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ARGENT

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Argent biography
Heavy Progressive Rock


Eighteen months after keyboard virtuoso Rod ARGENT left the famous sixties band The ZOMBIES, their single "Time Of The Season" from their last album "Odyssey & Oracle" topped the US charts and sold one million copies! There was a hugh demand to re-group The ZOMBIES but Rod ARGENT preferred to form his own band to make more progressive music. He recruted bass player John Rodford, drummer Bob Henritt and guitarist Russ Ballard and called the quartet ARGENT.

Under this name they released the eponymous debut album "Argent" in '70, the song "Liar" became a USA hit and was covered by THREE DOG NIGHT. With the next albums "Ring Of Hands" ('71) and "All Together Now" ('72) ARGENT gained more appreciation and the single "Hold Your Head Up" became a smash hit all over the world. The following album "In Deep" and single "God gave Rock 'N' To You" charted good but the increasing musical problems between Rod ARGENT and Russ Ballard finally escalated after the next album "Nexus" ('74): Russ wasn't pleased at all with Rod's synthesizer escapades, he liked the shorter and more catchy rocksongs. In '74 Russ departure was a fact but without hard feelings. Later that year ARGENT released the double-live record "Encore". Russ was replaced by multi-instrumentalist John Grimaldi and guitarist/vocalist John Verity. Rod was so excited about this new ARGENT that he refused an offer to join YES after WAKEMAN's departure! In '75 ARGENT made the album "Circus" but despite good critics the sales were poor. In '76 ARGENT released the disappointing LP "Counterpoints", ARGENT took his conclusions and broke up his band.

The early ARGENT made catchy heavy progressive rock with powerful organplay by Rod ARGENT. Their most progressive and acclaimed album is "Nexus": the Hammond organ has almost dispappeared in favor of the Fender Rhodes - and Hohner electric piano, the Mellotron, Grand piano and the famous Moog synthesizer. The album shows great sense of dynamics and splendid shifting moods: lush symphonic, slow and dreamy and fluent and powerful with strong electric guitar and tasteful keyboard play. In '95 their was the release of a great live album titled "In Concert" (on the Windsong label) including most of their best songs, superior to the rather excellent live album "Encore" ('74).
- Erik Neuteboom

Not wanting to destroy a good band, but Argent were never groundbreaking and uncovered new areas of musical exploration: they were simply followers of a movement and added to the sheer mass of excellent albums of those years (70's) and had a lot more commercial success than other band who had more talent (Audience, Comus, etc.....) but always remained somewhat of a second-league act (as opposed to the prog giants). Is it normal that Argent had more commercial success at the time than Caravan, Gentle Giant and others? Nowadays, of course, it seems that Caravan and Argent are regarded with more lucidity and to their more proper artistic value.

Russ Ballard's solo career would take a while to develop, but he was also writing songs for other artistes as well. But one would have to wait for 79's Barnett Dog to find a real good reason for his departure: a strong album filled with solid dramatic RnR lyrics and a widely heard single On The Rebound. His next album Into The Night is probably his best album though, with some very good and diverse songwriting.

While John Verity would go on to form his own band for two albums, Rod Argent will return to his side business of music equipment (he can still be seen in his Denmark street shop in Soho, when not touring with the reformed Zombies) and concentrated on studio work (including The Who) before releasing a solo album Moving Home in 79 (with many star friends) then the Masquerade musical in 82, then worked with Closseum's Hiseman and Barb Thompson on the jazzy Siren Song (83), and then movie scores and new age albums (Red House in 88) and production work (Tikaram in the 90's). He tours now and again with the re-formed The Zombies and plays some Argent tunes in the sets, with his cousin Rodford on bass.
- Hugues Chantraine


DISCOGRAPHY:
Albums:
1970 - Argent (CBS 63781)
1971 - Ring Of Hands (Epic EPC 64190)
1972 - All Together Now (Epic EPC 64962)
1973 - In Deep (Epic EQ 31295/Q 65475)
1974 - Nexus (Epic EPC 65924)
1974 - Encore (dbl) (Epic EPC 88063)
1975 - Circus (Epic EPC 80691)
1975 - Counterpoint (RCA RS 1020)
1978 - Moving Home (MCA MCF2854) - (Rod Argent solo)
1995 - In Concert (Windsong WINDCD 067) - (CD)
1997 - The BBC Sessions 1970-73 (BBC Worldwide Music/Strange Fruit SFRSCD039) - (CD)

Compilations:
1976 - Best Of Argent (Epic EPC 81321)
1978 - Hold Your Head Up (Embassy 31640)
1984 - Anthology: The Best Of Argent (Epic EPC 3257)

: : : Erik Neuteboom, The NETHERLANDS : : :
Fan & official Prog Archives collaborator

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Hold Your Head UpHold Your Head Up
Sony Special Product 1999
Audio CD$2.27
$3.86 (used)
Greatest: The Singles CollectionGreatest: The Singles Collection
Varese Fontana 2008
Audio CD$7.90
$7.99 (used)
All Together NowAll Together Now
Import
Esoteric 2012
Audio CD$11.57
$24.08 (used)
God Gave Rock N Roll to You: Greatest HitsGod Gave Rock N Roll to You: Greatest Hits
Import
Camden International 2010
Audio CD$2.94
$6.31 (used)
EncoreEncore
Import · Remastered
Bgo 2003
Audio CD$9.79
$12.00 (used)
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ARGENT discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ARGENT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.16 | 40 ratings
Argent
1970
3.23 | 38 ratings
Ring Of Hands
1971
3.60 | 48 ratings
All Together Now
1972
3.39 | 42 ratings
In Deep
1973
3.56 | 50 ratings
Nexus
1974
3.30 | 39 ratings
Circus
1975
2.95 | 25 ratings
Counterpoints
1975

ARGENT Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.42 | 16 ratings
Encore: Live In Concert
1974

ARGENT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Inside Argent
2005

ARGENT Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.81 | 10 ratings
The Argent Anthology: A Collection Of Greatest Hits
1976
3.00 | 1 ratings
Hold Your Head Up
1978
2.10 | 2 ratings
Argent - The Complete BBC Sessions
1997
3.02 | 4 ratings
Argent/ Ring Of Hands
2000

ARGENT Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

ARGENT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Nexus by ARGENT album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.56 | 50 ratings

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Nexus
Argent Crossover Prog

Review by Progfan97402

4 stars The name Argent is hardly new to me. In the late '80s, in my teens, I would frequently hear "Hold Your Head Up" on a local classic rock station, and fully aware of Rod Argent's career in The Zombies. But I had been resistant in buying their albums until recently. Probably because inconsistency seems to be a major understatement to a lot of their work. I bought All Together Now and that's plain to show. There's some excellent material, including the classic "Hold Your Head Up" and "Tragedy", at the same time some rock and roller type of material that seriously clashes. It shows they're not the most progressive of bands, and Russ Ballard was the least interested in that, while Rod Argent probably would have wanted to go full-on ELP if it weren't for his other bandmates, particularly Russ. Now I went and got Nexus. "The Coming of Kohoutek" is really a three piece suite disguised as three songs. Wow! They actually go full-on symphonic prog. Here they take on a Moog and Mellotron drenched version of the medieval hymn "Dies Irae" with some ELP-like moves. Amazing piece of music that even if you're scared away by a lot of Argent's other music, you will love this! None of the rest of the album is in that full-on symphonic prog natures of that title track. "Love" is the next piece. This is a Russ Ballard piece, and I really think it's a pretty lame song, the presence of Mellotron certainly doesn't help. "Music For the Spheres" is luckily an improvement, and I do enjoy "Thunder and Lightening" and "Keeper of the Flame". "Man of All Reasons" has a bit of a Yes thing going on, while the last piece "Gonna Meet My Maker" has that rocking gospel feel to it. While there's still that schism between the Rod Argent/Chris White and Russ Ballard team of songwriting, it sounded like they were attempting to make some more compromise, unfortunately Russ Ballard left after this album (he obviously felt more comfortable with radio-friendly material), leaving Rod Argent clearly in charge. No Nexus isn't in danger of making my "all time favorites" list any time soon, I find it rather enjoyable.

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 Ring Of Hands by ARGENT album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.23 | 38 ratings

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Ring Of Hands
Argent Crossover Prog

Review by Dark Nazgul

3 stars Argent vs. Ballard, act two.

After the experience with the Zombies in the Sixties, Rod Argent founded his own band trying to play more complex music, closer to progressive rock style. "Ring of Hands", published in 1971, is the band's second album. Argent can also count on the help of Russ Ballard, guitarist and composer that will became famous in the 80s with the worldwide hit single "Voices".

This is an album with highs and lows, enjoyable especially in the first part. It contains Lothlorien, one of my favorite prog songs ever, some other great song, but also others mediocre. It is basically a record featuring Hammond organ and piano, masterfully played by Rod Argent: almost all the solo parts are performed by these instruments and the guitar of Ballard remains largely in the background. Without any doubt the clash of styles between the two main authors is not very positive for the band: while Argent tryies to give the songs a progressive mark, with complex instrumental arrangements, changes of pace and refined vocal parts, Ballard prefers simpler and more rockin' songs, mainly based on guitar riffs. The result is a record without homogeneity, and a bit of disorientation is inevitable when you listen to this album: the question is, what kind of stuff I'm listening to? Now, a short analysis of the nine songs of the album:

Celebration. One of the more accessible songs (despite being written by Argent!) and based on pleasing harmonies. Simple and catchy, structured around a piano melody, it's a fine start. Rating: 7/10.

Sweet Mary. The song hated by purists of prog music. It is an ordinary and obvious blues, but this does not necessarily mean it's disappointing. All in all, I find that in the context of the album this song is pleasant. Rating 6/10.

Cast Your Spell Uranus. The lyrics are a bit strange, maybe a little 'anchored in those years, I think. However this is an excellent song, which begins with strange dissonances and frantic piano accompaniment. It is the first song of the album composed by Ballard. Rating 8/10.

Lothlorien. The masterpiece of the album, the longest song and definitely the closest to the canons of progressive rock, with symphonic interludes, and some jazzy sections, with the Hammond organ in evidence. The title refers of course to "The Lord of the Rings". Rating 10/10.

Chained. A classic rockin' number, according to Ballard's style, but well refined, especially for the great use of backing vocals. One of the best songs of the album. Rating 8/10.

Rejoice. Now...the painful notes. This is a gentle song with voice and piano, rather soppy and banal, introduced by a church organ solo. To give an idea, is vaguely reminiscent of the slow songs, for voice and piano, played by Freddy Mercury and Queen. The final part, preceded by unbearable choirs, reprise the organ intro. Rating: 4/10.

Pleasure. In my opinion the worst song on the album. The falsetto voices are terrible, and the backing vocals are really annoying. I still remember the Queen, in their worst. The symphonic interlude in the middle of the song is perhaps the only decent thing. Rating: 3/10.

Sleep Won't Help Me. Though the vocals are still disappointing and the chorus a little dull, is a piece with an original and captivating arrangement. The first time you hear may be indigestible. With successive plays it's better. The initial pace reminds me a little bit '"Come Together" by the Beatles, while in the middle interlude the organ sound is pretty identical to "Riders Of The Storm" by The Doors. Rating 6/10.

Where Are We Going Wrong. A pure and simple rock song based on a guitar riff by Ballard. Reminds me The Who very much (and Ballard seems...Daltrey). All in all, is mediocre and the worst of the songs written by the guitarist. Rating 5/10

In conclusion, we are certainly not in front of a masterpiece, but "Ring Of Hands" is still a good album, perhaps not very progressive and certainly with some flaw, but still enjoyable.

Final rating: 6/10.

Best song: Lothlorien

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 Inside Argent by ARGENT album cover DVD/Video, 2005
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Inside Argent
Argent Crossover Prog

Review by Easy Livin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

— First review of this album —
3 stars A forgotten Nexus

The "Inside" series of DVDs has covered a commendable diversity of prog (and other) bands over the last 10 years or so. Rare footage is obtained and laced together with critical commentary to form a useful overview of the band concerned. The overall quality of the final product varies a lot though, largely depended on the chosen critics and their awareness of that band. When the thoughts of members of band and those close to them are added, the product takes on greater credibility, such as the first of the "Inside Pink Floyd's" and the two dedicated to Uriah Heep.

Unfortunately, "Inside Argent" desperately lacks informed contributors, with just four people, none of who have any association with the band, leading us through their history from inception to the "Encore" album in 1974. The footage, which captures the band well, is primarily taken from two sessions recorded for television. One of these disappoitnly sees music from Argent's studio albums being overlaid onto the video (and not always the right music for the right video), but the Granada TV footage is warts and all live.

My main criticism of the commentary here is that it concentrates far too much on the isolated tracks chosen (of necessity from the footage available) to represent the albums. The first album for example contained the wonderful "Dance in the smoke", a track which appeared on the huge selling sampler "Fill your head with rock" and effectively broke the band. This however is completely ignored along with "Lonely hard road" and many others. Likewise, the minor hit "Celebration" from the second album is not mentioned, and the two part "It's only money" from "In deep" appears not to exist either.

As a result, the albums are not reviewed as a whole, but almost exclusively on the basis of tracks which are in some cases are totally unrepresentative of that album. The worst example of this is "All together now", an album which took so long to bring together Rod Argent suggested to a music magazine at the time should have been called "Sorry to keep you waiting". That album contained the four part Rod Argent prog epic "Pure love" and the Russ Ballard masterpiece "Tragedy" (not the Bee Gees song!). Instead though, the fun track "Keep on rolling" (a sort of "Are you ready Eddy") is dissected and used to belittle the whole album. Ballard's salute to Rod Argent "He's a dynamo" is also ignored. Incidentally, no mention is made by any of these experts of Russ Ballard liking for one word song titles which form the dynamic hook in songs such as "Liar" and "Tragedy".

While Bob Carruthers clearly has a genuine liking for some of the band's later work, his complete dismissal of the early albums seems over harsh. As usual, Michael Heatley seems to be on a different planet, thus resorting once again to the painfully obvious and the unintentionally amusing; "Rod Argent was influenced by keyboard players such as Rick Wakeman in early Yes, although I don't think Wakeman was in Yes at that time". There are also conflicting accounts of the band's history, for example Malcolm Dome says the band was not happy with "Hold your head up" being edited by the record company and becoming a hit single, Heatley says they were delighted.

Quite why the "Nexus" album is completely overlooked is perhaps the biggest mystery. It was released in the same year as "Encore" (the history of which come first is inconclusive as far as I can see, but over half of "Nexus" appears on "Encore") and was to be the final album recorded by the original line up. The departure of Russ Ballard is discussed, so surely "Nexus", by far the band's most progressive album, deserved inclusion.

On the plus side, the three "Music study cases" turn out to be full live performances of three songs, one from each of the first three albums, something of a rarity for this series. I can only assume they are called "music studies" for copyright reasons.

In all, since available visual recordings of this unfairly forgotten band is very hard to come by, this DVD is so much better than nothing at all. In terms of the "Inside.." series though, it is a shoddy addition which could easily have been so much better.

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 All Together Now by ARGENT album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.60 | 48 ratings

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All Together Now
Argent Crossover Prog

Review by ozzy_tom
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.

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 The Argent Anthology: A Collection Of Greatest Hits by ARGENT album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1976
2.81 | 10 ratings

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The Argent Anthology: A Collection Of Greatest Hits
Argent Crossover Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams

2 stars It's hard to believe, from listening to this collection, why this band is listed here. While this is good rock music, with a bit of psychedelia mixed in, it is barely progressive. But it's hard to judge a band by what the record company thinks is the best of their output.

Hold Your Head Up is a mid-tempo, spacy song, and the reason I bought this LP in the first place. Nice song. Liar is more psychedelia, better than the 3 Dog Night cover, which was a bigger hit. Pleasure sounds like a Crosby Stills Nash & Young leftover. God Gave Rock And Roll To You, once covered by the dismal Kiss, is okay, and threatens to turn prog in some sections, but never quite gets there. It's Only Money, Part 1 has a nice jam, but it ends before the band can take it to any sort of height. Thunder And Lightning is a driving rock piece, with some nice synth work. Tragedy is a slightly funky song, with some good, but not great keyboard & guitar soloing. And everyone should know Time Of The Season by The Zombies. This is a decent live performance of that song.

It's hard to believe from these songs that Rod Argent was considered as a replacement for Rick Wakeman in Yes in the mid-seventies. I could see him replacing Tony Kaye, but Wakeman?

2.5 stars, rounded down for lack of prog.

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 Argent/ Ring Of Hands by ARGENT album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2000
3.02 | 4 ratings

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Argent/ Ring Of Hands
Argent Crossover Prog

Review by 1967/ 1976

4 stars NOT A BIG DREAM FOR A NEW BAND OF OLD REINCARNATION... AND I I LIKE IT IT ISNLY BECASE THIS IS ONLY R'n'R!

Another 2 albums in one release. In this case 2 albums, the 1st and the 2nd Argent's albums in 2 CDs. This fact is good for me. Normally I bought this typpe of release because the final cost is minor for 2 separate releases. So I think that this release is extreme good.

But the music... Hmmm... The music is only R'n'R with great arrangements and for this motive the music is Prog. Argent is not bad band but the style is not so distant from Rock with Classic Music influences. Is this musical proposal aged in a good manner? Not all songs aged in a good manner but yes, the songs that aged in good manner are small masterpieces.

If please you the more pure Rock part of Prog, Argent is a great band. Otherwise I think it will be interesting to have a compilation like this out of pure curiosity.

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 Encore: Live In Concert by ARGENT album cover Live, 1974
3.42 | 16 ratings

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Encore: Live In Concert
Argent Crossover Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars This is one of those live albums where basically all the songs outshine their original studio versions. Encore is basically Argent's greatest hits, performed live with a bit more power and urgency - and with far more instrumental work out - than the original versions. Another example of such an album is Barclay James Harvest's Live.

There is a good balance here between Ballard and Argent compositions. For Prog fans the Argent compositions are probably the most interesting, being generally more progressive than Ballard's more straightforward rock 'n' roll numbers. But I feel that it is the counterpoint between the two elements that makes this album work so well.

As we all know Rod Argent used to be in The Zombies, and here we get a nice version of The Zombies' classic Time Of The Season. Good stuff!

The sound quality is generally quite good and the performance is properly recorded. Nothing annoying on that account.

Like Barclay James Harvest, Argent is not really an essential band for the Prog fan, but if you want anything by them in your collection, Encore is a very good choice. And this might well be all the Argent you'll ever need. Still, this album is hardly essential.

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 Ring Of Hands by ARGENT album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.23 | 38 ratings

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Ring Of Hands
Argent Crossover Prog

Review by jammun
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Well, just how proggy can an album be if Three Dog Night covered one of the album's lesser songs? Pretty proggy, it turns out. Ring of Hands starts off with the sappy Celebration. Expectations are minimal upon hearing this one. Sweet Mary is the beginning of the redemption for this album. Though it's yer average bluesy tune, we do get nice Ballard guitar work. Something strange sets in 'round 'bout Cast Your Spell Uranus. The band is treading in prog waters, and in the midst of the song there's a wicked Hammond solo from Argent.

And then out of the blue comes Lothlorien. This is as perfectly constructed a prog song as has ever been written, at least back in its day. Driven by Argent's Hammond (and this is certainly Argent's song), it is by turns playful and aggressive, baroque and romantic. From note number one it engages and challenges the listener; by the end of the song it is soaring way up there, ripping mad gashes across the sky. Let's just say it deserves a place in that rarified air where the great prog songs of the era exist.

In terms of listening to this album, I rarely get beyond Lothlorien, the remainder being somewhat of a letdown, following as it does perfection. Chained (the aforementioned covered song) is that typical cowbell-driven 70's rocker, albeit with above-par vocals. Argent contributes pleasant organ work on Rejoice before it lapses into nothingness. As for the rest, well it's purely average.

I'm torn here. This is an average album that hosts one spectacular song, but that song is special. So let's say it's a qualified 4, simply to encourage a newcomer to Argent with an inquisitive mind to give Lothorien a listen.

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 Argent  by ARGENT album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.16 | 40 ratings

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Argent
Argent Crossover Prog

Review by jammun
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Well, just how proggy can an album be if Three Dog Night covered one of the album's best songs? Obviously, we're not looking at nor listening to rocket science or brain (salad) surgery with Argent's first album.

I need to put on my wayback-machine ears here. A lot of this sounds like typical 70's rock -- great vocal harmonies, great melodies, powerful keyboards, chucka-chucka guitars, and in the end not much happening. But there's a big however: this album was recorded on the front-end of the 70's. In other words, it's a template for what many of us associate with the typical 70's rock sound, because it is one of the sources. You'll hear sounds here that were successfully appropriated by various 70's bands. So Lonely Hard Road engenders a Doobie Brothers sound. Liar, or at least its intention and invective, shows up on Fleetwood Mac's Rumours.

It's not surprising, really. Rod Argent came to the band via The Zombies, one of the more intelligent of the original British Invasion bands. Argent's keyboards are invariably perfect, and the rest of the band, while not exactly capable of causing one's jaw to drop, provide a perfectly competent background.

The prog tendencies are here: the guitar intro to Like Honey and the mid-song passages with swirling vocals and Hammond, the Hammond intro and subsequent second- and third-harmonics of The Feelings Inside. And Stepping Stone almost reaches velocity here and there.

This is a pretty decent first album for the band. There's a competent rock writer (Ballard) and an above- competent keyboardist trying to find their way. They hit some decent high points here and there, but never really pull it all together. It's a good listen if one's expectations are not too high, especially for those who appreciate keyboards.

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 Circus by ARGENT album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.30 | 39 ratings

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Circus
Argent Crossover Prog

Review by flamenco

5 stars I must agree with Johnny! This is the best Argent album by far for me. I have had it on vinyl only for the same 30 years as Johnny. I have been playing it over and over ever since. What fab harmony singing and I love the mixed rhythmic pulses throughout the opening number. It is full of little gems of ideas. Maybe not all get developed as far as they might but I just love listening to it. I often play it through 2 or 3 times straight. There are very few albums I own I would do THAT with. If you don't know it - I urge you as a seeker of musical treasure to find it and listen... It has to be 5 stars. (Dav)

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