Rock 'n roll lost one of it's most unique voices and bass players over the weekend with the death of Jack Bruce. The man could bellow like a madman and he played his instrument like a lead guitar. With the exception of his former Cream bandmate, the notoriously cranky Ginger Baker, Jack was loved by just about every rocker.

As a kid, my favorite 'go-to' album by Cream was not one of their excellent studio albums, but Live Cream Volume II. Each performance is superior to their studio counterparts. I could also tell at an early age that it was meant to be played very LOUD.

Jack Bruce liked to point out that "Sunshine of Your Love" was his riff and not Clapton's. It is one of rock's most easily identifiable riffs. Besides Cream, Jack played with the Graham Bond Organisation (along with Baker), John Mayall's Blues Breakers, West Bruce & Laing (with Leslie West & Corky Laing) and many others.

R.I.P. Jack. I kick off this list with my personal favorite Jack Bruce performance:


  • 1

    Cream "Deserted Cities of the Heart"

    This song kicks off the Live Cream Volume II album and things don't slow down for the next forty minutes.

  • 2

    Cream "Politician"

    Cream were only around for a little over two years, but they burned white hot right up until their final show in November 1968 at the Royal Albert Hall.

  • 3

    Frank Zappa "Apostrophe"

    Jack is given a songwriting credit on the title track from Frank Zappa's 1972 classic album. He later said that he didn't play the bass on it, but only the cello. Jack did know how to play cello, but the thundering bass line screams Jack Bruce.

  • 4

    West, Bruce & Laing "The Doctor"

    Cream wasn't the only supergroup that Jack was involved with. There was BBM in the '90s with Ginger Baker and Gary Moore, and in the '70s he teamed up with Mountain men Leslie West and Corky Laing for a couple of albums. Jack was right at home in this power trio.

  • 5

    Cream "Spoonful"

    The band would always stretch this one long in concert and it was a great vehicle to showcase the skills of all three band members, but it's Jack's singing that makes it for me. It's hair raising.

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