Lost Treasures: Cream – “Anyone For Tennis”

This week’s Lost Treasures notes the recent passing of rock/world-beat/jazz drummer Peter Edward “Ginger” Baker, whose career began in the Graham Bond Organization, but was best known for his work in the short-lived “supergroup” Cream.  Baker had a long career beyond that band as a member of another supergroup: Blind Faith, then as leader of his own rock/jazz/R&B group Airforce, and beyond that as a collaborator with Nigerian musician Fela Kuti.  Cream was comprised of Baker, ex-Yardbirds & former Bluesbreaker guitarist Eric Clapton, and vocalist/bassist/harmonica player Jack Bruce who was also a previous member of Graham Bond’s group. This supergroup was originally known for it’s rock interpretations of classic blues tunes & long, meandering heavy rock jamming.  However, nearer the end of their short-lived existence, a quieter, more melodic edge surfaced from the band.  This was most notable on their final single “Badge” but first appeared on this 1968 Atco single “Anyone For Tennis”  and the B-side “Pressed Rat And Warthog”.The song was composed for biker flick “The Savage Seven” an ultra-violent low budget fictional tale of gang rivalry & brotherhood.  Both sides of the single were typical of the bizarre, cryptic & almost nonsensical lyrics Cream’s self-penned songs contained.  “Anyone For Tennis” failed to attract fans, listeners & radio programmers in the US & Canada.  Even progressive FM stations weren’t sure how to deal with this radical departure from Cream’s earlier music.  The single was a minor hit in the UK, Europe, Australia & New Zealand.  Most American listeners weren’t even aware of this record until long after the band’s demise when greatest hits compilations included the song.  This weekend’s weather doesn’t look too co-operative, but we’ll nonetheless make a pitch to Puget Sound Media readers: “Anyone For Tennis”??

Author: Mike Cherry

retired broadcaster: on-air, MD, PD, asst PD, Prod Mgr, IT, station technician/engineer, pioneer Internet webcaster, station installation/maintenance; 12 years in commercial radio, 17 years volunteer in campus/community radio in B.C., Alberta & Wash. Amateur radio operator & "DXer" specializing in AM night-time DX, short-wave DX/listening & remote SDR DXing/listening

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