Week of January 2, 2000

First PICK in the NEW MILLENIUM!!!



Rod Argent - keyboards, vocals
Russ Ballard - guitar
Robert Henrit - drms
Jim Rodford - bass
John Grimaldi - guitar
John Verity - guitar


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


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


Celebration/Kingdom (Epic EPC 5423) 1971
Hold Your Head Up/Closer To Heaven (PS) (Epic EPC 9135) 1971
Hold Your Head Up/Closer To Heaven/Keep On Rollin' (PS) (Epic EPC 9135) 1971
Tragedy/Rejoice (Epic EPC 8115) 1972
God Gave Rock 'N' Roll To You/Christmas For The Free (Epic EPC 1243) 1973
It's Only Money (Part 2)/Candle On The River (Epic EPC 1628) 1973
Thunder And Lightning/Keeper Of The Flame (Epic EPC 2147) 1974
Man For All Seasons/Music From The Spheres (Epic EPC 2448) 1974
Highwire/Circus (Epic EPC 3047) 1975
Hold Your Head Up/God Gave Rock 'N' Roll To You (Epic 152332) 1975
Rock 'N' Roll Show/It's Fallen Off (RCA 2624) 1975


God Gave Rock 'N' Roll To You/Hold Your Head Up (Epic EPC 3954) 1976
Hold Your Head Up/It's Only Money (Epic EPC 4321) 1976
Hold Your Head Up/Tragedy (Epic EPC 7062) 1979
Hold Your Head Up/Dance In The Smoke (Old Gold OG 9187) 1982
Hold Your Head Up/God Gave Rock 'N' Roll To You (CBS A 4580) 1984

NB: "Argent" reissued on CD (Beat Goes On BGOCD 110) 1991. "All Together Now" reissued on CD (Epic 477377 2) 1994. "In Deep" also released in quadrophonic and reissued on CD (Epic 480529 2) 1997. "Ring Of Hands" (COL-CD-6087/SONY A-30997) and "Encore" (COL-CD-6089/SONY A-30996) reissued on CD in the U.S. in 1999, on the Collectables label. "Nexus" reissued on CD by Epic, Rewind series (489442 2).

There's also a CD compilation, "The Best Of Argent" (Epic 902293 2) 1990. 

Also relevant are the CDs, "In Concert" (Windsong WINCD 067) 1995, featuring material from a 1972 show and "The BBC Sessions" (BBC Worldwide/Strange Fruit) 1997, which combines radio recordings from 1970-73, including unissued versions of "Tradegy", "Hold Your Head Up" and "God Gave Rock 'n' Roll To You".

Rod Argent formed this band in 1969 following the break-up of The Zombies. The remaining line-up consisted of his cousin Jim Rodford and former Roulettes Russ Ballard and Bob Henrit. 

Their debut album, "Argent", was very much in The Zombies' mould. One of its stronger tracks was "Dance In The Smoke", which brought the band to the attention of a much wider audience by virtue of its inclusion on the double budget compilation, "Fill Your Head With Rock".  Another of its songs, "Liar", was covered by Three Dog Night in the U.S., where it became a hit, whilst "Cast Your Spell Uranus" was included on the "Together!" compilation. 

Their subsequent albums were heavier in style but yielded two UK hits - the classic "Hold Your Head Up" and "God Gave Rock'N'Roll To You".  The "All Together Now" and "In Deep" albums sold well in England. 

In May 1974, Russ Ballard left the band to pursue a solo career, releasing a solo album, "Winning" (Epic SEPC 69210) in 1976.  He was replaced by guitarists John Grimaldi and John Verity.  Following the flop of their "Circus" album, they switched to RCA for "Counterpoint", which fared no better and in 1976 they split. 

Rod Argent went on to pursue a solo career.  Henrit opened a drum shop in London's West End and played in a band called Phoenix, with Rodford before they both joined The Kinks

For more information on all things Rod Argent, visit the Rod Argent Web Site

Taken from The Tapestry of Delights - The Comprehensive Guide to British Music of the Beat, R&B, Psychedelic and Progressive Eras 1963-1976, Vernon Joynson   ISBN 1 899855 04 1

Rod Argent was the leader of the English rock band Argent. But there was more to the group than the talented keyboardist and singer who first found fame and hits as a member of the Zombies. Other players included guitarist Russ Ballard, who contributed songs to Argent and would later become an important songwriter and producer in his own right. Argent, born June 14, 1945, had been in the Zombies, a successful British Invasion band known for the 1964 smash "She's Not There" and "Tell Her No," which came out a year later. Both were written by Argent, who played in the band with singer Colin Blunstone, guitarist Paul Atkinson, bassist Chris White and drummer Hugh Grundy. The Zombies had disbanded in 1967, but their music lived on. A group called People had done well in 1968 with their "I Love You" and the single, "Time Of The Season", written by Argent in 1967, for their last album, "Odyssey and Oracle", had suddenly become an international hit in early 1969.

Despite the surprise success of "Time Of The Season", Argent had no time to tour with the reformed Zombies, turning down hundreds of thousands of dollars to work with his self-named group. Besides Argent, the band featured Ballard (born October 31, 1947, in Waltham Cross, England), bassist and Argent's cousin Jim Rodford (born July 7, 1945, St. Albans, England) and drummer Bob Henrit (born May 2, 1945, in Broxbourne, England).

While the new members didn't have Argent's background of success, they were not newcomers to the scene. Both Ballard and Henrit had played in Unit Four + 2, which had a 1965 hit with "Concrete And Clay" and had backed English pop star Adam Faith in his band, the Roulettes. The new band came together in late 1969, recording its first album, "Argent," for CBS in England in 1970. It was issued by Epic in the U.S. This artistic triumph featured many ethereal Zombies-like compositions and hinted at the increasingly progressive aspirations of Rod Argent. One of the songs, "Liar", was also covered by Three Dog Night and became a Top 10 single in the Summer of 1970. The group also began to develop a live following after playing major venues in Los Angeles and New York City. Their second album, "A Ring Of Hands", came out in early 1971, followed by "All Together Now", issued in the Spring of 1972. It featured the single, "Hold Your Head Up", by Argent and former Zombie Chris White. A powerful mid-tempo rock song, it became a huge hit on both sides of the Atlantic, scoring in England in the Spring of '72, then going Top 10 in the States in August. An equally strong "Tragedy" was pulled as a single and sold well in England.

"All Together Now" was a best-seller as was its follow-up, "In Deep", which came out in the Spring of 1973. The first single, the quietly anthemic, "God Gave Rock And Roll To You", went Top 20 in England, and received strong airplay in the U.S. In 1974, by the time the "Nexus" album came out, Ballard had departed. He would have hits with "On The Rebound" and "Voices" and pen hits for others like America, who went Top 10 with "You Can Do Magic". He also wrote Hot Chocolate's "So You Win Again" and Rainbow's "Since You've Been Gone". In 1991, he worked on the soundtrack to "Bill And Ted's Bogus Journey".

Ballard was replaced by guitarists John Verity and John Grimaldi. While they were fitting into the group, the double-disc, "Encore - Live In Concert" was issued in early 1975. It was followed by "Circus", which charted in '75, and "Counterpoint", which was issued that year by United Artists in the U.S. and RCA in England.

In 1976, Grimaldi left the band and Argent decided to call it quits. Verity, Rodford and Henrit cut two albums for Columbia as Phoenix. Verity later led a band he named after himself while Rodford went to work for the Kinks. Argent continued to write, scoring an instrumental hit in 1978 with "Argentine Melody", the TV theme for the Argentine World Cup soccer contest, and writing a musical, "Masquerade", which was staged in London. He was also a busy session player, recorded a couple of jazz albums and continued to write. While Argent remains best-known in the U.S. for "Hold Your Head Up", the group created some very good rock music that is featured, e.g. on the reissue of one of their most interesting albums, "Ring Of Hands".

Mark Marymont
(Taken from the CD reissue of "Ring Of Hands", 1999, Collectables, COL-CD-6087/SONY A-30997)
Billboard chart numbers courtesy of BPI Communications and Joel Whitburn's Record Research

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