Adrian Gurvitz

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Adrian Gurvitz
Birth nameAdrian Israel Gurvitz
Also known asAdrian Curtis
Born (1949-06-26) 26 June 1949 (age 74)
Stoke Newington, North London
GenresRock, pop rock, soft rock, psychedelic rock, hard rock, blues rock
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, musician, producer
Instrument(s)Guitar, piano
Years active1967–present
LabelsJet, RAK, EMI, Geffen, Playfull

Adrian Curtis Gurvitz (/ˈɡɜːrvɪts/; born 26 June 1949)[1] is an English singer, songwriter, musician and record producer. His prolific songwriting ability has gained him hits with Eddie Money's No. 1 Billboard Mainstream Rock hit "The Love in Your Eyes" and with his own song "Classic", a No. 8 UK hit single, as well as the top 10 UK Rock Chart single "Race with the Devil", with his band the Gun. He also co-wrote the track "Even If My Heart Would Break" from the Grammy Award-winning soundtrack The Bodyguard.[2] His early bands the Gun, Three Man Army and the Baker Gurvitz Army were major influences to the first wave of the British hard rock circuit. Gurvitz also gained notability as a lead guitarist, known for his intricate, hard-driving solos. Gurvitz was placed at No. 9 by Chris Welch of Melody Maker’s "Best Guitarists in the World" list.[3]

Early life[edit]

Gurvitz's father was the tour manager for Cliff Richard and the Shadows[4] and the Kinks. Adrian started playing guitar at the age of eight and by age 15, he was touring in early bands like Screaming Lord Sutch, Billie Davis, and Crispian St. Peters.[5] In 1967, he and his band Rupert's People,[6] released the single "Reflections of Charles Brown" on Columbia Records. The song charted on the Australian pop charts at No. 13 in August 1967.[7] It only just failed to reach the main chart in the UK, being listed as a "breaker" underneath the chart for three weeks in August 1967.[8] (He was known by the surname Curtis until the early 1970s after which he returned to his original name Gurvitz).


As the lead guitarist and singer of the band the Gun, Gurvitz had his first major hit with "Race with the Devil" at age 18. Issued as a single in October 1968, it reached the top 10 on the UK Singles Chart and, in March 1969, it also became a big hit in many European countries.[9] Jimi Hendrix quoted the song's riff during his song "Machine Gun" at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970.[10] "Race with the Devil" has been covered by Judas Priest (on the remastered CD version of Sin After Sin), Black Oak Arkansas (on the album Race with the Devil), Girlschool (on the album Demolition), and Church of Misery (on their 1996 demo, released as a split album with Acrimony, and on their full-length LP Vol. 1). Their debut album artwork cover is noteworthy as it was Roger Dean's first. After their second album, ''Gunsight, the band disbanded.

Not long after the Gun disbanded, Gurvitz began work on his first solo album, which turned into Three Man Army's debut album, A Third of a Lifetime.[5] Three Man Army[11] were signed to Reprise and Warner Bros. Records. The debut album featured several drummers, including Band of Gypsys[12] drummer Buddy Miles.

Shortly after Jimi Hendrix's death, Miles invited Gurvitz to join his band, the Buddy Miles Express, on its US tour.[13] The tour lasted for two solid years and they played in front of 50,000 people a night. On tour, Gurvitz contributed to Miles' 1973 album Chapter VII.[14] It was during this tour that Gurvitz met Ginger Baker, drummer for Cream.

Gurvitz returned to the UK from his tour with Buddy Miles and met back up with his brother and Three Man Army bandmate Paul Gurvitz. Tony Newman, who had previously played with Sounds Incorporated and Rod Stewart, joined for the group's next two albums, Mahesha and Three Man Army Three. At the end of the third album, he teamed up to form the Baker Gurvitz Army with Ginger Baker.[5]

The Baker Gurvitz Army signed to Vertigo Records in the UK and signed with Atlantic in the United States. Their album, Baker Gurvitz Army went gold, peaked at No. 22 on the UK Albums Chart and also entered the US Billboard 200 chart.[15] They went on to produce two more gold albums together, Elysian Encounter (1975) and Hearts on Fire (1976).

Gurvitz was asked by drummer Graeme Edge of the Moody Blues to join his band, the Graeme Edge Band. He wanted Gurvitz to help write, sing and produce his next two albums, Kick Off Your Muddy Boots and Paradise Ballroom,[16] which both charted in the US. The albums were released by Threshold and the cover illustrations were by Joe Petagno.

In 1979, Gurvitz went solo and recorded two albums with Jet Records.[5] He recorded Sweet Vendetta with US studio musicians Jeff, Joe and Steve Porcaro, and David Paich who started the band Toto two years earlier. He later issued Il Assassino in 1980.[5] After his deal with Jet Records ended, he signed with EMI/Rak in Europe and Geffen Records in the US. There he released his third album, Classic. Gurvitz reached success with the song "Classic", reaching No. 8 on the UK Singles Chart.[17] "Classic" was one of the most played ballads in England in 1982.[18] The follow-up single was "Your Dream".[19]

During this time, Gurvitz wrote for Mickie Most's publishing company Rak Music Publishing. There, Gurvitz wrote songs for Earle Brown, Hot Chocolate, and in 1982 he wrote the England World Cup Squad song "England, We'll Fly the Flag" which was on the AA-side of "This Time (We'll Get It Right)", which hit No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart.[20][21]

Gurvitz moved to the States and wrote Eddie Money's hit, "The Love in Your Eyes". It reached number 24 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.[22] Gurvitz signed to Warner Chappell Music, where he wrote tracks for artists like Steve Perry, REO Speedwagon and Chicago. In 1992, he wrote "Even If My Heart Would Break", recorded by Aaron Neville and Kenny G. The song appeared in the film The Bodyguard and on its soundtrack album. The Bodyguard's soundtrack is recognized as being one of the top 5 best-selling albums of all time.[23] It won a Grammy for Best Album of the Year in 1994 and has sold over 45 million copies worldwide. Also, Kenny G included the song on his platinum album Breathless.

In 2000, Gurvitz formed an American-British pop girl group, No Secrets. One of the members of the group was his daughter, Carly Lewis. They signed to Jive Records and their song, "Kids in America" peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. It was also featured on the Jimmy Neutron movie soundtrack. No Secrets joined Aaron Carter in Toronto for the shooting of his video for "Oh Aaron", and they also collaborated in the taping of the song, providing background vocals.[citation needed] Gurvitz was hired by Walt Disney Records to produce and write songs for many of their in-house pop stars such as Jesse McCartney, Cheetah Girls and Anne Hathaway. He produced many of the Disneymania soundtracks, which landed him three gold albums.

In 2011, Gurvitz produced the song "Stevie on the Radio" for Pixie Lott featuring Stevie Wonder on the album Young Foolish Happy. The album went gold in the UK.

Most recently, Gurvitz has worked with Ziggy Marley and Andra Day, among others. He is currently working as an executive at Buskin Records which he founded alongside Jeffrey Evans, and with Warner Bros. Records in which Buskin has a partnership deal.



  • Sweet Vendetta (1979, Jet)
  • The Way I Feel (1979, Jet)
  • Il Assassino (1980, Jet)
  • Classic (1982, RAK/ Geffen)
  • Acoustic Heart (1996, Playfull)
  • No Compromise (2000, Playfull)
  • Classic Songs (Compilation) (2000, Playfull)

The Gun

  • Gun (CBS, 1968)
  • Gun Sight (CBS, 1969)

Three Man Army

  • A Third of a Lifetime (One Way Records, 1971)
  • Mahesha (issued in the US as Three Man Army) (Reprise/Polydor, 1973)
  • Three Man Army Two (Reprise/Polydor, 1974)
  • Three Man Army 3 (Revisited Records, SPV 304222CD – Recorded 1973-4 released 2005)

The Baker Gurvitz Army

The Graeme Edge Band, featuring Adrian Gurvtiz


  • "Untouchable and Free" (1979)
  • "The Way I Feel" (1979)
  • "She's in Command" (1979)
  • "Classic" (1982) UK No. 8, AUS No. 12[24]
  • "Your Dream" (1982) UK No. 61
  • "Clown" (1982)
  • "Corner of Love" (1983)
  • "Hello Mum" (1983)

Songwriting credits/album appearances[edit]

Albums/singles and songwriting achievements[edit]

This section shows the chart appearances and sales certifications of Gurvitz' work with bands he's been a member of, his solo work and albums/singles by other artists in which he has contributed as songwriter.

Artist Album/single Achievements Year released
Rupert's People "Reflections of Charles Brown" UK Top 40, Australian No. 13 1967
The Gun "Race with the Devil" UK Top 10 chart, European Top Charts No. 1 1967
Baker Gurvitz Army Baker Gurvitz Army UK Top 20 chart, US Billboard charts, US: Gold 1974
Baker Gurvitz Army Elysian Encounter US Billboard charts, US: Gold 1975
Baker Gurvitz Army Heart of Fire US Billboard charts, US: Gold 1976
The Graeme Edge Band Kick Off Your Muddy Boots US Billboard Top 100 charts 1975
The Graeme Edge Band Paradise Ballroom US Billboard Top 100 charts 1977
Adrian Gurvitz "Sweet Vendetta" Japan: Smash hit 1979
Adrian Gurvitz "Classic" UK and European charts No. 8 1982
The England World Cup Squad "This Time (We'll Get It Right)" No. 1 UK chart, UK: Gold 1982
Eddie Money "The Love in Your Eyes" No. 24 Billboard Hot 100, No. 1 Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, US: Gold 1989
Kenny G and Aaron Neville The Bodyguard: Soundtrack No. 1 Selling Soundtrack of All Time, Grammy Album of the Year, WW: 45× Platinum 1992
Kenny G Breathless No. 1 Billboard, US: 18× Platinum 1992
Steve Perry "Missing You" No. 74 Billboard Hot 100, US: Gold 1994
Stevie Nicks Party of Five Soundtrack – "Free Fallin'" US: Gold 1996
Youssou N’Dour "My Hope Is in You" UK: Gold 1999
CeCe Winans Throne Room US Top Gospel Album No. 2 2001
Various Artists Jimmy Neutron Soundtrack Billboard 200 No. 6, US: Gold 2001
No Secrets No Secrets No. 1 Heatseekers Billboard Chart 2002
Various Artists Disneymania Billboard 200 No. 52, US: Gold 2002
Various Artists Disneymania 2 Billboard 200 No. 29, US: Gold 2004
Various Artists Disneymania 3 Billboard 200 No. 30, US: Gold 2005
Pixie Lott Young Foolish Happy – "Stevie on the Radio" featuring Stevie Wonder UK: Gold 2011
Emii "Mr. Romeo" featuring Snoop Dogg Top 20 Billboard chart 2012
Emii "Time to Move On" Music Week UK Commercial POP Club Chart No. 4, No. 9 Upfront Club Chart 2013
Andra Day "Rise Up" Billboard 200 No. 61 2015

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Adrian Gurvitz | Biography & History". AllMusic.
  2. ^ "Adele's 21 Closing in on Billboard Charts Record". Black Entertainment Television. 26 January 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
  3. ^ "Blue Desert". Retrieved 12 July 2001.
  4. ^ "Interview with PAUL GURVITZ".
  5. ^ a b c d e Colin Larkin, ed. (2003). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Eighties Music (Third ed.). Virgin Books. ISBN 1-85227-969-9.
  6. ^ Rupert's People was a one time project name of the band The Fleur de Lys.
  7. ^ "Rupert's People Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  8. ^ "Collectacharts" (PDF). Chartwatch. July 2012. p. 13. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 November 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  9. ^ "Go-Set Australian charts – 5 March 1969". 5 March 1969. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
  10. ^ It can be heard on the "Blue Wild Angel Live at the Isle of Wight" CD/DVD.
  11. ^ "Three Man Army". Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  12. ^ The 'Band of Gypsys' was never actually the official name of a band, but the popular name of the assembled session musicians playing on the live album Band of Gypsys by Jimi Hendrix from March 1970.
  13. ^ "RQs Retro Universe Blog". 3 December 2008. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
  14. ^ "The Buddy Miles Band – Chapter VII". 1973.
  15. ^ "AllMusic Awards". AllMusic. 1975. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
  16. ^ "Kick off Your Muddy Boots – Graeme Edge Band | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic.
  17. ^ "The Official Charts Company". Retrieved 19 November 2012.
  18. ^ "Blue Desert". Retrieved 19 November 2012.
  19. ^ "Adrian Gurvitz – Your Dream". 1982.
  20. ^ "The England World Cup Squad – This Time (We'll Get It Right) / England, We'll Fly The Flag". 1982.
  21. ^ Although the single had been released with "This Time (We'll Get It Right)" as A-side and "England, We'll Fly the Flag" as AA-side, only the A-side charted.
  22. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Joel Whitburn Presents Rock Tracks 1981–2008. Hal Leonard Pub Co. ISBN 978-0-89820-174-1.
  23. ^ Brunner, Rob (13 March 1998). "Top Ten Best-Selling Soundtracks". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  24. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 130. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.

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