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Baker Gurvitz Army

Neon Lights – The Broadcasts 1975, 3CD/2DVD Box Set

Review by Gary Hill

This band was such an interesting outfit. Of course, for some the main claim to fame for them was the fact that Ginger Baker was the "Baker" of the group's name. Everyone in the band was very talented, though. This cool box set gathers up three CDs of live audio shows recorded for radio and two DVDs worth of video from television.

The performances captured here are all strong, and the various leanings of the group, from hard edged blues rock to prog, funk and jazz, are present at different points. Since this was all recorded professionally for broadcast, the audio (and on the DVDs video) is all excellent. I should note that since we don't do track by tracks on video, I've only done the three CDs that way. The first DVD contains two songs from the "Old Grey Whistle Test" show and five from another BBC presentation. The second DVD has a Musikladen show from Germany.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2024  Volume 2 More information and purchase links can be found at:

Track by Track Review
CD 1:
BBC Radio 1 "In Concert" - BBC Paris Theatre, London, 1975
Inside of Me

After a spoken introduction, keyboards are heard. Then another spoken voice comes over for the rest of the introduction to the set. A cool rocking groove rises up gradually after. They work it out to a bluesy rocking number that calls to mind things like The Allman Brothers. There is some killer jamming built into this beast. It's a real powerhouse and great opener.

Love Is
Fast paced, twisting and turning, this is a killer jam. It's on the proggy side. It features some cool percussion showcase, and every one just delivers the goods on this instrumental.
The Hustler

There is some smoking hot funk built into this thing. It's another great tune, and another change. There is some great guitar soloing in the instrumental section later in the song.


Fast paced and hard rocking, this is another killer tune. It has some solid hooks, too.

Space Machine
More mainstream hard rocking sound is on the menu here. This is good, but not at the same level of some of the rest of the music here.
The Artist

This starts on the mellower end of the spectrum and gradually builds outward. It gets pretty rocking before it's over. It has a great driving insistence built into it. I love some of the bass work on this so much, and the guitar really shines.

This song is a classic, and they put in a great rendition of it. I love the bass work on this thing.
A bluesy, slow moving jam brings this into being. This gets more energized and into some killer jamming later. The bass work at times is stellar, and this leans toward progressive rock at points. The keyboards on this really shine.
Memory Lane
This powers in with an AOR prog arrangement and a lot of oomph. This works to more of a mainstream rocker, but then they drop it down for an extended drum solo.
I really like the almost proggy, hippie jam sort of groove to this song. It's another powerhouse rocker that works really. The bass really gets a chance to shine here, and this has some killer jamming in an extended instrumental break.
CD 2:
Kings Hall, Derby – 21, October 1975 - Broadcast by Radio Trent
The Hustler
Starting with keyboards, this feels really jazzy as it gets going. The rhythm section joins, and they continue to build it out in a similar fashion. Then the guitar comes in and creates some killer melodies. This is definitely jazzier than the performance on the previous disc. It feels like progressive rock in a lot of ways.
Space Machine

I definitely prefer this version of the song to the performance on the other disc. This has a lot of hard edges, but it also has more prominent keyboards, It's more unique and leans toward progressive rock. This is a real powerhouse. I dig the spacey slide guitar based movement later so much.

The synthesizer on the keyboard solo that gets us going here is so classy. More than the first three minutes of this are strictly keyboard based. It serves as an introduction to the actual song. There is a spoken part before they kick into the song proper of "Remember." The slow guitar blues jam on it works really well. I think this tune works better here than in the other performance, too. I love the keyboard work on this. The whole track oozes cool, though. There is more synthesizer soloing further down the road, again pulling this into prog territory.
White Room

Here they turn their attention to the classic Cream song. They put in quite a potent rendition of the song. It's both faithful and fresh at the same time. It seems a bit faster than the original version.

Neon Lights
This hard rocker is more of the blues rock kind of sound we heard on the first CD.
CD 3:
Kings Hall, Derby – 21, October 1975 - Broadcast by Radio Trent
Inside of Me

Funk, blues rock and jam band sounds seem to merge as this thing gets going. It's a real powerhouse tune that just seems to get stronger as it continues.

Memory Lane
Energetic and hard rocking, this works well in this performance. It has a blues rock on steroids approach a lot of the time. It's powerful and dramatic. A very extensive drum solo helps to push this into epic-length territory.
Sunshine of Your Love

Here we get another stab at Cream music. This seems even more faithful than the previous one. They put in a great rendition of the song. This was obviously the closer for the main part of the show. We hear their "good nights" along with applause before they come back out.

The Artist
This rocker grows gradually but gets very intense before it's all over and done.

Another repeat, this feels a bit funkier here. It rocks out just as well, though. It's another winner. I dig the keyboard work on this track. This just keeps growing and evolving. They take it into some really proggy territory later.

Energetic and proggy rocking sounds are on the menu as a spoken voice is heard. This works out to more of a jam band kind of sound. This is another effective 70s rocker.
Going to Heaven
This is a powerhouse hard rocking tune with plenty of blues rock in the mix. This is another epic length piece and some of the jamming later makes me think of Rare Earth.

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