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Cream is the prototypical acid rock band, formed in the late 1960s by guitar god and bored Yardbird Eric Clapton as an outlet for his growing interest in the notions of a heavier and louder take on American blues. Although bands like Blue Cheer, Deep Purple and Iron Butterfly appear to have had more of an influence on hard rock and metal than Cream, the importance of the band cannot be understated. For while Blue Cheer were playing so loud that dogs were exploding left and right at their shows and Iron Butterfly delivered what was arguably the first ill-conceived, unbearable drum solo that really mattered, they did these things before relatively small audiences, while Cream were a huge, nationally recognized band furthering the cause of loud rock music on an international stage. Much the way Jimi Hendrix's music had done before them, Cream's drug-addled, parent-horrifying records poured into suburban households all over America and England, changing the face of teenage rebellion forever. Cream's records aren't exactly the greatest rock music ever recorded, but in their best moments -- during lurching, blown-out covers of such blues standards as "Spoonful" and the blistering "Steppin' Out," for example -- the band genuinely changes the way blues can sound without losing touch with the form's roots. Cream also played with psychedelia and even pop music, with varying results.
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