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Argent - The Argent Anthology: A Collection Of Greatest Hits CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

2.79 | 11 ratings

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3 stars The first six songs on this album are rock classics, and deservedly so: great rock music, albeit with a conventional hard rock'n'roll sound not normally labelled as Progressive Rock. Rod Argent's various keyboards are very enjoyable, as is Ballard's guitar work.

The hit 'God Gave Rock & Roll To You' (from "In Deep") was later rehashed by KISS and released in 1991 on a film soundtrack album and, in the following year, on the KISS album "Revenge", guaranteeing the song's status as a rock anthem to another generation. The hit 'Hold Your Head Up' (from "All Together Now") is another track worthy of the title 'rock anthem'.

As far as I'm concerned, though, the last two tracks on this compilation album are a strange choice, as I do not feel they are up to the same standard as the other six. In fact 'Time Of The Season' was written by that classic 1960s pop group THE ZOMBIES, Rod Argent's previous group, so why is it included in an ARGENT anthology in the first place, especially when there are more deserving ARGENT songs?

Why only eight tracks? Well, because this album started life as an LP. Nevertheless it's hardly an anthology given this small sampling of the group's work. One of my favourite ARGENT songs is Russ Ballard's delicious 'Schoolgirl' from the group's first album; why isn't that track included on the CD too, for example?

So, if you want a brief sample of the music of ARGENT ("brief" being the operative word) then get this CD, but be aware that it's far from a comprehensive anthology.

I would award this compilation CD 3.5 stars if such a thing were possible. The reason I am being rather hard and dropping it to 3 stars (Good, but not essential) is because it has only eight songs on it and, in my opinion, two of them do not represent the best the group offered (and one of which is a cover of a track by THE ZOMBIES in any case). An anthology CD should do better than that. However, six of the eight songs on this CD are truly excellent rock music.

In 1976 I bought an ARGENT anthology LP also released by Epic (Epic 81321) and that also contained eight tracks. It had 'Schoolgirl' and 'Keep On Rolling' instead of 'Tragedy' and 'Time Of The Season' (the other six tracks were the same as on the Epic 33955 LP). Whilst I like 'Tragedy' and 'Time Of The Season', I feel that the Epic 81321 album was a better choice assuming one had to stick to eight tracks. But then, why couldn't an anthology CD have all of them?

Most of the songs on this CD are classics. Rod Argent, Russ Ballard and Co. wrote some good songs: straightforward rock music with good tunes that I enjoy listening to now just as much as I did when it was first released. If you are unfamiliar with ARGENT and you are debating whether to buy this compilation then don't be put off if you see it going cheaply, but it is a rather stingy offering for an anthology on CD.

"God gave rock'n'roll to you, gave rock'n'roll to you, put it in the soul of everyone". Amen to that.

Fitzcarraldo | 3/5 |


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