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Argent - Encore: Live In Concert CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.51 | 34 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars A bit overdue, but not exactly coming too late, this double live album came in handy to buy the band more time, as Ballard's departure to a good solo career was a handicap (this was the band's first and last line-up change) and they needed more time to replace him. In either case, this album comes as the band's definitive statement and their only real essential album.

Obviously as expected the bulk of the tracks played in concert came from the preceding three albums, ATN, ID and Nexus (3tracks each), and their live version being often superior to their studio ones. This is indeed the case for Spheres, Dance Of The Ages (which has now grown to a 9-minutes beauty), Thunder And Lightning and the rockin' Keep On Rollin'. While I found that some tracks had not been bettered (It's Only Money and Miracles), the extended version of Hold Your Head up is only partially successful, and comes with too many solos, but it doesn't disserve the cause either. And what a joy it is to hear the old Zombies track Time Of The Season, now reserved for the encore, while it used to be the bravado piece before.

All the more I could think of is that five more tracks could've made it on this record, and you'd have everything you need as far as their Ballard-era is concerned (those tracks being Candles On The River, Lothlorian, Sleep and Keeper Of The Flame and maybe Losing Hold). In either case, this album salutes the end of Ballard's tenure with Argent and it might just be Ballard's most definitive performance as far as vocals and guitar playing are concerned. This live album is the only thing I own still nowadays (Argent was an early fave of mine) and most likely I'll do a compilation CD-r from the studio albums for the few scattered tracks that are not better represented on this live album.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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