Baker Gurvitz Army Reissues EsoTERIc
From page 81 of Classic Rock Magazine June 2011
According to the sleeve notes, what eventually persuaded thensuperstar drummer Ginger Baker to form a band with the decidedly-less-acclaimed former The Gun ( Race With The Devil ) brothers Paul and Adrian Gurvitz was the brothers’ manager agreeing to fund Baker’s polo interests. While such a deal might have paid for Ginger’s ponies to get a shoeing, it could also be seen as having done
exactly the same for the drummer’s reputation.
On these remastered reissues, what’s clearly lacking is quality – even decent – songs. This is most apparent on the trio’s eponymous debut from 1974, where most of the songs seem like little more than half-formed, half-finished ideas – throwaway riffs bolted on to threadbare, easily forgettable melodies, performed with a remarkable lack of combined spark. Follow-up Elysian Encounter , with former Sharks vocalist Mr. Snips brought in, is a marked improvement (though this wouldn’t have been difficult) in terms of songwriting and performance, although it’s offset by the new singer at times approaching Chris De Burgh’s Lady In Red croon.
Recorded with the held of a host of additional musicians, third and final BGA album Hearts On Fire is a real step backwards – via shots into the dark with touches of funk and a bash at the then-emerging disco – and suffers from a glaring lack of focused direction and cohesion. nnnnnnnnn n ...Army nnnnnnnnnn Elysian... nnnnnnnnnn Hearts... Paul Henderson