“Sunshine of Your Love” by Cream
Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love” is relatively-simple in its lyrical approach. It uses the theme of sunshine, more specifically within the context of the morning sun, as a metaphor for the intimate love the singer feels for his significant other. And honestly the lyrics can be interpreted as being quite-risqué, especially for the time period in which this song was originally released. There are some choice analogies used throughout which seem to point to the idea of a sensual affair, once again being conducted during the early-morning hours.
But at its foundation, this is simply a tender love song. And the whole morning theme was actually derived from the band suffering from writers’ block while trying to compose the lyrics. And one of its co-writers, Pete Brown, happened to be gazing out the window at the time and penned the opening line, “it’s getting near dawn”, which gave birth to the lyrical composition of the rest of the track.
So conclusively, we can say that “Sunshine of Your Love” is a romantic song which centers specifically on the concept of highly-anticipated morning bedroom fun between the singer and the addressee.
Origin of Song
This song originated from a riff the Cream’s bass guitarist, Jack Bruce (1943-2014), concocted after he attended a Jimi Hendrix concert in London on 29 January 1967. In fact the band’s other guitarist, Eric Clapton, described it as Bruce’s “dedication to Jimi”.
Indeed Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970) himself took a liking to the song (although he was not aware that it was even dedicated to him). And he is known to have played it a few times live, actually as a tribute to Cream, after the group disbanded in 1968.
Notable Live Performance of “Sunshine of Your Love”
The band reunited to play “Sunshine of Your Love” in 1993. This was during their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Up until that point they had only gotten together once since their breakup, which was in 1979 during Eric Clapton’s wedding to Pattie Boyd.
Who wrote “Sunshine of Your Love”?
“Sunshine of Your Love” was written by Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton and one of the band’s regular collaborators, lyricist Pete Brown.
And the track was produced by another artist who worked with the band regularly, Felix Pappalardi (1939-1983).
A true Success for Cream
“Sunshine of Your Love” proved to be one of the most-successful tracks in Cream’s catalog. For instance, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame named it amongst the “500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll”. Moreover as of 2011, it is holding down the 65th position on Rolling Stone’s list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”, as well as making an appearance on other distinguished listings compiled by the likes of VH1.
A Great Guitar Song
This is also another Cream song in which Eric Clapton is represented on the guitars. And as such, in 2005 the music magazine “Q” placed it at number 19 amongst what they consider to be the “100 Greatest Guitar Tracks Ever”.
Release Date of “Sunshine of Your Love”
A number of record labels (including Atco and Polydor Records) were behind the release of “Sunshine of Your Love”. The song came out as the second single from Cream’s sophomore album, “Disraeli Gears”, during January of 1968.
This song has also been featured on a number of Cream’s compilation and live albums since then.
Chart Performance of “Sunshine of Your Love”
This classic charted in the following countries:
- United Kingdom
- United States
In the US it was certified Gold in September of 1968, which at that time meant it sold over one-million copies.
“Sunshine of Your Love” was almost not released
At first the President of Atlantic Records, Ahmet Ertegun, wasn’t digging “Sunshine of Your Love” at all for a number of reasons (Atco Records is a division of Atlantic). However, some artists under the label, such as Otis Redding and Booker T. Jones, were feeling it. In fact it was Booker T. who convinced Ertegun to release the track, which as alluded to above has gone on to be considered by many as Cream’s signature song.
Appearance on TV and Film
The number of television shows and major motion pictures this track has been featured on is too numerous to mention here. But amongst the most notable are the following:
- “Goodfellas” (1990)
- “True Lies” (1994)
- “The Simpsons” (1995)