One of the most successful rock bands to emerge in the mid-60s is Cream. They were considered the first supergroup as all the members came from other successful bands.
With Eric Clapton on guitars, Ginger Baker on drums, and Jack Bruce on bass, Cream carved an influential path in the music industry with its powerful blend of blues, rock, and psychedelia.
If you’re a fan of Cream and find yourself yearning for more music that shares their spirit and energy, you’re in luck! In this article, we’re going to take a look at 13 amazing bands like Cream in terms of sound and styles—perfect for classic rock lovers. Let’s get started.
1. Blind Faith
Like Cream, Blind Faith is a supergroup that emerged in the 1960s. It features two ex-Cream members: Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker. Along with Steve Winwood of Traffic and Ric Grech of Family, the band released one album and went on a summer tour.
With former members in the band, Blind Faith had a similar sound to Cream and embraced a fusion of blues, rock, and psychedelia elements. Their self-titled debut album showcased the band’s remarkable musicianship and experimental approach.
One notable example of Blind Faith’s musical diversity is their classic song “Can’t Find My Way Home.” This track highlights the band’s ability to fuse various genres while maintaining a cohesive sound seamlessly.
Blind Faith shared multiple connections with other bands of that era through Clapton. In addition to his stints with The Yardbirds and Cream, Clapton later played pivotal roles in groups like Derek and the Dominos.
2. The Jimi Hendrix Experience
The highly influential psychedelic rock band, The Jimi Hendrix Experience was formed in 1966. It revolutionized the world of music with its electrifying sound and Jimi Hendrix’s unparalleled guitar skills.
One of the biggest similarities between Cream and the Experience is they both possess a power trio configuration. Cream comprised Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, and Ginger Baker, while The Jimi Hendrix Experience consisted of Hendrix, guitarist Noel Redding, and drummer Mitch Mitchell.
Both bands also feature talented guitar players. Like Cream’s Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix was one of the most influential guitarists. He became known for incorporating feedback and distortion effects into his playing.
Some of the Experience’s most famous tracks include “Purple Haze” and “Voodoo Child (Slight Return).”
3. The Yardbirds
With a lineup featuring three iconic guitarists—Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page—it’s unsurprising that The Yardbirds‘ music is often compared to Cream.
One of the critical connections between these bands is the presence of Clapton. He initially gained recognition as a member of The Yardbirds, where his extraordinary blues-based guitar playing and soulful solos helped define the band’s sound.
The Yardbirds incorporated various genres into their repertoire. Aside from blues rock and R&B, they also included pop, psychedelic rock, and hard rock elements. They were also credited for many electric guitar innovations throughout their era.
The Yardbirds experienced substantial success throughout their career. Some of their notable songs include “For Your Love” and “Heart Full of Soul.”
4. Led Zeppelin
Though Led Zeppelin grew in prominence in the ’60s and ’70s, their name and contributions to rock music remain popular. This attests to their enduring appeal even to those who are not familiar with the band.
With members Robert Plant on vocals, Jimmy Page on guitar, John Paul Jones on bass guitar and keyboards, and John Bonham as the drummer, the band came together in 1968 in London. They released eight studio albums and successful songs such as “Stairway to Heaven.”
Both Cream and Led Zeppelin exhibited a deep appreciation for the blues as a foundation for their music. We can see this in how they incorporated bluesy guitar riffs, soulful vocals, and intricate rhythm sections.
Led Zeppelin remains one of the best-selling British rock bands ever. Throughout their career, they sold between 200 and 300 million records worldwide.
5. The Doors
The 1960s also witnessed the rise of The Doors, a legendary American rock band known for their psychedelic and bluesy sound. With his voice and stage persona, vocalist Jim Morrison helped increase their popularity.
Both The Doors and Cream embraced the spirit of the psychedelic era. They incorporated unconventional song structures, long instrumental sections, and poetic lyrics into their compositions.
In addition to their musical contributions, The Doors were known for their unique style and personalities. These are evident in their hit songs, such as “Riders On the Storm” and “Light My Fire.”
The Doors are one of the best-selling bands ever, having sold 34 million albums in the US alone and more than 100 million records worldwide. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.
6. The Who
Also hailing from London is The Who, one of the most influential British rock bands ever. They were formed in 1964 and are known for their sound that blends blues and rock. The band consisted of guitarist Pete Townshend, lead singer Roger Daltrey, bassist John Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon.
Throughout their career, the band experimented with new sounds. They inspired countless musicians with famous tracks such as “Baba O’Riley” and “Behind Blue Eyes.” In addition, their virtuosic guitar skills and legendary drumming set them apart from other rock acts at the time.
The Who and Cream were both at the forefront of the British rock movement of the ’60s. They embraced a more aggressive and hard-hitting approach to their music.
7. Deep Purple
Another band similar to Cream is Deep Purple, a pioneering band in heavy metal and hard rock music. Following their formation in England in 1968, the band started as a psychedelic and progressive rock group before transitioning to a more hard rock sound.
Deep Purple’s influence can be heard throughout many modern heavy metal bands, making them a must-listen for any fans of Cream looking for similar artists.
If you’re looking for something that sounds like Cream but with an even heavier edge, check out Deep Purple’s discography. Some of their hit songs include “Black Night,” “Smoke on the Water,” and “Child In Time.”
Up next is the hard rock band Mountain, formed in New York in 1969. The band consisted of vocalist and guitarist Leslie West, bassist Felix Pappalardi, and drummer N. D. Smart. Their music is categorized as blues rock, hard rock, and heavy metal.
Mountain was heavily influenced by Cream. In particular, West’s guitar style before the formation of the band was inspired by Cream’s Eric Clapton. He envisioned a band that would take on a sound and style that’s much rawer and harder.
West’s guitar work was a huge part of the band’s sound. Like Cream, Mountain’s bluesy sound and powerful guitar-driven music heavily influenced the development of heavy metal during the ’70s.
The band’s most notable song is “Mississippi Queen.” It features a catchy guitar riff and upbeat tempo that became an anthem at the time. In addition to their live performances, Mountain released several albums, such as Climbing! and Nantucket Sleighride.
9. Jefferson Airplane
Credited as one of the pioneering bands of psychedelic rock is Jefferson Airplane. The band came together in San Francisco in 1965 and found international success, particularly with the release of their breakout album Surrealistic Pillow.
Jefferson Airplane was known for incorporating folk, rock, and experimental music elements into their compositions. Some of their most successful songs are “Somebody to Love” and “White Rabbit.” Both of these are listed in Rolling Stone‘s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”
Both Jefferson Airplane and Cream were associated with the countercultural movement of the 1960s. Jefferson Airplane’s lyrics often reflected the themes of social and political unrest and personal freedom. Cream’s music, on the other hand, embraced the ethos of individual expression and rebellion against societal norms.
The English rock band Traffic is another group that can be compared to Cream. They were formed in Birmingham in 1967. The members include Steve Winwood on vocals and keyboards, Jim Capaldi on drums, Chris Wood on saxophone and flute, and Dave Mason on guitar.
Winwood’s soulful vocals were a standout feature of their music, while the other members showcased their immense instrumental skills. Their most popular songs include “Dear Mr. Fantasy” and “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys.”
Both Traffic and Cream were known for their willingness to push musical boundaries and blend different genres. They incorporated psychedelia, folk, and jazz, thus influencing the development of progressive rock.
11. Derek And The Dominos
Yet another band of which Eric Clapton was a member was the rock supergroup Derek and the Dominos. He put the band together after he departed from Blind Faith. This British four-piece band consisted of talented musicians, including Jim Gordon on drums, Carl Radle on bass, and Bobby Whitlock on keyboards.
The influence of Cream can be heard in the band’s bluesy sound and Clapton’s guitar playing, which carried over from his time with Cream. Their most famous song, “Layla,” is now considered one of the greatest love songs in rock music history. It features an iconic guitar riff that other artists have covered often.
Unfortunately, Derek and the Dominos had a very short career. They released just one studio album, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, before disbanding.
12. The Rolling Stones
Definitely, one of the cornerstones of rock music is The Rolling Stones. People will always remember them for their bluesy sound and rebellious attitude. Some of their popular songs include “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and “Paint It Black.”
The Rolling Stones were formed in London in 1962 and have been rocking ever since. They sold more than 200 million records, making them one of the best-selling music artists of all time. In addition, they secured three Grammy wins and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.
The Rolling Stones are often associated with other classic rock bands like The Beatles and The Who. The band, particularly in their early years, paid homage to blues legends and infused their music with a raw, gritty blues-rock sound similar to Cream.
Despite being active for several decades, The Rolling Stones show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
13. Blue Cheer
The American rock band Blue Cheer was formed in the late 1960s and gained recognition for their powerful sound. They assumed an acid rock style and were considered one of the pioneers of heavy metal.
Blue Cheer quickly evolved into a power trio that brought aggression to their music, much like Cream. They found success with their cover of “Summertime Blues” from their 1968 album Vincebus Eruptum. The song reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the album #11 on the Billboard 200.
Blue Cheer’s musical style was characterized by its heaviness and raw energy. Like Cream, the band embraced a hard-hitting, riff-driven approach that incorporated elements of blues and showcased their prowess as instrumentalists.
Summing Up Our List Of Bands Like Cream
If you’re a fan of Cream’s blues and psychedelic rock sound, plenty of other bands out there will satisfy your cravings.
From Blind Faith’s experimental approach to music to Blue Cheer’s blues rock, the rock genre is full of bands with similar styles to Cream. Derek & The Dominos is also a perfect match for those who crave more Eric Clapton guitar riffs.
We hope you found your favorite rock band on our list. If not, let us know so we can add it in.