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Fitzcarraldo View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: ARGENT
    Posted: December 20 2004 at 13:55

Luis Fernandez' reviews of some of the ARGENT albums yesterday reminded me that ARGENT are in the ProgArchives. Now, although I have been a fan of ARGENT since the mid 1970s, I never thought of the band's music as Progressive Rock, just Rock plus some pop. Nevertheless, the band made some great music in my opinion. I love Russ Ballard numbers such as 'Schoolgirl' and his post-ARGENT pop (e.g. 'I Don't Believe In Miracles'), and of course the excellent ARGENT rock numbers 'God Gave Rock & Roll To You', 'Hold Your Head Up', 'Thunder & Lightning' etc.

If you want to check out ARGENT though, my advice is to think twice before buying Epic Records' "The Argent Anthology - A Collection Of Greatest Hits". It's only got 8 tracks - hardly a proper anthology - and two of them are not that good. It's better to buy the original albums. It's a shame that a decent "Argent Greatest Hits" album has not been released. The Japanese album "Hold Your Head Up - The Best Of Argent" at least has 15 tracks rather than the measly 8 on the Epic Records album, but is missing some ARGENT classics such as 'Thunder & Lightning', 'It's Only Money', 'Liar' etc.

Any other ARGENT fans out there?

 

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Easy Livin View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 20 2004 at 14:17

Yeah, great band Fitz, at least up until when Ballard left. After that they ran out of steam. They had a fair amount of singles success, but I reckon they were still essentially a prog band. My favourite is their "Nexus" album, which had great tracks such as "Music from the spheres", and "The coming of Kohoutek".

Isn't it time CBS remastered and re-released their early albums?

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Dick Heath View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 20 2004 at 17:00
Haven't they reverted back to being the Zombies over the last two years? Saw an ad for the Zombies in Las Vegas for Sept 2003, and Ballad and Argent were interviewed on Johnnie Walker's Radio 2 show a few months ago, as the Zombies.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 21 2004 at 13:39

Apparently so:



As Far As I Can See -
released  spring 2004 
"As Far As I Can See", released spring 2004, has been garnering some wonderful reaction........

"Miss this one at your peril" - The Times
"Drop dead gorgeous melodies and slinky hooks" - Mojo
"Blunstone's voice and Argent's songwriting are unaffected by age" - Sunday Express 
 
 

  
Track listing

1. In My Mind a Miracle
2. Memphis
3. Southside of the Street
4. I Want to Fly
5. Time To Move
6. I Don't Believe In Miracles
7. As Far As I Can See
8. With You Not Here
9. Wings Against The Sun
10. Together
11. Look For A Better Way

 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 21 2004 at 14:36
I don't think, unless memory fails me, Ballard was ever in the Zombies. Are we perhaps mixing up Ballard and Colin Blunstone, who was in the Zombies (but not Argent), and has been working quite a bit lately with Rod Argent?
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Fitzcarraldo View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 21 2004 at 14:56

Who's "we"?  

I ain't mixing nobody up... it's (stage whisper) Dick.

 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 21 2004 at 15:30
Tact was never my long suit Fitz!LOL
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 21 2004 at 16:37
Originally posted by Fitzcarraldo

 

If you want to check out ARGENT though, my advice is to think twice before buying Epic Records' "The Argent Anthology - A Collection Of Greatest Hits". It's only got 8 tracks - hardly a proper anthology - and two of them are not that good. It's better to buy the original albums. It's a shame that a decent "Argent Greatest Hits" album has not been released. The Japanese album "Hold Your Head Up - The Best Of Argent" at least has 15 tracks rather than the measly 8 on the Epic Records album, but is missing some ARGENT classics such as 'Thunder & Lightning', 'It's Only Money', 'Liar' etc.

Any other ARGENT fans out there?

 

I have that and the great thing is that it has the full unedited version of 'Hold Your Head Up'.You will find some gastly edits around the place that chop up or..God forbid... omit completely Rod Argent's wonderfull hammond solo.

 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 22 2004 at 08:35

Originally posted by Easy Livin

I don't think, unless memory fails me, Ballard was ever in the Zombies. Are we perhaps mixing up Ballard and Colin Blunstone, who was in the Zombies (but not Argent), and has been working quite a bit lately with Rod Argent?

 

Your'e right in my rush I should have said Blunstone.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 23 2004 at 14:19
Originally posted by richardh

I have that and the great thing is that it has the full unedited version of 'Hold Your Head Up'.You will find some gastly edits around the place that chop up or..God forbid... omit completely Rod Argent's wonderfull hammond solo.

Other dreadful edits to watch out for:

Ten year after, "Love like a man". The single version replaces a superb guitar solo with a single wah wah'd note.

Justin Hayward, "Forever Autumn", the ending of the single version is downright amateur.

Free, "All right now", some versions completely omit the guitar solo.

Rare Bird "As your mind flies by". This excellent 10 minute track is chopped in half on some compilations.

Uriah Heep "Look at yourself", the single version just cuts bits out randomly.

I'm sure there are many more!

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 28 2005 at 17:41
There are some great Hammond organ on Argent's early albums, however my favourite is "Counterparts" which stands on the verge of jazz-rock.
Don't be a prog-hole, please...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2005 at 03:14
Originally posted by Easy Livin

[


Other dreadful edits to watch out for:


Ten year after, "Love like a man". The single
version replaces a superb guitar solo with a single
wah wah'd note.


Justin Hayward, "Forever Autumn", the ending of
the single version is downright amateur.


Free, "All right now", some versions completely
omit the guitar solo.


Rare Bird "As your mind flies by". This excellent 10
minute track is chopped in half on some
compilations.


Uriah Heep "Look at yourself", the single version
just cuts bits out randomly.


I'm sure there are many more!



Blue Oyster Cult - Don't Fear the Reaper. It's always
frustrating when they play the single version minus
the majestic guitar break, which they invariably do on
the radio.
"It's 1973, almost dinnertime and I'm 'aving 'oops!" - Gene Hunt
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2005 at 03:36
Originally posted by Fitzcarraldo

Luis Fernandez' reviews of some of the ARGENT albums yesterday reminded me that ARGENT are in the ProgArchives. Now, although I have been a fan of ARGENT since the mid 1970s, I never thought of the band's music as Progressive Rock, just Rock plus some pop. Nevertheless, the band made some great music in my opinion. I love Russ Ballard numbers such as 'Schoolgirl' and his post-ARGENT pop (e.g. 'I Don't Believe In Miracles'), and of course the excellent ARGENT rock numbers 'God Gave Rock & Roll To You', 'Hold Your Head Up', 'Thunder & Lightning' etc.

If you want to check out ARGENT though, my advice is to think twice before buying Epic Records' "The Argent Anthology - A Collection Of Greatest Hits". It's only got 8 tracks - hardly a proper anthology - and two of them are not that good. It's better to buy the original albums. It's a shame that a decent "Argent Greatest Hits" album has not been released. The Japanese album "Hold Your Head Up - The Best Of Argent" at least has 15 tracks rather than the measly 8 on the Epic Records album, but is missing some ARGENT classics such as 'Thunder & Lightning', 'It's Only Money', 'Liar' etc.

Any other ARGENT fans out there?

 

The best intro i could think of is the live album Encore which has got all the prog tracks (bar two: one off In Deep - Candles on The River -  and one off Nexus - Keeper of The Flame) - plus proggier version of their hits. I Am The Dance Of The Ages really does it for me!

But I do not like the Pure Love suite on All Together Now!

 



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2005 at 10:40

 Correct me if I'm wrong, here!

Should there not be someone fixing the artwork of Nexus?

 It seems to completely wrong , Colors are wrong , centering is wrong, also!

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2005 at 12:16
Review in the latest Jazzwise magazine of a reissued CD of British jazz diva queen Cleo Laine and Rod Argent (that is an intriguing pairing), in which the reviewer asks: where is Rod Argent now..........................?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2005 at 13:13

Russ Ballard was in the 60s beat band Unit Four Plus Two, famous for having a hit called 'Concrete And Clay', and before that was in Adam Faith's backing band The Roulettes. I shouldn't know that really- I'm only 17!

I have 'Encore' by Argent, and it's a terrific live album with great sound and fantastic solos.

By the way Easy Livin, the Argent albums 'In Deep' and 'Nexus' have just been remastered on a 2CD set by the label Edsel, who've been releasing CBS albums by Soft Machine and Al Stewart, plus the Kevin Ayers Island albums.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2005 at 14:53

I'll need to watch out for that Salmacis, sounds good!

I picked up the Al Stewart remaster of 3 of his early albums on 2CDs, and it was superb.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2005 at 15:30

Man, I continue to be in the minority when it comes to Argent but I think that Circus is awesome and that side one of Counterparts (will it ever be re-released?) is good even though side two is garbage.  I like Nexus, too. It surprises me that Circus gets ripped so much on these prog sites. "Circus", "Highwire", and "Trapeze" are all excellent songs! And definitely prog. "On My Feet Again/I Can't Remember, but Yes" from Counterparts is also great, as is "Time" from the same album.

I will admit, though, that one of the biggest mistakes I ever made was buying the album from the Argent spinoff band "Phoenix" which had guitarist John Verity, bassist Jim Rodford, and drummer Robert Henrit. Now that was grabage!

Russ Ballard is okay. I really like "Man for All Reasons" on Nexus, but most of his other stuff doesn't do much for me. I can't listen to the first Argent album that came bundled with the re-release of Circus. It does nothing for me. Which is kind of weird since I enjoy repeated listenings of The Odyssey and the Oracle, the Zombies last album.

And it is true, Ballard was never in the Zombies. I don't know who the guitarist was but Rod Argent's writing partner Chris White played bass, I think.

 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2005 at 15:36
I can understand that Chris, when Ballard left, Rod Argent took the band in a jazzier direction. If you enjoy that style, then Circus will certainly appeal. I'm not a great lover of jazz, so I actually enjoyed the melodic hard rock of the Phoenix album, "Easy" was a superb opening track in my book.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2005 at 16:13
Hey, Easy, its so funny you mentioned that first Phoenix cut...I do like it...but stuff like "Winnebago"...sorry...but I'm glad at least someone else heard of the damned thing. Its one of the most obscure albums I own!
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