These days a respected songwriter and producer – he’s behind songs for Pixie Lott, Hot Chocolate, Eddie Money, REO Speedwagon and a host of others. In the 60s and early 70s he had hits of his own (with his brother Paul an ever-present consort) with The Gun (Race With The Devil reached the UK Top 10 and was No. 1 in many European countries), the Baker-Gurvitz Army and Rupert’s People. He played as part of the Graham Edge Band and also wrote England, We'll Fly The Flag, the B-side to the 1982 single by the England World Cup Squad (and a Number Two hit) This Time (We'll Get It Right).
In that same year he released his third solo album, Classic. The title track – a twee piece of soft-focus garbage with lyrics so bad they could have been written by Steve Miller – made the Top 10 in the UK and was a sizeable hit around the world:
Gotta write a classicGotta write it in an attic
Baby, I'm an addict now
An addict for your love
I was a street boyAnd you were my best toy...
Just horrible: 'You were my best toy'! It makes you wonder exactly who - or what - was the object of his affection. A deaf woman? Or a Rubik's Cube? Two further singles were released from the album: neither of them made much impression. A little over a year later he issued the non-album 45 Hello Mum, a record so ghastly it almost defies description, and with lyrics that make Classic look like...well, a classic.
Through the years you’ve been so strong
And sometimes you think that we don’t care
We’re all here today
With these words to say
But they couldn’t ever mean as much as you do
What utter, unmitigated rubbish; as sugary as a pixie stick and about as satisfying. If I had presented this morass of misery to my mother she'd have - quite rightly - hit me around the head with it.
Put out in time for Christmas, and issued in a special festive sleeve complete with space for you to write a dedication to your own mother, not even the addition of a dreadful kiddie choir could help drag this piece of sentimental crap up the charts. Thankfully he would not release another single for seven years. Someone must have liked it though: Gurvitz was later hired by Walt Disney Records to produce and write songs for their in-house pop puppets, a contract which has netted him several gold albums.
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