Disraeli Gears by Cream, Reaction record label 1967. Value: first pressings £250, second pressings £100, reissues £30-£50

FORMED in 1966, less than three years later it was all over. It seemed Cream came and went in a blink of an eye but left an indelible mark on rock 'n' roll, writes MICHAEL BROOKS. This is acclaimed as the perfect studio album which captured the atmosphere and spirit of psychedelic London in the swinging sixties. From left to right we have drummer, Ginger Baker, bass player, Jack Bruce and lead guitarist, Eric Clapton with the finest perm in town! Both Baker and Bruce had been members with the band the Graham Bond Organisation, including Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated.

Clapton began his professional career with The Yardbirds alongside Jimmy Page before joining John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. As musicians go, they were acknowledged as "the cream of the crop", hence the band's name.The album was originally going to be called Sweet And Sour Rock 'n' Roll', but following a conversation when Eric Clapton announced he was thinking of buying a racing bicycle, a crew member commented "get one with those 'Disraeli Gears', really meaning 'derailleur gears'; others thought the band were alluding to the 19th Century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, but the name stayed. The cover design was created by Martin Sharp cartoonist for the controversial magazine Oz.

Cream made such an impression on fans, critics and other musicians as to make them one of the most influential bands since The Beatles. Disraeli Gears established them in the USA. It reached the top five on both sides of the Atlantic, and the band spent most of their short lived career touring America where they were highly received. Due to the usual story of internal friction mostly between Baker and Bruce, who simply could not stand each other, they disbanded early in 1969.

Clapton and Baker went on to form a new band Blind Faith in 1969, and then under a pseudonym as Derek and the Dominoes Clapton had huge success with Layla.

Cream released half a dozen albums selling a total of 35 million records, their last album Goodbye in 1969, topped the charts in both the UK and USA. After a series of farewell concerts at the Albert Hall it really was goodbye, or so we thought.

In 2005 the band reformed for a series of sell out concerts, once again at the Albert Hall but these were their final appearances.