, prompted by Eric Clapton, for a reunion stint at London’s Royal Albert Hall in 2005, the shows captured on this high definition release from Eagle Rock Entertainment.

The reunion was so successful, it led to a full blown reunion tour in the US. These three “geezers” may have looked a bit worse for wear and tear, but the sound emanating from the stage was something new and reborn. Don’t come to this 2005 incarnation of Cream expecting to hear the same old worn out copy of Disraeli Gears you’ve been playing to death; the songs take on new life and vigor, with all the energy and skill of veterans who have honed their craft and know how to rock effortlessly. If you think the White Stripes can throw down some raucous blues, then you ain’t heard nothin’ yet.

The shows also include performances of tracks that Cream never had the chance to perform live in the past, such as “Pressed Rat and Warthog” and “Badge.” These should really be appreciated by fans, old and new.

Track list:

  1. I’m So Glad
  2. Spoonful
  3. Outside Woman Blues
  4. Pressed Rat And Warthog
  5. Sleepy Time Time
  6. N.S.U.
  7. Badge
  8. Politician
  9. Sweet Wine
  10. Rollin’ And Tumblin’
  11. Stormy Monday
  12. Deserted Cities Of The Heart
  13. Born Under A Bad Sign
  14. We’re Going Wrong
  15. Crossroads
  16. Sitting On Top Of The World
  17. White Room
  18. Toad
  19. Sunshine Of Your Love

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Originally captured in high definition, Cream: Royal Albert Hall 2005 looks very good on Blu-ray. The relatively straightforward set design and camera production keeps artifacts at a minimum in the AVC/MPEG-4 1080i encodement, although there are a few instances of aliasing that can be spotted. The overall image looks lifelike with minimal video noise and natural flesh tones.

Audio Quality

[Rating:5/5]

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix sounds superb on this release. Clapton’s guitar is crunchy and full, the bass is low and tight, vocals are upfront and clear and there is a wide, spacious sound with oodles of ambience in the surrounds. There is some crowd noise audible, but it is kept at a minimum and never becomes distracting. The LPCM 2.0 mix is also quite good, with a very natural and punchy sounding midrange ad wide stereo imaging, but it has slightly tizzy sounding high frequencies.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

You get some great alternate takes of three tracks on here as well as a brief interview featurette with all three members of the band. It’s all worth watching for fans of Cream, without a doubt.

The supplements:

  • Alternate Takes:
    • Sleepy Time
    • We’re Going Wrong
    • Sunshine of Your Love
  • Interviews (with Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce, & Eric Clapton) (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 00:16:29)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

Perhaps Cream needed that four decade layoff to help reinvigorate the band, because this concert disc simply sounds awesome, and that’s coming from someone who has not been a very big Cream or Eric Clapton fan. I say if you like blues or great rock and roll, pick this one up without even thinking about about it.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B005HWAOCA[/amazon-product]

Purchase Cream: Royal Albert Hall London 2005 on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Performance
[Rating:5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

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