My Top 1000 Songs #240: Badge

[I've been writing up my Top 1000 songs on a daily basis--you can see them all in descending order by hitting the All My Favorite Songs tag.]

As noted previously, I'm not a huge Clapton fan. And while I'm ok with some Cream songs (particularly those by Jack Bruce), they're not necessarily a personal fave. But I've always really loved "Badge" (from their final album, 1969's Goodbye Cream). Partly because, cowritten by Clapton and George Harrison, it doesn't sound much like a Cream song. And some is just the hazy personal associations. I still remember hearing this for the first time on the car radio as a kid, and something about that opening bass riff, coupled with the opening "Thinking 'bout the times you drove in my car," just nestled in my brain and has always stuck with me. Plus that flange-y guitar break in the bridge, very Harrison-esque, always gives me goosebumps.

The lyrics are memorable but kinda random (apparently one line was contributed by a drunken Ringo Starr). The title means nothing (Harrison had written "bridge" on the page and Clapton misread it as "badge" and decided to go with it). Yet something about the tune just feels right to me; one of those songs you randomly hear at some point in childhood and still feels mysteriously special decades later.
Live performance from 2005 Cream reunion: