Cream — Goodbye

So it turns out that the Cream album I’ve had the longest is their last one, the live and studio mix that came out after their breakup. I’d say I picked up my first copy of this 1969 release in the spring of 1980. I’m pretty sure I got my somewhat battered copy at the same west side Syracuse junk store where I picked up a Remington Noiseless No. 6 typewriter that has been following me around ever since, even though I have never gotten it into working condition. It was a dusty wreck of a shop that had a pretty big record selection, but never anything in great shape. I probably went there half a dozen times or so. I remember having the use of a friend’s car and driving it there during spring break — which would have been a good time to get that typewriter. I cannot explain why I instead bought the typewriter on a day when I had walked there and carried it on my shoulder, a hike of nearly 2.5 miles through some somewhat sketchy neighborhoods on what I recall as a very warm day. In any event, the junk shop is long gone, but the typewriter and “Goodbye” are with me.

Goodbye front cover
Goodbye front cover — hard to believe they went willingly into that costume and pose.

You may wonder what an irresponsible college kid of the 1980 vintage does when a friend goes on spring break and lets him use her car — a late-model AMC Pacer in which first gear did not work, which made for some challenging starts since she lived on a very steep hill. Well, if it’s this irresponsible college kid, he’ll take advantage of the week off and the unlimited transportation to run to thrift stores all over the city. I remember going to places I hadn’t been before or since, in search of something magical that I couldn’t find in the vicinity of campus. Of course, I barely found anything, but it was fun having the freedom that transportation provided.

Last year I was shopping and ran across another copy of “Goodbye” in better shape than the one I’d been carrying around for 40 years, and including the poster insert, so I did what I very rarely do and bought another copy of something I already have.

If you like your power trio blues jams long, this is your record — “I’m So Glad” runs 9:11, whereas “Politician” comes in at an economical 6:19. The second side features some more traditional song lengths. Like “Wheels of Fire,” this is a mix: three studio tracks, three live tracks.

Goodbye back cover
Goodbye back cover – Oh, the irony
Goodbye poster insert -- again identifying as "The" Cream
Goodbye poster insert — again identifying as “The” Cream, and a gentle reminder that your favorite group was to be no more.

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