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Argent - All Together Now CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.51 | 82 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars It's very difficult to choose the best album of this band. All of their LPs (especially from classic period 1971-1974) include fantastic prog gems, but also some amount of pop/ (pseudo) hard rock stinkers usually composed by Russ Ballard. However if I had to pick up one, particular record from their discography it would be "All Together Now":

1. "Hold Your Head Up" - album starts with this real classic of heavy prog genre. Organ drenched tune with memorable rythm and melody (but not popish!) makes this composition a fantastic opener and one of the best song in Argent's catalog. Organ solo in the middle is perfectly long and truly splendid in the best tradiditon of Jon Lord or Vincent Crane.

2. "Keep On Rollin'" - first awful filler of this record. Piano-oriented woogie-boogie. Avoid as a plague!

3. "Tragedy" - after miserable previous track Argent serves as another classic heavy rock tune. Very good, catchy - almost heavy metal-like -screaming vocals and of course lots of roaring Hammonds delivered by master Rod including another perfect solo.

4. "I Am the Dance of Ages" - definitely one of my favorite song of this band. Really hypnotizing melody which give me shivers everytime I listen to it. And this monotonous (but at the same time very captivating!) march/funeral-like drums... Organ "noodling" in the middle of the song build great atmosphere. This song has less than 4 minutes, but when you listen to this, it sounds like 10+ minutes epic ! (of course it's a compliment for progheads like me :-).

5. "Be My Lover, Be My Friend" - mainly straightforward hard rock composition which can't be distinguish from so many similar songs played in 70' by classic rock bands. However this track includes one of the best organ solos from band's leader which saves it from medicority. (BTW it's quite typical situation for Argent. The same phenomena you can observe in such songs as "Cast Your Spell Uranus" or "Pleasure" from their previous album "Ring of Hands").

6. "He's a Dynamo" - second serious bump of the album. Stupid rock'n'roll song with simple piano, which would be a filler even in some early 60' R&B record.

7. "Pure Love (Fantasia/Prelude/Pure Love/Finale)" - after previous horrible (but fortunately short) stinker Argent presents us my favorite composition: 13 minutes, 4 parts suite "Pure Love" which sounds like a beatiful hommage to all great organ players. This epic starts with fabulous section of dreamy church-like organ playing (but I suppose it's still Hammond organ, maybe without Leslie cabinet this time?). Seems to be tribute to J.S. Bach! However after 5 minutes drums join and music turns into The Nice/ELP/Triumvirat direction. Perfect! "Pure Love" sequence seems to be out of place here with it's more simple rock'n'roll attitude. But hey, I still like it here. Mixing more straightforward rock patterns with symphonic prog is a trademark of this band after all! Anyway "Finale" ends the suite with another magnificent, powerful organ performence. Real gem of this album and this band's discography in general.

To summarize: 3rd Argent's album contains 4 fantastic tracks, 1 good but not essential hard rock song with phenomenal organ solo and 2 absolutely horrible farts. (Anyway still big improvement after "Ring of Hands" which had much bigger amount of medicore songs and only few really prog tracks.)

By the way, it's a must-have album for Hammond organ lovers! 4,5 stars for me.

ozzy_tom | 4/5 |


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