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Baker's Dozen

Air Force 13: Ginger Baker's Favourite Albums
David Stubbs , November 26th, 2012 07:26

Ginger Baker's Jazz Confusion are playing London's Jazz Cafe this week and are one of the first acts to be announced for next year's Field Day; in advance, the legendary drummer picks out his top 13 LPs

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Cream - Wheels Of Fire
The last albums were all done within three days – just live, on to two track. If you've got a good engineer that can mix it all properly, you can do that. Yes, it was getting intense by this point. The volume was having an affect on my hearing. The last year or so became pretty unbearable. I was having to hit the drums very hard just to hear what I was playing, and not always succeeding. That, for me, was the main reason for quitting the band. It's craziness. All the people who involved themselves in that have really damaged themselves permanently. Take Pete Townsend, Gary Moore, Jack Bruce. All physically damaged. It's insane. I went to a club once and when you went in, they'd issue you with earplugs. How can you listen to music with earplugs in? Even today, people think volume is cool. But it damages people. There wasn't so much awareness of this when the Marshall amps first appeared, they thought they could turn themselves up and drown up the drummer. It was the bass that was worst. That was obviously a big source of the arguments between me and Jack Bruce but there were lots of others. Creative tension? I don't think so.

There were other problems. I thought everything should be split between us three ways, like in the old days. Reflecting that we all worked on all the songs. But I felt I did a lot of work on the tracks and didn't even get a mention. I did the arrangements for tracks like 'Spoonful' but wasn't getting the credit – an arranger's credit. But I wasn't thinking of financial reward, I was trying to make the music sound good.


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