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Argent - Argent/ Ring Of Hands CD (album) cover

ARGENT/ RING OF HANDS

Argent

 

Crossover Prog

3.00 | 6 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars No cause for Celebration

A straightforward pairing of Argent's first two albums. Perhaps they would not quite fit on a single CD (both albums are around the standard LP length of 40 minutes) but it does seem somewhat lazy to simply release them as a double CD package devoid of bonus tracks. With a little imagination, perhaps the band's excellent third album "All together now" could have been used to fill the great void on each disc.

Anyway, content grumble's aside, these two albums saw Argent very much finding their way. Unlike other bands who hit the ground running, Argent had a couple of false starts before they really hit their stride with the aforementioned third album. The first, self titled album is a collection of fairly na´ve songs. They are highly enjoyable, but lean towards the sophisticated pop territory of 10CC rather than the prog the band explored on later albums. Only the organ drenched "Dance in the smoke" shows any significant indication of the type of music the band would later develop.

"Ring of hands" is a disappointing affair. Apart from the de facto title track "Celebration", there is little to recommend this turgid, rather jazz based affair. Whether Russ Ballard was having an off day, or Rod Argent decided to dominate the album, either way the album is more akin to the post Ballard Argent albums "Counterpoints" and "Circus" than to their classic years. Only the unsuccessful single "Celebration" is notable, but even this is a simple pop song.

Although this collection is the starting point for Argent, it should not be the starting point for those wishing to explore their music. Better to pass on by and go straight to the subsequent releases.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |

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