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Baker Gurvitz Army

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Baker Gurvitz Army Elysian Encounter album cover
3.77 | 42 ratings | 3 reviews | 29% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. People
3. The Key
4. Time
5. The Gambler
6. The Dreamer
7. Remember
8. The Artist
9. The Hustler

Line-up / Musicians

- Ginger Baker / Drums
- Paul Gurvitz / Bass
- Adrian Gurvitz / Guitars, vocals
- Snips (Steve Parsons) / Lead vocals
- Peter Lemer / Keyboards

Releases information

Mountain Records Vinyl 1975

Thanks to andyman1125 for the addition
and to Tarcisio Moura for the last updates
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BAKER GURVITZ ARMY Elysian Encounter ratings distribution

(42 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BAKER GURVITZ ARMY Elysian Encounter reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by stefro
4 stars A semi-progressive British power-trio, Baker Gurvitz Army produced a trio of noteworthy LP's during the mid-seventies, with this 1975 release the highly-recommended pick-of-the- bunch. Sandwiched between their spiky self-titled debut and the underwhelming commercial rock of 1976's 'Hearts On Fire', the eclesiastically-monikered 'Elysian Encounter' finds this sadly short-lived outfit at their most instrumentally ambitious, toning down the brash rock excess of the group-members previous outfits in favour of a slower, more measured brand of still commercially-viable FM rock that also had half-an-eye on the progressive rock market. All three members had come from much more blues-and-R'n'B-based outfits, with the line- up consisting of Cream drummer Ginger Baker and the brothers Gurvitz, Adrian(vocals, guitar), and Paul(bass), from the hard-rockin' Three Man Army. Adrian Gurvitz seems to be the main man here, his tastefully-displayed lead guitar ranging from cool and detached to hot and smoky, sometimes within the paradigms of the same song, and whilst Baker's forceful drumming sometimes strays into slightly indulgent speed metal mode, his calmer, more thoughtful moments add real atmosphere. The opening salvo of tracks run a smoother course than the later, harder stuff, though opener 'People' runs up quite a head of Humble Pie-style steam. 'The Key' and 'Time' also shower the musicians softer side, with psychedelic-tinged keyboards-and-synths colouring the epic blues-flecked rhythms with just enough artfulness, yet not too much, to keep the material on the accessible side of 1970s rock. Of the later material the slick and carefully-constructed pop-tinged rock 'Remember' is perhaps the most distinguished; the tracks later, faster stages approach the edges of say, early-eighties Boston or Journey, but the syncopated style, soulful vocals and almost- melancholy guitars add a real sheen of originality that separates Baker Gurvitz's intruiging sound from the less-assured rock groups of the era. The group's progressive rock credentials as a whole aren't exactly the strongest, and looser, more bluesy material on 'Elysian Encounter' does tend to ape the likes of Ten Years After or Savoy Brown without replicating those groups rootsy charm. However, the epic rock sound the threesome achieve is something else; it's not quite rock, and it's not quite prog, but it straddles the sonic void in-between without favouring either genre, which is a rare treat indeed. The result is a delightfully-original 1970s sound; slick, groovy, powerful and thoughtful. A very nice surprise indeed. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2011
Review by Sagichim
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars How did this ensemble got together??

I already knew the gurvitz brothers 'three man army' albums and actually was looking for some more recordings by the duo , imagine my surprise when i heard they hooked up with drums wiz mr. ginger baker himself to form a supergroup . never did i think this was possible , but it did!! apparently this is their sandwitch album , their middle out of a three. i do love this album but frankly i don't think it has to offer much to progheads , this is not progressive rock. overall it's your basic kind of good 70's hard rock album. fusing adrian gurvitz always brilliant and tasty guitar work with the intricate busy drums of ginger baker. so mainly this would appeal to all guitar freaks or 'three man army' fans that are looking some more of adrian's playing.

The songs ranges between great rockers with fiery guitar solos with distinctive 70's melodies to rocky songs making an attempt to break through to a more commercial audience. music is never boring but fail to excite me that much. baker is such an amazing drummer and although the songs are pretty basic he manages to stay alive and drive the songs forward. bassist paul gurvitz is no jaco pastorius , but doing his role quite fairly , and not that noticeable. adrian is brilliant as always , his guitar playing is rocky on the one hand and gentle on the other , playing some hawaiian slides against his fiery distortion. all tasty.

In conclusion i would prefer 'three man army' albums on this , where they are not trying to go mainstream but just trying to rock your world , and a bit more progressive too. good album with a beautiful cover , worth seeking it just for that. 3 stars.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars More rockin' and proggier ...!

I found this second album much more rockin' and proggier than the debut even though I only knew this album many years after its release date in 1975. Never mind, even though the name BGA was equal to their debut album with songs that were so familiar with me as at that time I got the tape of the debut. You will be amazed with how skillful the musicians are when you spin the opening track "People" especially with how dynamic the music flows and how guitar and drumming play their parts excellently with complex arrangements. Yes, structure-wise you might consider it like a straight forward rock music. But, please observe the subtleties of the way instruments are played: stunning guitar work, dynamic drumming wits fast beats as well as tight bassline. It's a wonderful opening track, really.

The second track "The Key" is a slower tempo one with sort of Santana's style and some flavor of reggae music. Well, you might say that this can be an excuse to enjoy reggae music. But look at the way guitar is played - its nice! "Time" brings the music back to faster tempo in southern rock style similar to bands like the Doobie Brothers. But of course this is a different outfit. "The Gambler" brings back into slower tempo, a bit poppy stuff, but it's still interesting to enjoy. "The Dreamer" has a nice guitar work and dynamic drumming. "The Remember" demonstrates excellent guitar work while "The Artist" indicates unique drumming style of Ginger Baker. "The Hustler" concludes the album excellently as this is at the same tempo as the opening track with great guitar solo.

Overall, it's an excellent addition to any prog music collection even though the music of BGA tends to be a combination of Southern rock, blues as well as progressive. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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