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Argent The Argent Anthology: A Collection Of Greatest Hits album cover
2.83 | 13 ratings | 6 reviews | 15% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Hold Your Head Up (6:17)
2. Liar (3:14)
3. Pleasure (4:54)
4. God Gave Rock And Roll To You (6:45)
5. It's Only Money, Part 1 (4:06)
6. Thunder And Lightning (5:09)
7. Tragedy (4:48)
8. Time Of The Season (live) (6:37)

Total Time: 41:50

Line-up / Musicians

- Rod Argent / keyboards, vocals
- Russ Ballard / vocals, guitar
- Bob Henrit / drums
- Jim Rodford / bass

Releases information

LP Epic 33955 (1976)

Thanks to trotsky for the addition
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The Argent Anthology: A Collection Of Greatest HitsThe Argent Anthology: A Collection Of Greatest Hits
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ARGENT The Argent Anthology: A Collection Of Greatest Hits ratings distribution

(13 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(15%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (23%)
Poor. Only for completionists (8%)

ARGENT The Argent Anthology: A Collection Of Greatest Hits reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Trotsky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I'd been obssessed with hearing Argent ever since I stumbled upon the masterful track Lothlorien on the 5CD box set Supernatural Fairy Tales, and thought nothing of picking up this compilation when I got the chance (to date I've never even seen another Argent album). However what I got was a clear indication of just what a schizophrenic band this was.

Keyboardist Rod Argent came into this band very much the boss. Having penned two defining hits of the 60s for his previous group The Zombies (who can forget She's Not There and Time Of The Season?) he even had the luxury of naming his new band after himself. While he intended to take the band in a progressive direction, singer/guitarist Russ Ballard had a great talent for writing hard rock with a strong commercial edge (Radio favourites like Three Dog Night's Liar, Rainbow's Since You've Been Gone and Kiss' God Gave Rock'N'Roll To You were all written by him). That the duo were pulling in different directions is glaringly obvious on this collection.

Unfortunately this compilation is slanted towards the more radio-friendly side of the band, a fact evinced by the fact that of the seven Argent originals, five are written by Ballard and only two by Rod Argent himself. The absence of the brilliant Lothlorien and a whole host of apparently classic tracks (bear in mind that I haven't heard that much Argent music) like Dance In The Smoke, I Am The Dance Of Ages, Candles On The River, The Coming of Kohoutek and Music Of The Spheres means that the average progressive rock fan will want to start somewhere else. Also, it's worth noting that the compilation only covers the period up to the 1974 live album Encore, and doesn't include anything from the two post-Ballard albums Circus and Counterpoints.

Still, with Rod and Russ backed by a faithful bass/drums combo of Jim Rodford and Bob Henrit, there's plenty of quality music on show. Despite the lightweight sounding vocal segments that call to mind Todd Rundgren/Jackson Browne tunes, Rod Argents' Pleasure is the most prog-friendly piece here, with some excellent instrumental interludes, and both Hold Your Head Up (which Argent co-wrote with his old Zombies bassist Chris White) and Liar have strong keyboard solos in the middle (echoing The Zombies hits). Even the oh-so-glam God Gave Rock'N'Roll To You starts off with some proggy organ, before going on to become one of the finest anthems the glam rock "movement" never had. The fact that Kiss simplified the song a little and produced a truly great tune (albeit nearly 20 years later) is proof enough that the band's inner rifts didn't always work out for the best.

In fact all tracks have that strange mix of pop/rock and bold expressive keyboards. It's Only Money (Part 1) was another hit single that had a latent rock punch, a power- packed guitar solo, and some funky organ with a brief Keith Emerson soundalike moment. Similarly, Thunder And Lightning is like a mid-70s Mannfred Mann's Earth Band track, with a catchy, yet ominous rock song soaring thanks to a nice spacey synth solo, while Tragedy is a catchy white funk-rock piece. The album concludes with a live version of Time Of The Season with weak vocals (who can outdo the Zombies' Colin Blunstone really?) and some great adventurous playing from ol' Roddy.

Listening to this, (and Lothlorien being the only other Argent track I've heard) I'm sure that this collection doesn't do justice to Argent the prog band, but it's still such a compulsive blend of prog-tinged hard rock. I think fans of Styx, Mannfred Mann's Earth Band and early Alan Parsons Project will derive the most enjoyment out of this sort of set. ... 50% on the MPV scale

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Cross my palms with sliver

The "Argent Anthology" is a rather brief and superficial overview of the band's most commercial recordings. Many of the tracks here were released as singles, with varying degrees of success.

"Hold your head up" and "God gave rock'n'roll to you", both thankfully included in full here rather than as single edits, were massively successful and introduced the band to a worldwide audience. While the former is reasonably representative of their output, the latter verges on the glam-rock, a point highlighted by the subsequent covering of the song by Kiss(!).

There's not really much in the way of prog here, the compilation clearly being designed to appeal to the commercial market, rather than to offer a balanced perspective on the band's output. Consequently, their most progressive album, "Nexus", is ignored completely, as are their more jazz orientated post-Ballard releases. The album is rounded off by a cover of the Zombies "Time of the season" from the excellent "Encore live" album.

At a mere 42 minutes, the CD hardly offers value for money, even when available as a budget release. The general dearth of Argent material on CD however means that this compilation at least offers a rare opportunity to experience a sample the music of this fine band.

Review by Fitzcarraldo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The first six songs on this album are rock classics, and deservedly so: great rock music, albeit with a conventional hard rock'n'roll sound not normally labelled as Progressive Rock. Rod Argent's various keyboards are very enjoyable, as is Ballard's guitar work.

The hit 'God Gave Rock & Roll To You' (from "In Deep") was later rehashed by KISS and released in 1991 on a film soundtrack album and, in the following year, on the KISS album "Revenge", guaranteeing the song's status as a rock anthem to another generation. The hit 'Hold Your Head Up' (from "All Together Now") is another track worthy of the title 'rock anthem'.

As far as I'm concerned, though, the last two tracks on this compilation album are a strange choice, as I do not feel they are up to the same standard as the other six. In fact 'Time Of The Season' was written by that classic 1960s pop group THE ZOMBIES, Rod Argent's previous group, so why is it included in an ARGENT anthology in the first place, especially when there are more deserving ARGENT songs?

Why only eight tracks? Well, because this album started life as an LP. Nevertheless it's hardly an anthology given this small sampling of the group's work. One of my favourite ARGENT songs is Russ Ballard's delicious 'Schoolgirl' from the group's first album; why isn't that track included on the CD too, for example?

So, if you want a brief sample of the music of ARGENT ("brief" being the operative word) then get this CD, but be aware that it's far from a comprehensive anthology.

I would award this compilation CD 3.5 stars if such a thing were possible. The reason I am being rather hard and dropping it to 3 stars (Good, but not essential) is because it has only eight songs on it and, in my opinion, two of them do not represent the best the group offered (and one of which is a cover of a track by THE ZOMBIES in any case). An anthology CD should do better than that. However, six of the eight songs on this CD are truly excellent rock music.

In 1976 I bought an ARGENT anthology LP also released by Epic (Epic 81321) and that also contained eight tracks. It had 'Schoolgirl' and 'Keep On Rolling' instead of 'Tragedy' and 'Time Of The Season' (the other six tracks were the same as on the Epic 33955 LP). Whilst I like 'Tragedy' and 'Time Of The Season', I feel that the Epic 81321 album was a better choice assuming one had to stick to eight tracks. But then, why couldn't an anthology CD have all of them?

Most of the songs on this CD are classics. Rod Argent, Russ Ballard and Co. wrote some good songs: straightforward rock music with good tunes that I enjoy listening to now just as much as I did when it was first released. If you are unfamiliar with ARGENT and you are debating whether to buy this compilation then don't be put off if you see it going cheaply, but it is a rather stingy offering for an anthology on CD.

"God gave rock'n'roll to you, gave rock'n'roll to you, put it in the soul of everyone". Amen to that.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury 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.

Latest members reviews

2 stars I came at this collection as an Argent newbie.....'Hold Your Head Up' is a great song.....and that's all I knew.....I noticed the band in Prog Archives and decided to check them out a little further..... I was actually tempted to rate this as a three star album..... The songs are not really p ... (read more)

Report this review (#165196) | Posted by digdug | Thursday, March 27, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars One of the best ways to sample a group that you are unfamiliar with is to buy a "Greatest Hits" or "Anthology". The Best Of Argent An Anthology is a very good selection of ARGENT'S music from their first album "Argent" through to "Nexus". Epic Records has appeared to released two different vers ... (read more)

Report this review (#55140) | Posted by valravennz | Tuesday, November 8, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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