yes there are twelve
Ginger Baker's Airforce
: "Twelve Gates of the City"
It took a quarter of a decade for me to set my Clapton animus aside long enough to realize that Cream had some exhiliratingly bitchin' jams. Of course Clapton's the weakest link there, but between Bruce and Baker I can't really pick a favorite. At least I couldn't, until I heard Ginger Baker's Airforce
. A ten-piece jazz-rock-r'n'b-prog-fusion-African pile-up, Airforce put out two records in the one year they were together, one live and the other recorded in an honest-to-gosh studio. Featuring other notable dudes like Steve Winwood and Denny Laine, Airforce was the third so-called supergroup in a row for Baker, and easily the least successful. And that's a shame, really, 'cuz their crazy hodge-podge of rhythmic junk is almost oppressive in its awesome ridiculousness. If you're into overwhelming post-'60's super-muso bombast, with dubious cultural appropriation and a hearty wank factor that would approach the pretentious if it weren't just completely excellent, then, uh, Airforce is for you, especially the live debut. These guys are maybe the definitive hamm-jammers. The second, studio album is more restrained, slightly more straight-forward, and thus significantly less interesting, but still pretty damn good. I don't have any mp3s from the first one handy, so please make do with "Twelve Gates of the City"
, the final song from the second record. I think you'll agree that the lyrics and, especially, the back-up singers, really help this song succeed.