During their relatively short-lived career from 1966-1969, Cream became one of the greatest rock legends of their time. The Music Press and fans alike idolised the band who were hailed as the best musicians in the world. However, in Clapton's words ...when Cream became acknowledged as virtuosos, that's when the rot set in, because we started to believe it.... The band became victims of their own success and, with the media attention and hectic touring schedule taking its toll, in June, 1968, Cream announced that, after a farewell tour of the U.S. and the U.K., the band would split up.
On their Farewell Tour in America, Cream played fifteen shows between October and November, 1968 and then returned home to Britain for two gigs at the Royal Albert Hall on 26 November. The Goodbye album was a fitting farewell to their fans and, in the words of Ray Coleman, the front cover ...showed just how Eric had viewed the band: as a tour de force. There they were, looking happy... like ...vaudevillian rockers... In contrast, the inside of the sleeve, with the song titles printed on tombstones, indicated the finality of the band's decision to split and symbolised the death of one of Britain's greatest bands of the 1960s.
Goodbye Cream was the band's only number one album and the last Cream album to feature studio material.