Was “Cream” the last song with a straight-up blues structure to hit the top of the pop charts? It’s certainly one of the most bluesy songs Prince was involved in up to that point. Mr. Nelson stated that he wrote “Cream” while standing in front of a mirror, and with that in mind, it’s pretty hard to imagine anyone enrapturing Prince as much as Prince enraptured Prince. “There ain’t nobody better.” “Everything you do is success.” “Make the rules, then break them all ‘cause you are the best.” Ain’t no love like self-love, I guess.
“Cream” was not an immediate click for me. It’s one of those Prince songs that has aged really well. I love how forward the drums are in the mix. I love Rosie Gaines’ background vocals. I love “look up in the air…it’s your guitar.” I love that it’s covertly sexy as opposed to a contemporaneous song like “Gett Off” (awesome in its own right, but there’s nothing subtle about it). I sang this at karaoke once, with the hopes of charming the pants off of someone I had my eye on. It didn’t work. Next time, I need to channel Prince a little bit more.