Band members                             Related acts

- Aalon Butler - vocals, guitar


  backing musicians:

- Paula Bellamy -- backing vocals

- Barbara Benney -- backing vocals

- Juan Luis Cabaza -- guitar, keyboards

- Ronnie Hammond -- vocals, guitar, drums

- Freddy Pool -- backing vocals

- Luther Pool -- bass, guitar, vocals

- Alan Roberts -- bass, guitar, vocals

- Alvin Taylor -- guitar, drums, vocals




- none known




Genre: soul

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Cream City

Company: Arista

Catalog: AL 4127

Year: 1977

Country/State: L.A., California

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4299

Price: $15.00

Cost: $66.00


Geez, showing my age here, but I actually remember seeing this outfit on an episode of Soul Train (which I seldom got to watch).  I think Herb Alpert was the headliner (!), but these guys got to play two selections from their then-new LP.  I seem to remember them playing 'Cream City' and 'Summer Love'.


Singer/guitarist Aalon Butler got his first break backing Eric Burdon during his mid 1970s collaboration with the band War.  The resulting publicity eventually found Butler signed to Arista.  


Produced by War's Jerry Goldstein, 1977's "Cream City"  should have catapulted Butler to superstar status.  Propelled by Butler's smooth voice, the album featured an effortless mix of soul (''Cream City'), funk and rock influences (''Midnight Man').  At least to my ears, the album recalled the best of diverse acts such as The Isley Brothers ('Summer Love'), Rick James, and even early Prince.  That said, the results are still unique and quite mesmerizing.  Personal favorites, the rocking 'Steven Baine’s Electric Train' and the pretty ballad 'Lonely Princess'.   Unfortunately, Butler's willingness to cross musical genres seems to have cost him an audience, with black radio considering him too rock, while rock radio stations found him too black.  Naturally the album vanished without a trace and even though Butler continued to work around Los Angeles, he apparently never got a chance to record a follow-up.  Shame ...


"Cream City" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Cream City   (Aalon - Jerry Goldstein) - 3:20
2.) Rock And Roll Gangster   (Aalon) - 5:25
3.) Midnight Man   (Aalon) - 4:41
4.) Summer Love   (Aalon) - 5:00
5.) Steven Baine’s Electric Train   (Aalon - Jerry Goldstein) - 3:50

(side 2)

1.) Lonely Princess   (Aalon) - 5:48
2.) Magic Night   (Aalon - Jerry Goldstein) - 7:20
3.) Jungle Desire   (Aalon - Juan Luis Cabaza) - 7:32