Cream was the second single to be released from Prince's 13th album Diamonds And Pearls (the first album to be credited to Prince and the New Power Generation), and was released three weeks prior to the album. It was the second single to be credited to Prince and the New Power Generation.
The b-side of the 7" and cassette single was Horny Pony, which was oddly also the b-side of the previous single Gett Off. A maxi-single containing nine tracks, most of which utilize some of the basic tracks of Cream, was released almost two months after the initial single release.
The single became Prince's fifth US number one single on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, following When Doves Cry, Let's Go Crazy, Kiss (all attributed to Prince and the Revolution) and Batdance. The single did not enter the Billboard Hot R&B Singles Chart, however.
Cream was certified gold by the RIAA on 16 January 1992, indicating 500,000 copies shipped in the US. The single was also certified platinum (70,000 units sold) in Australia in March 1992.