The late Jack Bruce recalled in a hitherto unpublished 1997 interview how Atlantic Records pushed his fellow band-mate Eric Clapton to be the frontman of the legendary blues trio Cream, as Bruce encountered difficulty getting his songs recorded.

Forbes website has been running segments from Bruce's interview with Jim Clash.

The bassist, who died last year, recalled when Cream did their first recordings for Atlantic Records in New York, as the Disraeli Gears album began to take shape. 

"It was decided that Eric was going to be the frontman and I was just going to stay in the background and be the bass player," he said.

"That's why, for instance, the first single (on Disraeli Gears), Strange Brew, featured Eric on vocals."

Strange Brew is based on a blues standard which Cream used to play called Lawdy Mama. Felix Pappalardi, who produced Disraeli Gears, wrote new lyrics to the song with his wife, Gail Collins. Eric Clapton did the arrangement and also sang lead vocal. Pappalardi, Collins and Clapton are the credited writers.

"It was difficult to get (Atlantic) to let my songs be recorded," Bruce recalled of those 1967 sessions. 

"The reason they were accepted at all was Booker T (Jones) and Otis Redding came in to the session around the same time, and they were very encouraging about the things I was trying to do."

He added: "We were all very fortunate to be in the same environment with them, anyway. Aretha Franklin was recording there, too. It was wonderful to meet those people. We were in awe of them – they were our idols!"