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Argent Counterpoints album cover
3.23 | 54 ratings | 16 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. On My Feet Again (3:08)
2. I Can't Remember, but Yes (3:11)
3. Time (7:20)
4. Waiting for the Yellow One (2:48)
5. It's Fallen Off (2:44)
6. Be Strong (4:14)
7. Rock 'n' Roll Show (4:04)
8. Butterfly (3:02)
9. Road Back Home (7:41)

Total Time 38:12

Line-up / Musicians

- Rod Argent / organ, electric piano, vocals
- John Grimaldi / guitar, lap steel guitar
- John Verity / guitar, vocals
- Jim Rodford / bass, guitar, vocals
- Bob Henrit / drums & percussion

- Phil Collins / drums & percussion

Releases information

LP RCA Victor RS 1020 / LP United Artists UALA 560

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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ARGENT Counterpoints ratings distribution

(54 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (28%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

ARGENT Counterpoints reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
1 stars Dancing down a slippery slope

The previous album "Circus" had been disappointing, but, "Counterpoints" found Argent slipping further down the slope.

For me, it paralleled Jethro Tull's "Passion play" in more ways than one. The dancing analogy aside, both albums drift aimlessly from start to finish, devoid of inspiration. In this case, the album represented a sad end to a once great band.

Musically, "Counterpoints" is a confused mish mash of jazz rock and pop rock. The song-writing is lamentable, not helped by Rod Argent's rather ineffective vocals.

As an aside, it is worth seeking out an album by a band called "Phoenix", which included 2 of the former Argent band members. The first track "Easy" in particular showed that the spirit of Argent lived on.

Review by Sean Trane
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!

Argent's swan song is again a record that got undeserved dismissal, especially from progheads maybe unaware that Phil Collins subbed in for a sick Henritt, reinforcing the jazz-rock feel that had appeared with the preceding Circus. Again graced with Argent's very own Grimaldi artwork (not sure this acrobat/ballet dancer is human from its position and a wink to the preceding album through the window), it is not specified on the vinyl which track Phil played, but it is easily guessed. The group had changed labels from Epic to RCA, and the album cover was botched, not giving out the tracks and their length on the outside, while the songwriting has never been so shared

Opening on a weak On My Feet Again (similar to the Waiting For The Yellow One AOR ballad and Butterfly on the flipside), the album is a slow starter as Can't Remember But Yes is an improvement (Phil helping) but we have to wait for the lengthier Time where a full-out fusion breaks out in the open and the group sounds like the Oblivion Express meeting Brand X. The instrumental side-closer It's Fallen Off follows suit in the fusion path.

The flipside opens on Be Strong, an uneasy mix of fusion with AOR ballad (Henritt is on drums) where much of the problems are highlighted: poor vocals, some disastrous synths sounds and schizophrenic songwriting. Argent gives us his once-per-album RnR track next; Road Back Home is a slow jazz-rock tune, sometimes reminiscent of Auger, but way too syrupy and calm for its length. The least we can say is that this album is a schizophrenic one, sharing itself between insipid ballads and killer fusion (Collins' contribution helped Argent from the jazz-rock of Circus to this album's fusion). While not essential, and certainly not flawless, by the time they folded Argent had certainly progressed from being a 60's type psych-beat caterpillar to an Art Rock chrysalis to a fusion butterfly by the mid-70's. I don't think that this album has received an official reissue in CD yet, but I have seen copies lying around.

Review by Progbear
2 stars Like its predecessor, COUNTERPOINTS begins promisingly with the rousing "On My Feet Again" leading into an intense instrumental fusion workout: "I Can't Remember, But Yes". But again, it runs out of steam quickly. I can't say there's a single worthy number on the B-side, and listening to their pathetic attempt to rock out on "Rock & Roll Show" and more soppy lounge-vocalist muck in "Road Back Home" makes you mourn the loss of Russ Ballard's songcraft that much more. The fusion-oriented "Time" and "It's Worn Off" improve matters a bit, but only a bit.
Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars Counterpoints is the last studio album released by the group Rod Argent founded when he elected to pass up on the revisionist tour of the Zombies following the belated and surprising success of "Time of the Season".

Commercially, Argent wouldn't find much more success than did the Zombies for most of their tenure, although they did release "Hold Your Head Up", which managed to become a smash and oft-played hit despite its length and Rod Argent's three minute long keyboard rant in the middle. They also enjoyed some success with "God Gave Rock n' Roll To You", "It's Only Money", and "Sweet Mary". But Counterpoints would prove to be a swan song that did little to impress either fans or most of the band itself, which would disband the year following its release.

All but three of the tracks were written by Rod Argent, the exceptions being "Time" (by Argent's cousin and bass player Jim Rodford, who would later join the Kinks), plus "Waiting for the Yellow One" and "It's Fallen Off" by guitarist Jim Grimaldi, who later died of multiple sclerosis. So much for 'Where are they Now?'. Drummer Robert Henrit was suffering from hepatitis at the time, so Phil Collins filled in on drums for most of the album. Chris White, who had been such a big part of the Zombies and Argent's success to this point, did not play on the album, but did lend a hand with the production.

"On My Feet Again" leads off the album, and sounds quite frankly like something of a swan song for the British invasion of modern pop music. It's an okay song, but there is nothing to distinguish it from dozens of other similar and largely forgotten bands of the early 70's.

On "I Can't Remember, But Yes", the music has similarities to the mildly theatrical rocking sound of the Who ala Quadrophenia, or parts of Tommy.

Rodford wrote "Time", and it has a much different sound than the rest of the album. Rod Argent and John Verity's vocals sound a bit like masculine versions of Jon Anderson from something like Relayer, or maybe Fragile. The song begins with an almost improvisational feel, and Rodford's bass has a definite jazzy tone throughout. Rod Argent and Grimaldi both wander fairly unrestrained on keyboards and guitar through most of the song. Aside from the odd harmonizing chanting that pops in from time to time, a casual listener could easily mistake this for some ancient lost Yes song.

"Waiting for the Yellow One" is a mild, rather melancholic tune that sounds not unlike some of the later stuff Klaatu did before they faded away. Here again are the strange harmonizing vocals that serve mostly to date this album well back in the 70's decade. I take it this is a song about mortality, or some such thing.

In addition to "Waiting", Jim Grimaldi offered up "It's Fallen Off" to close side one of the album. This one leans heavily toward a up-tempo jazz feel, complete with a spastically active bass-line and strident keyboards at every turn, and is an instrumental. I'm not sure if the drums on this song are Collins', but if so it's a different sound from him then I've ever heard before.

The entire back half of the vinyl album was written by Rod Argent. "Be Strong" isn't really strong at all, more like a bit of a fruity tripping tune, complete with some borderline falsetto vocals, presumably coming from Rod Argent. The lyrics are nothing to write home about, kind of an immature lost-love song ("love can leave you crying", "I don't want to go, I don't want to leave you", "I must leave you my goodbye - so long, be strong").

"Rock n' Roll Show" is apparently an attempt to resurrect the "God Gave Rock n' Roll To You" sound for another hopeful hit single, which obviously failed. This reminds me totally of some of the more commercial stuff bands like the Small Faces or maybe Stealers Wheel. This one is very guitar-heavy, and more aggressive than just about anything else on the album, except the vocals, which are not convincing.

"Butterfly" seems to have some sort of horn in it, although there isn't any in the liner note credits. I get the impression this is a kind of 'lovely waif maiden' tribute song. It's okay, although the vocals again don't seem to quite match the accompanying music, which is characterized by the unacknowledged horn (trumpet?) and Rod Argent's almost lounge act keyboards.

The album closes with "Road Back Home", a lengthy, spacey tune with some rather attractive guitar work, but little else to distinguish it. It almost seems as if the band was simply content to wind the album (and their career) to a close. The fadeout ending is probably an appropriate way to end their final studio effort.

This isn't a landmark album, or a landmark band for that matter. Taken only on its own merits, it would probably rate about 2.49 stars as a slightly progressive album never made even enough of an impression to convince anyone to re-release any time in the past thirty years on CD. Considering the pedigree of some of the players (and it's relative rarity) though, it should get a bit of a bump, so three stars seems like an appropriate place to mark it.


Review by ZowieZiggy
1 stars Here we go for the last Argent studio album.

I have to say that the band did pass the test of Russ Ballard's departure during their good "Circus" work. Unfortunately, this album wouldn't repeat this. Even if the unexpected Phil Collins is holding the sticks during several tracks.

This album has little to do with their good heavy prog of their early days. It has a much more jazzy sound, which I don't like. Most songs are dull, the album is short and this is the only good news about this release.

It could be easily itemized in the jazz section of this site. As some of you might know, this genre is absolutely not my cup of tea. Since several songs are of this poor calibre like the dreadful "It's Fallen Off", I can't be very optimistic about this record ("Be Strong" being on par).

The band is even releasing a bloody boring ballad under the form of "Waiting For The Yellow One". One of the many "press next" songs from this album. This album might be OK if ever you are into jazz-rock, but definitely not if you are an early fan of the band (unless you can embrace both styles: heavy and jazz rock. But this is not my case).

And when "Argent" is playing some old Rock'n'Roll, it is not really convincing either.

This album is really turning into a masquerade as soon as the "epic" of this album starts. It sounds as a sub-par "10CC" track, which is rather unexpected from a band like "Argent". As many other songs available on this album, "Road Back Home" is quickly turning into a pure jazzy track, with unbearable and mellowish vocals. What has happened Rod?

This is by far the weakest "Argent" album. Not a single good track. One star.

Review by Progfan97402
4 stars Another one of those maligned albums I can't understand why it gets such negative reviews. This was Argent's second (and final) post-Ballard studio album, and to many Argent should have packed it in with the departure of Ballard. I actually find Counterpoints quite enjoyable. The band moved to RCA from Epic, and on United Artists in the United States. I guess many didn't like how Argent was going the Mahavishnu route, it seems that guitarist John Grimaldi worshipped at the alter of John McLaughlin. If you remove the vocals on this album, a good portion would pass for Mahavishnu (if it weren't for the lack of violin). Phil Collins appears on some of the cuts, but I really don't know which ones, apparently Rob Henrit went ill during the session. I also seen comparison to Brand X, probably due to the presence of Phil Collins (at this point, Brand X was beginning to work on their debut). Rod Argent's Hammond organ seemed to have vanished by this point, in favor of electric piano, Moog, and even some Mellotron. "Rock & Roll Show" harkens back to the more rock and roll sound of the earlier Argent. I really get a kick off "Time", I call it the "S**t Hits the Fan" song, because that line appears several times. The only song I didn't care for it "Road Back Home", it's just a boring soft rock song with little creativity and too repetitive and drags on too long, and Rod Argent's Mellotron doesn't help save it. I guess being around my share of fusion, well-known and obscure, that I have no trouble adapting to this. Better than I thought it would be, I spent next to nothing for my LP copy.
Review by GruvanDahlman
4 stars Argent seems to be a band sadly underappreciated in prog rock circles. True, the first two or three albums are sort of lacklustre even by my standards but almost every album holds one or a few progressive gems. "In deep" certainly do and "Nexus is the first of the Argent albums, as I see it, that aims for the progressive rock market. The band hits a high with "Circus" which is by far their most accomplished and most progressive sounding album. Then they released "Counterpoints". Not much loved, as far as the ratings go, but they seemed to launch yet another full on attack of prog rock. Is it as good as "Circus"? Almost.

The album starts off with a mellotron drenched rock song with progressive garnish. You have to remember that Argent from the beginning was little more than a (hard) rock band and though they in 1975 headed down prog avenue they seemed to feel obliged to add one or two simpler songs. Single cuts? A yearning for the charts? Well, maybe. And who can blame them for wanting some cash in their pocket? Anyways, not the most progressive track but good enoug and the mellotron opening is terrific. The song segues into "I can't remeber but yes" which turns out to be the exact opposite to the beginning. High octane progressive jazz-rock with a breathtaking intensity.

The first really outstanding song is "Time" and quite a long piece too, clocking in at 7 minutes. This is really brilliant jazzy progressive. The opening sets the mood and then it hits you. The pop and rock tendencies are gone. You are left with pure prog gold. This is the motherlode of the album.

"Waiting for the yellow one" is a ballad of the sort that prog bands seem to do so well. Soft and gentle with a great organ in the background. "it's fallen off" is a fusion-y thing that could have been on one of the mid 70's Focus albums. The song "Be strong" is another ballad type of thing but with wonderfully arranged odd time structures. Up to now the stage have been set for an almost 100% progressive experience but the spell is broken somewhat by "Rock & roll show". I have a serious problem with bands singing the words "rock-n-roll" over a simple boogie beat as if their trying to create a hymn for the genre. The song in itself isn't bad, really it isn't. Quite catchy and energetic but I just cant stand the chanting of "rock'n'roll". It's just not my cup of tea.

"Road back home" puts most things in order again and a very british sounding intro on flugelhorn(?) precedes the vocal part. Great stuff this. A progressive journey with emotive sections and beautifully arranged. This, the last track, is also the longest with its 10 minutes. Jazzy and smooth without being cheezy this really is a fine way to end an album. And the mellotron is yet again delicious.

I do not understand the high degree of negative criticism this album seems to receive. Given the fact that we all have different taste I still do not understand it. It's a great little album by a (sometimes) great band and being their last album I Think they Went out on a high note. The instrumentation is flawless without being fusion-y sterile, the vocals are terrific (thank you, John Verity) and the mood of the album has everything that makes a prog album great. Apart from two lesser loved tracks ("On my feet again" and "Rock & Roll show") I think it's top class stuff. Give it a go, why don't you?

Latest members reviews

5 stars What a treat it was discovering this album 38 years after its release. It's a wonderful blend of fusion and jazzy prog rock. The first side is more fusiony and exciting. The second side however is where the real charm is. Except for the faux-rocky "Rock N' Roll Show ," Rod has crafted a sweet b ... (read more)

Report this review (#984952) | Posted by yesstiles | Monday, June 24, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Counterpoints really deserves another visit as a fine addition to Argent's '70s canon. It was the band's final album, although it wasn't quite the powerful last chord that, say Abbey Road was to the Fabs. Still, it's a good one to go out on as Argent sounds more like a genuine band here with the ... (read more)

Report this review (#194655) | Posted by Steven in Atlanta | Monday, December 22, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album belongs to the category of the most overlooked prog albums ever! It's a nearly perfect classic progressive rock specimen in all respects; the quality of the music and performance can rival recordings by Yes, Genesis and ELP. Some influence of Chick Corea can also be heard, but that ... (read more)

Report this review (#106655) | Posted by EMinkovitch | Monday, January 8, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Counterpoints is by far Rod Argent's greatest work to date. He has broken out of the R&R mode and explores jazz fused and mixed with progressive rock. The musicians on the album are top notch and the album was meticulously produced. 5 out of 5 stars. Thanks Rod for this masterpiece!! -Ted ... (read more)

Report this review (#104944) | Posted by | Saturday, December 30, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I can't believe that after listening to this recording, that it is brushed off as tripe. The addition of Grimaldi & Verity was heaven scent. I can not emphasize enough, that if you are so lucky to ever find a copy of this, in some obscure collectors record collection: Obtain it! I have it on a ... (read more)

Report this review (#72084) | Posted by | Thursday, March 16, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album is, simply, excellent. Great vocal armonies (I recall The Power And The Glory or Octopus of Gentle Giant). Great instrumentation (as Trick Of The Tail or Wind And Wuthering of Genesis). And the compositions are originals and very well ensambled. It is not rock'n roll or hard rock, b ... (read more)

Report this review (#60280) | Posted by | Tuesday, December 13, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is an unfairly dismissed, but nonetheless excellent, progressive rock album. Much more heavily fusion oriented than previous Argent albums, Counterpoints has some wonderful playing. In particular, the guitar playing is quite to the fore, with many lovely solos from John Grimaldi, and a f ... (read more)

Report this review (#26667) | Posted by | Thursday, April 28, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I apologise in advance for writing a review that drasitcally counteracts earlier reviews on an album that is almost unavailable, thus not giving people the chance to hear what I am writing about. I don't think, and I would love anyone to put me right on this, that Counterpoints was ever transf ... (read more)

Report this review (#26666) | Posted by BilboBaggins | Sunday, February 20, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars counterpoints is the last album recorded by ARGENT, it is not their best, and also it is not their worst. It is simply the result of a band on the verge of collapse. It is not the bands fault but Rod Argent s'. It has some good songs such as "On my fee again", "Be Strong" and Rock Roll Show. F ... (read more)

Report this review (#26665) | Posted by | Sunday, December 19, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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