It was always, simply, Cream. No need for a definite article. There were the Beatles and the Rolling Stones but it was never the Cream.
Like all the best names, this one functioned at more than one level. It suggested superlative qualities, an elite grouping of the chicest elements. In America, it implied the defeat of all competition. At a deeper and less conscious level, it invoked the pleasure principle, indulgent, richly satisfying, dionysian.
Photography: Kevin Mazur, WireImage