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Cream — Tales of Brave Ulysses
Album: Disraeli Gears
Avg rating:
7.9

Your rating:
Total ratings: 999









Released: 1967
Length: 2:42
Plays (last 30 days): 2
(no lyrics available)
Comments (106)add comment
Aphrodite on her crimson shell.

This is one of Cream's greatest!  The imagery evoked by this song is second to none. Also, what band today makes such reference to Classical mythology?
Always want to hear Suzanne Vega's Calypso after this. :)
this crushed my young adolescents' mind
and then throw in some three letter drug to coat it all
Clapton's guitar work never sounded better than it does here. 
 DrDemento wrote:
You thought the leaden winter
Would bring you down forever
But you rode upon a steamer
To the violence of the sun and the colors of the sea
Blind your eyes with trembling mermaids
And you touch the distant beaches
With tales of brave Ulysses ,How his naked ears were tortured
By the sirens sweetly singing
For the sparkling waves are calling you
To touch their white laced lipsAnd you see a girl?s brown body
Dancing through the turquoise
And her footprints make you follow
Where the sky loves the sea And when your fingers find her
She drowns you in her body
Carving deep blue ripples
In the tissues of your mind .The tiny purple fishes
Run laughing through your fingers
And you want to take her with you
To the hard land of the winter. Her name is Aphrodite
And she rides a crimson shell
You know you cannot leave her
For you touched the distant sands with tales of brave Ulysses
How his naked ears were tortured
By the sirens sweetly singing
Yeah .The tiny purple fishes
Run laughing through your fingers
You want to take her with you
To the hard land of the winter
 

 Walrus_Gumbo wrote:


Sorry, that sounded nothing like Cream. Quite horrible actually!
 

They might have been thinking of Negasonic Teenage Warhead, rather than "Evil".
I'm thinking Monster Magnet stole part of this song on "Negasonic Teenage Warhead". The part right before "I will deny you, I will deny you baby!"
Not to bang on but this is a straight ten right up there with Cream's best and extraordinary by any absolute standard.    Depressed mood, elevated mood, procreation and nuclear physics in the first line of the lyric with the rest delivering an insight into Greek mythology among other things.   And the only time I have heard it broadcast in the 50 odd tears since it was released is on RP.  Tune into RP and you will not tune out.  Many thanks.
 capandjudy wrote:

I'll always be a sucker for guitar work with a Wah Wah pedal. The first rock band that I ever saw was Cream in 1968 in out little town and Tales of Brave Ulysses just fried me. I think that their show must have been a stop over to larger venues because Cream was really hot at the time. I don't have a frame of reference but I think that they all played with the same intensity that they would have anywhere else. What an education. 
 

The Live Cream vol. II version just crushes. My neighbors got to hear that over and over when I was a teenager. 
Depressed mood,"leaden winter".   Elevated mood, holidays and travel, "rode upon a steamer".  Love and procreation, "trembling mermaids"  "purple fishes".  Quitters and winners  "take her with you to the hard lands of the winter".  Nuclear physics "violence of The Sun".  2 mins and 40 odd seconds and just about all of life is there.  And then there is the playing, Baker and Bruce's rhythm is sublime and Clapton perhaps at his best.   Everything is 'king gorgeous. 52 years since it was released and still fresh.  A double solid 10.  More Cream please vicar... 
...because Ginger Baker is THE drummer.
Used this as pre-game music for Tampa Prep soccer games in the late 1990s. 

Figured a title like "Tales of Brave Ulysses" would get it past any  uptight parents or faculty, and the kids would get a dose of good music. 
You thought the leaden winter
Would bring you down forever
But you rode upon a steamer
To the violence of the sunAnd the colors of the sea
Blind your eyes with trembling mermaids
And you touch the distant beaches
With tales of brave UlyssesHow his naked ears were tortured
By the sirens sweetly singing
For the sparkling waves are calling you
To touch their white laced lipsAnd you see a girl?s brown body
Dancing through the turquoise
And her footprints make you follow
Where the sky loves the seaAnd when your fingers find her
She drowns you in her body
Carving deep blue ripples
In the tissues of your mindThe tiny purple fishes
Run laughing through your fingers
And you want to take her with you
To the hard land of the winterHer name is Aphrodite
And she rides a crimson shell
You know you cannot leave her
For you touched the distant sandsWith tales of brave Ulysses
How his naked ears were tortured
By the sirens sweetly singing
YeahThe tiny purple fishes
Run laughing through your fingers
You want to take her with you
To the hard land of the winter
As I've commented on other Cream tracks, this power trio was my "gateway band" - they opened my ears to the wonders of psychedelic rock.

Reading some of the 1st hand tales of seeing Cream back in the day....I stifle my envy while closing my eyes to imagine what that shit was like.....Far out!  Long Live RP!!
Trembling mermaids, indeed! I will never  forget listening to this in my little room on my dad's farm, speculating that there might be a whole weird world beyond that little room, that little farm... I had enjoyed Fresh Cream as a rock-n-roll album riffing on the blues, not unlike the Yardbirds and others, but Disraeli Gears was psychodelic (back when they spelled it with an "o") and  I had to get me some of that action! Turned out to have been a good call.
 capandjudy wrote:

I'll always be a sucker for guitar work with a Wah Wah pedal. The first rock band that I ever saw was Cream in 1968 in out little town and Tales of Brave Ulysses just fried me. I think that their show must have been a stop over to larger venues because Cream was really hot at the time. I don't have a frame of reference but I think that they all played with the same intensity that they would have anywhere else. What an education. 
 
I had a half chance to see them in 1968 and didn't take it.  I made no mistake in May 2005.  As I handed over the premium for the tickets I suffered a little insecurity that at the time I would not have been able to describe.  Later Jack Bruce was asked whether they had rehearsed.  (They were so good it was apparently inconceivable to the interviewer that things might have been spontaneous) Yeah came the reply we scheduled ten weeks or so, there was some slippage but about six weeks pretty solid - we didn't want to be a tribute band to ourselves.  He had precisely described my reluctant expectation. 

On the night there was no MC cobblers, the lights dimmed slightly and the conversations in the auditorium went down a notch.  Suddenly there they were. Baker brushed the drums, instant silence and straight into I'm So Glad.  It was bang on 8.00pm when they started.  Two and half hours later they were gone.  I don't think they hit a bum note.  'king marvellous. 
How can this be anything but a 10? But I wish we had the lyrics
To quote Sir Lil John - "Yyeeaahhh"
 WBOB wrote:
Ahh the old Wah Wah pedal  
 
I'm told this was the first ever album the wah wah was used on

 WBOB wrote:
Ahh the old Wah Wah pedal  
 
I'll always be a sucker for guitar work with a Wah Wah pedal. The first rock band that I ever saw was Cream in 1968 in out little town and Tales of Brave Ulysses just fried me. I think that their show must have been a stop over to larger venues because Cream was really hot at the time. I don't have a frame of reference but I think that they all played with the same intensity that they would have anywhere else. What an education. 
Ahh the old Wah Wah pedal  
 woodchuk wrote:
Such spectacular imagery in this song!  Sandro Botticelli on acid!!!!

 


 woodchuk wrote:

Indeed!
 
A song from a time when the great literary and artistic works of the Western canon could inspire songwriters.
  


You and I think alike. {#Bananajam}{#Dancingbanana_2}



I still prefer the live version from "Live Cream vol. II". Clapton's guitar playing on it is astonishing. 
Great music, great musicians 
Depressed mood, elevated mood, procreation and nuclear physics in the first line of the lyric.  Then there's Bruce and Baker's rhythm, not to mention Clapton's guitar. Rock/blues at it's best. And before today I do not think I have ever heard it on the radio. Ever..Thank you Bill and Rebecca. 
 Dave_Mack wrote:
She drowns you in her body.  What a way to go!

 
Indeed!
 
A song from a time when the great literary and artistic works of the Western canon could inspire songwriters.
 jagdriver wrote:
 {#Arrowl} Click for story.

 

Thanks for that link, Jag!


 Dave_Mack wrote:
She drowns you in her body.  What a way to go!

 
ginger
Sounds like Spinal Tap.  And I mean that as a good thing.  
 eltom wrote:
IMHO too much overrated. Just decent.
 
If ye weren't there it might be too hard a stretch.

IMHO too much overrated. Just decent.
Takes me right back to 9th grade. There I am, head between the speakers of my RCA portable stereo, doing my algebra homework. I was might have been wearing stay-pressed slacks, too.
She drowns you in her body.  What a way to go!
Happy Birthday Clapton!
Such spectacular imagery in this song!  Sandro Botticelli on acid!!!!
 Stingray wrote:
INCREDIBLE COVER - GREAT SONG - AMAZING GINGER!
 
What kind of acid were they on when they made the album cover - window pane?

Disraeli Gears - The first album I ever purchased... And I bought it new when it came out. I bet I can still dig it up somewhere. I purchased the CD about 10 years ago too. The first 45 I bought was "Incense, Peppermints." That one is loooong gone.

I think we need an 11 for this one. "11-Transcendent"
 {#Arrowl} Click for story.
 Flipmode wrote:

Huh.. interesting.

I also thought this was remade by Monster Magnet - but it was a different cream song that sounds the same as this. You all should check it out ;)

(edit) Nevermind... Monster Magnet remade "Evil"
https://www.amazon.com/Superjudge-Monster-Magnet/dp/B000000IHC/ref=sr_1_26?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1263235824&sr=1-26
 

Sorry, that sounded nothing like Cream. Quite horrible actually!
 Stave wrote:
........

I love my ipod, and I love that I can carry pretty much my entire music collection on my person without lugging around a backpack full of CDs, tapes, etc. but by the same token if all my music is on my hard drives, what chance will my own future kids ever have to dig around and learn how cool I was?  .....
 

Just make sure that when you buy music to put on that iPod, buy the CD and load it that way. I must have 300+ CDs that my 5yr old has already started rifling through (not to mention the LPs that I still own from my youth).

 ihategrapejuice wrote:
Knowing very little about the relative histories of Cream and Leonard Cohen, I put forth that this song reminds me a lot of Suzanne:

Suzanne takes you down to 
her place near the river
You can hear the boats go by
You can spend the night beside her
And you know that she's half crazy
But that's why you want to be there
And she feeds you tea and oranges
That come all the way from China
....

Something about the narrative style and rhythm of the words. Maybe there is a very good (and/or obvious) reason for this that I'm missing.

 
Something tells me it would entertaining to play these songs live, with the lyrics interchanged...  I'll get to work on that.

About the time of my first tab........{#Bounce}
 rascal420 wrote:
I never really liked anything this band did ever - always sounded tinny and dated and the lyrics are just weird.

But I can see how people would dig it since it hadn't yet been done over and over yet.
 
Lyrics are strange - I sing "White Room" in my band and always wonder how I can remember such lyrics!
But I can never remember the chorus properly.
Suffice it to say, I'm always happy to get to the wah-wah solo.

 kaybee wrote:
This album just blew me away when it first came out.  It sounded like nothing else!  Solid 10.
 
Yeah, I listened to it constantly.  Love it still!

This album just blew me away when it first came out.  It sounded like nothing else!  Solid 10.
Note to self: Cloud Cult Water, Water to Cream Tales of Brave Ulysses is an awesome move to be remembered.
 ihategrapejuice wrote:
Knowing very little about the relative histories of Cream and Leonard Cohen, I put forth that this song reminds me a lot of Suzanne:

Suzanne takes you down to 
her place near the river
You can hear the boats go by
You can spend the night beside her
And you know that she's half crazy
But that's why you want to be there
And she feeds you tea and oranges
That come all the way from China
....

Something about the narrative style and rhythm of the words. Maybe there is a very good (and/or obvious) reason for this that I'm missing.

 
Just what I was thinking! {#High-five}
 ihategrapejuice wrote:
Knowing very little about the relative histories of Cream and Leonard Cohen, I put forth that this song reminds me a lot of Suzanne:

Suzanne takes you down to 
her place near the river
You can hear the boats go by
You can spend the night beside her
And you know that she's half crazy
But that's why you want to be there
And she feeds you tea and oranges
That come all the way from China
....

Something about the narrative style and rhythm of the words. Maybe there is a very good (and/or obvious) reason for this that I'm missing.

 
Huh.. interesting.

I also thought this was remade by Monster Magnet - but it was a different cream song that sounds the same as this. You all should check it out ;)

(edit) Nevermind... Monster Magnet remade "Evil"
https://www.amazon.com/Superjudge-Monster-Magnet/dp/B000000IHC/ref=sr_1_26?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1263235824&sr=1-26


{#Music}     I never tire of Cream's studio works.

Not knowing anything about them, I saw 'em live at the Grande Ballroom (Detroit) during their debut weekend in autumn '67.

I never really liked anything this band did ever - always sounded tinny and dated and the lyrics are just weird.

But I can see how people would dig it since it hadn't yet been done over and over yet.
Brilliant. Clapton is amazing. Love the poetry.
 palexis wrote:
 Stave wrote:

, what chance will my own future kids ever have to dig around and learn how cool I was?

My son at age 5 learned how to operate my iPod. He is now 7, and his favorite Beatles song is "Helter Skelter". Other favorites of his include Neil Young's "My my hey hey" and the Flaming Lips' " Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots".

In a way it's easier to go through songs on an iPod without having to take records out of their sleeves etc... with the added benefit of not being prejudiced against the music solely based on the cover art.

You lose some and win some.

 

At age 9 he will be a junky - you bet!
INCREDIBLE COVER - GREAT SONG - AMAZING GINGER!
 Stave wrote:

, what chance will my own future kids ever have to dig around and learn how cool I was?

My son at age 5 learned how to operate my iPod. He is now 7, and his favorite Beatles song is "Helter Skelter". Other favorites of his include Neil Young's "My my hey hey" and the Flaming Lips' " Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots".

In a way it's easier to go through songs on an iPod without having to take records out of their sleeves etc... with the added benefit of not being prejudiced against the music solely based on the cover art.

You lose some and win some.

Knowing very little about the relative histories of Cream and Leonard Cohen, I put forth that this song reminds me a lot of Suzanne:

Suzanne takes you down to 
her place near the river
You can hear the boats go by
You can spend the night beside her
And you know that she's half crazy
But that's why you want to be there
And she feeds you tea and oranges
That come all the way from China
....

Something about the narrative style and rhythm of the words. Maybe there is a very good (and/or obvious) reason for this that I'm missing.

 jagdriver wrote:

Amen. CD covers and embedded MP3 graphics just don't cut it in this regard.
 
It's interesting how we pay for advances in recording technologies in other ways.  I had a few LPs as a little kid so I remember what it was like to have access to large-scale art to go with my music, but by the time I got old enough to really start developing my interests vinyl had gone the way of the dinosaur.  My generation was probably the last one that got to go through our parents' recollections and (hopefully) have that revelation that our parents had been cool once.

I love my ipod, and I love that I can carry pretty much my entire music collection on my person without lugging around a backpack full of CDs, tapes, etc. but by the same token if all my music is on my hard drives, what chance will my own future kids ever have to dig around and learn how cool I was?  Where will they get their sense of history and context when it comes to modern music?  I'm not going to say whether we're better off in this regard or not now, but all progress does have its price.


Dude. . . like, did you say that was microdot?  Cuz, my hands are invisible and I can smell the color of the music. . .




 Jungle_Jim wrote:
Any excuse to drag out the cover artwork to Cream's Disraeli Gears by Martin Sharp - one of the best bits of British psychedelic graphics of the 60s (even though Sharp was actually Australian). The songs a good bit of wah-wah power blues and out-there lyrics.
 
Amen. CD covers and embedded MP3 graphics just don't cut it in this regard.
 ginniet wrote:
This song is one of many played by RP that takes me back to my high school days.

{#Eek}

 

Holy smokes, we're old, aren't we?
This song is one of many played by RP that takes me back to my high school days.

{#Eek}

I still like hearing this song, even if the lyrics are a little silly and Jack Bruce's voice really strains annoyingly in several spots.

Any excuse to drag out the cover artwork to Cream's Disraeli Gears by Martin Sharp - one of the best bits of British psychedelic graphics of the 60s (even though Sharp was actually Australian). The songs a good bit of wah-wah power blues and out-there lyrics.
 coloradojohn wrote:
Tiny purple fishes...

All right, all right... I can place some of the blame for my relatively high standard orbit on this and others like it.
Credit where it's due!

Thanks, Bill!
 

Tiny purple fishes could be a metaphor for sperm. I looked at mine under a microscope once. They were tiny, purplish and, boy, could they swim!
This mix sounds different for some reason.

Still makes my hippie trippie....


Now THIS is music, boys and girls!

Martin Sharp was the cover artist, also responsible for the art on Wheels of Fire. And Jack's songwriter collaborator was Pete Brown. Beyond ace-engineer Tom Dowd making this LP what it was, credit also has to go to Felix Pappalardi, the "fourth member of Cream."



See this ==> https://www.thelanguageofmusic.com/

Now that's a sublime segway from Icarus Wings.  I dare you to play Sea Child by Hot tuna next!
Saw a documentary on the making of this album. The guy who did the cover art on this album (can't remember his name) wrote this tune as a poem while he was in Greece (and under the influence of a certain controlled substance). He showed the poem to Jack Bruce and the rest is history. Great tune. 10
This was one of the first albums I bought when a young lad.  The lyrics and instrumentation, etc really were new and opened up the musical boundaries.  Great stuff!
Tiny purple fishes... All right, all right... I can place some of the blame for my relatively high standard orbit on this and others like it. Credit where it's due! Thanks, Bill!
His naked ears! Agh !
Far out, man! :notworthy:
ChardRemains wrote:
I asked for this album for my birthday when I was a kid....my parents told me it was "too druggy" and gave me Sgt. Pepper's instead. go figure.
:ask: :ask: :lol: You have made my day HA HA HA!!!!
Damnit, I can't find 11 on my speakers! Definitely in the top ten for my category of "Turn it up" songs.
Period piece. I hear a little Leonard Cohen in the lyrics now that I think about it. RP could easily double the Cream and Blind Faith spins and I'd be happy.

RedGuitar wrote:
If I remember correctly, the album cover glowed under blacklight. Very cool!
...depends on what you ingest first. Lots of wine makes it wobble, lots of pot makes it vibrate and just a smidgen of acid makes it glow. All three makes it the 60's again.
Howling_Rabbit wrote:
Wow! The colors... the colors... So far out...
If I remember correctly, the album cover glowed under blacklight. Very cool!
I remember when my brother bought a wa-wa pedal for his guitar and TRIED to play this song. ... Let's just say that is some bad ass wa-wa-ing.
This is just fantastic. Best thing that has happened to me all afternoon. NO, all day! :bananajam: :crown: :dancingbanana: :dancingbanana_2: :dance: :clap: :high-five:
Wow! The colors... the colors... So far out...
Glad to hear some Cream!
this song is just incredible. Instrumentation and lyrics knock me out! :fight.gif:
Anyone have Politician? And can upload? If so, Thanks!
rulebritannia wrote:
The best song on an iconic album.........
I agree, although there are certainly some tough competitors.
here are some lyrics off a web page i googled. i always thought it was "heartland of the winter," and these lyrics may be wrongly heard/transcribed: By Eric Clapton and Martin Sharp You thought the leaden winter would bring you down forever, But you rode upon a steamer to the violence of the sun. And the colors of the sea blind your eyes with trembling mermaids, And you touch the distant beaches with tales of brave ulysses: How his naked ears were tortured by the sirens sweetly singing, For the sparkling waves are calling you to kiss their white laced lips. And you see a girl's brown body dancing through the turquoise, And her footprints make you follow where the sky loves the sea. And when your fingers find her, she drowns you in her body, Carving deep blue ripples in the tissues of your mind. The tiny purple fishes run laughing through your fingers, And you want to take her with you to the hard land of the winter. Her name is aphrodite and she rides a crimson shell, And you know you cannot leave her for you touched the distant sands With tales of brave ulysses; how his naked ears were tortured By the sirens sweetly singing. The tiny purple fishes run lauging through your fingers, And you want to take her with you to the hard land of the winter.
WOW! It's been years. Great song from a great album. Thanks
Miss hearing this through an 8-track player. The whole album is awesome.
Best. Wah. Ever.
ChardRemains wrote:
I asked for this album for my birthday when I was a kid....my parents told me it was "too druggy" and gave me Sgt. Pepper's instead. go figure.
Great story! :lol:
Sometimes I'm just in the mood for something psychedelic... like now. Thanks for playing this classic. :guitarist:
I asked for this album for my birthday when I was a kid....my parents told me it was "too druggy" and gave me Sgt. Pepper's instead. go figure.
jayladdin wrote:
I've always loved the way he pronounces "turquoise." :lol: I prefer SWLABR, but nice to hear Cream on RP!
She Was Like A Bearded Rainbow!
I've always loved the way he pronounces "turquoise." :lol: I prefer SWLABR, but nice to hear Cream on RP!
Great to hear Jack B. on RP. I was beginning to wonder!
Nice choice. Never heard it on the radio before and is one of my favs.
Cream's best. I love it
Spliff wrote:
What great lyrics. Perfect picture of the 60s.
Yes, it does say "60s", doesn't it?
What great lyrics. Perfect picture of the 60s.
marycrichards wrote:
LOVE IT!!! My favorite of Cream! :cheers:
The best song on an iconic album.........
Ah, the memories that this song invokes.....
Quintessential Cream.
Most Cream songs are fantastic; all are classics. This one is not fantastic, but it's good-great memories of College days smokin' the funny stuff... :clap:
Eric about wore out the crybaby on that one! To me, this is the epitome of psychedelia. Love it!
yeah!!! awesome addition 8) ......the tiny purple fishes run laughing through your fingers......
LOVE IT!!! My favorite of Cream! :cheers: