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BAKER GURVITZ ARMY

Heavy Prog • United Kingdom


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Baker Gurvitz Army biography
BAKER GURVITZ ARMY was a heavy progressive rock band formed in 1974 in England. The band was the combination of members of THE GUN and THREE MAN ARMY, with ex-CREAM drummer Ginger BAKER, guitarist and vocalist Adrian GURVITZ, and bassist Paul GURVITZ formed the band's lineup. The band released their first self-titled album in 1974, which enjoyed moderate success in the UK. The band returned in 1975 with "Elysian Encounter," as well as a live album "Live in Derby '75." In 1976, the band released their third album, "Hearts on Fire." However, the death of the band's manager caused the band to break up. The three members, of whom were already ingrained in the music business' rolodex, had no trouble joining, collaborating with, and forming new bands and projects, such as ATOMIC ROOSTER, HAWKWIND, and others.

The band's music is heavily based in the famous hard rock style of the period, with artful and progressive elements added. Akin to heavy prog giants such as ATOMIC ROOSTER, BAKER GURVITZ ARMY is a prime example of heavy prog with a more accessible edge.



::::Andy Webb, Andyman1125::::

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Elysian EncounterElysian Encounter
Extra tracks · Import · Remastered
Esoteric 2011
Audio CD$9.87
$9.99 (used)
Baker Gurvitz ArmyBaker Gurvitz Army
Extra tracks · Import · Remastered
Esoteric 2011
Audio CD$9.76
$19.99 (used)
Live in Derby 75Live in Derby 75
Import
Mlp 2005
Audio CD$9.50
$9.49 (used)
Still AliveStill Alive
CD Baby 2008
Audio CD$29.42
$39.99 (used)
Hearts on FireHearts on Fire
Extra tracks · Import · Remastered
Esoteric 2011
Audio CD$19.99
$40.20 (used)
CollectionCollection
Import
Receiver Records 1999
Audio CD$18.99
$13.98 (used)
Flying in & Out of StardomFlying in & Out of Stardom
Remastered
Castle Us 2005
Audio CD$34.99
$31.00 (used)
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BAKER GURVITZ ARMY discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

BAKER GURVITZ ARMY top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.11 | 24 ratings
Baker Gurvitz Army
1974
3.70 | 24 ratings
Elysian Encounter
1975
3.08 | 14 ratings
Hearts on Fire
1976

BAKER GURVITZ ARMY Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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BAKER GURVITZ ARMY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Hearts on Fire by BAKER GURVITZ ARMY album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.08 | 14 ratings

BUY
Hearts on Fire
Baker Gurvitz Army Heavy Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The third-and-final album from the Baker Gurvitz Army doesn't quite live up to the high standards reached on the outfit's previous efforts, but it's still an enjoyable work. Formed after the two, London-born Gurvitz brothers Adrian(guitar) and Paul(bass) absorbed ex-Cream drummer Ginger Baker and the curiously-named singer Mr Snips into what was essentially a new formation of their own Three Man Army outfit, the Baker Gurvitz Army produced slick, dynamic and technically-assured rock music tinged with a hint of prog colour. They were always much more classic rock than prog-rock, though sadly they failed to find true commercial success during their brief career. They did, however, enjoy a loyal live following and plenty of positive critical support, especially for their excellent second album 'Elysian Encounter', yet by the time 'Hearts Of Fire' had been issued in 1976 the writing was on the wall. The death of their managed would prove to be the final straw, and by 1977 the Baker Gurvitz Army, one of the most under-appreciated of all British rock groups, were no more. As a swansong, the straightforward rock sound of 'Hearts Of Fire' proves slightly misleading, showcasing the more accessible side of the group in what was surely an attempt to broaden their appeal after the heightened progressive textures of 'Elysian Encounter', yet fans of 1970's rock should still find much to enjoy. Highlights include the hard-rockin' title-track, which exhibits yet more powerful playing from Adrian Gurvitz, the up-tempo 'Dancing The Night Away', and, finally, the live favourite 'Wotever It Is'. Although they may have been just a footnote in the overall history of rock 'n' roll, the Baker Gurvitz Army sound has stood the test of time remarkably well. Those who take the time to explore all three of their highly-recommended studio albums(plus a handful of recently-released live offerings) will discover a treasure-trove of diamond-sharp rock 'n' roll and experience a group blessed with true musical talent. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012

 Hearts on Fire by BAKER GURVITZ ARMY album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.08 | 14 ratings

BUY
Hearts on Fire
Baker Gurvitz Army Heavy Prog

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Uhmmmm.... Listening the first three albums of Baker Gurvitz Army for me is a very interesting treat as I am being brought back to the days when rock music experienced its glory days in the seventies. All three albums mean something personal to me because all of them truly represent the kind of music that I experienced during the day - it's something that I would recall like a bluesy southern rock music. Since the second album the band recruited another musiciian and no longer power rock trio. I would prefer the band consistent with the three-piece band actually as this is much more attractive. However, musically I did not see any problem with it.

The opening track Hearts On Fire (2:30) is a short classic rock music relying on the work of Adrian Gurvitz' guitar work. The second track Neon Lights (4:35) is in similar way. Only when the album reach track3 'Smiling' I can sense the pop-style of the music. As the music is quite slow in nature, followed as well with another slow tempo track 'Tracks of My Life'. Then when it reaches fourth track 'Flying In And Out Of Stardom' (2:17) we really feel like being invited by the band to stand on rock waves with stunning guitar solo by Adrian. Oh this track is really an excellent rocker! This flows nicely to 'Dancing The Night Away' (3:25) in an energetic way.

As the name implies 'Thirsty For The Blues' (5:15) definitely a blues outfit using piano and guitar. I really enjoy this blues style by BGA. The album concludes with another rocker 'Mystery (4:02).

Overall, it's a good album even though there is basically no progressive elements at all. Keep on proggin

Peace on earth and mercy - GW

 Elysian Encounter by BAKER GURVITZ ARMY album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.70 | 24 ratings

BUY
Elysian Encounter
Baker Gurvitz Army Heavy Prog

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

 Baker Gurvitz Army by BAKER GURVITZ ARMY album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.11 | 24 ratings

BUY
Baker Gurvitz Army
Baker Gurvitz Army Heavy Prog

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars How can I forget this debut album by Ginger Baker and his band-mates as I grew up with this album! Yeah it was mid seveties at the same time when I got Uriah Heep's 'Return to Fantasy' album, I also got this Baker Gurvitz Army debut. It was so captivating as Ginger Baker's drumming was so dynamic especially when I got the first track 'Help Me'. He proved himself as a great drummer by forming another power trio as follow up of previously established Cream. As I was still teens at that time I enjoyed actually the 'Inside of Me' track which sounded radio-friendly to me at that time.

But this trio is really different. Look at the second track "Love Is" (2:47) which has dynamic orchestration and powerful drumming, combined with stunning guitar work. So is the case with the next track "Memory Lane" (4:46) which has unique composition, played with relatively fast tempo plus jaw dropping drum work by Ginger Baker. It's really nice - especially with the drums solo in the middle of the track. Again, it proves that Ginger Baker is a talented drummer even though he was originally an employe of certain store and quit his work to learn as great drummer. He did.

"Inside Me" is a bluesy track and has become my all-time favorite as the music wascrafted beautifully with great lead vocals and nice guitar as well as basslines. I bet you will like this song as I do. On thing misplaced is the next track "I Wanna Live Again" (4:22) which for me is like a pop song - not even rock. I am not quite sure why they wrote a song something like this. "Phil" is definitely a blues track featuring excellent guitar solo work.

It's really a very good debut album, overall. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

 Baker Gurvitz Army by BAKER GURVITZ ARMY album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.11 | 24 ratings

BUY
Baker Gurvitz Army
Baker Gurvitz Army Heavy Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

3 stars East London-born brothers Adrian(guitar) and Paul Gurvitz(bass) may not be household names yet their contribution to the overall canon of 1970s rock cannot be over-estimated. Starting out during the late-sixties, the brothers would release two albums with their muscular, proto-metal outfit Gun - as well as a surprise hit-single called 'Race With The Devil' - before transforming into the similar-sounding but equally-adept Three Man Army. After another two albums, neither of which managed to make much of an impact, the brothers dissolved Three Man Army and were essentially head-hunted - or the musical equivalent - by ex-Cream sticksman Ginger Baker, eventually making up two-thirds of the drummer's prog-tinged outfit Baker Gurvitz Army. Along with the oddly-named vocalist Mr Snips(?) Baker Gurvitz Army would produce three excellent albums worth of dreamy rock - again to little genuine fanfare - before the brothers would again be on the move, this time to join up with Moody Blues drummer Graeme Edge, playing on both of his proto-prog themed Graeme Edge Band albums during the mid-to-late-seventies. Right from their Gun origins, Adrian Gurvitz's superb guitar playing has been a feature of every album he has played on, and his work is the outstanding part of this debut release. Although inferior to follow-up album 'Elysian Encounter' - the Baker Gurvitz's strongest - this self-titled debut is the perfect tonic for those who find the complex noodling of Yes and ELP a bit too much and the hard-riffin' rock of Black Sabbath and Trapeze a bit too simple. Alongside Gurvitz, Ginger Baker's drumming often takes centre- stage, sometimes to over-elaborate effect, yet that's almost the point, the refined rock sound allowing the musicians to stretch out where necessary. The album's highlights include the raw opener 'Help Me', the soothing semi-balled 'Memory Lane' and, best of all, the eccentric 'Mad Jack', which finds both Adrian Gurvitz and Baker in fine fettle. By no means a classic then, but well worth exploring all the same.

STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012

 Elysian Encounter by BAKER GURVITZ ARMY album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.70 | 24 ratings

BUY
Elysian Encounter
Baker Gurvitz Army Heavy Prog

Review by Sagichim
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

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.

 Elysian Encounter by BAKER GURVITZ ARMY album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.70 | 24 ratings

BUY
Elysian Encounter
Baker Gurvitz Army Heavy Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

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
 Baker Gurvitz Army by BAKER GURVITZ ARMY album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.11 | 24 ratings

BUY
Baker Gurvitz Army
Baker Gurvitz Army Heavy Prog

Review by Easy Livin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

3 stars Attention!

In 1974, legendary drummer Ginger Baker (ex-Cream) got together with brothers Paul and Adrian Gurvitz to form the quasi-super group Baker Gurvitz Army. The Gurvitz Brothers had enjoyed fleeting success with The Gun ("Race with the devil") and would later join up with Graeme Edge of the Moody Blues. Aridan also enjoyed solo success with the hit single "Attic".

Adrian takes on the role of principle songwriter here, with Ginger helping out on a few tracks, and the trio assuming collective production duties. This, their début album, was released on the Vertigo label, but was unfortunately too late to be blessed with the legendary swirl logo.

The album consists of eight tracks, roughly split between five shorter ones on side one and three longer ones on side two. The overall mood is of an upbeat rock album with strong pop influences. The opening "Help me" features the synthesisers of guest John Norman B Normal Mitchell (sic) (presumably the unidentified fourth horseman on the front cover illustration) which help to swell out the guitar driven sound somewhat.

Baker's drumming is naturally well forward in the mix, with the frantic instrumental "Love is" being a cross between a drum solo and a dramatic orchestral piece. "Memory lane" is slightly harder with Arthur Brown like echoed vocals and solid guitar riffs. Unfortunately Baker decides to slip in a drum solo to this otherwise mildly exciting song.

Adrian Gurvitz slows things down for "Inside of me", a sort of power blues with some of the best guitar work on the album. This extraordinarily long side (for an LP) closes with the mushy orchestrated soul ballad "I want to live again", complete with female vocal chorus. It is not as bad as it sounds, but somewhat out of place on the album.

The first of the three tracks on side two is the 8 minute "Mad Jack", a fairly prosaic hard rock number with an extended lead guitar jam at its core. There is also a sort of "Hare who lost his spectacles" type spoken section for no apparent reason! The two extended songs on this side are split by "4 Phil", a lighter lead guitar instrumental which, while impressive, doesn't really go anywhere.

The final track is the longest at a shade over 8 minutes. "Since beggining" (that's how it is spelled on the sleeve!) offers some more intricate vocal harmonies to complement a stronger melody. Adrian's characteristic guitar tones are more in evidence here than they are throughout much of the album. For me this is the most accomplished track on the album, a bit muddled at times but pleasingly ambtious.

Overall, a reasonably enjoyable début from the trio, which offers promise more than it actually delivers. At the time of its release, this album would probably have been seen as hard rock rather than prog, but our ever widening definition of our genre means that it now sits comfortably within these confines.

Thanks to Andyman1125 for the artist addition.

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