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Argent
"The Argent Anthology:
A Collection Of Greatest Hits"

© Epic

November 27 - 03, 2016

Year of Release: 1976
Rating:
  • Hold Your Head Up
  • Liar
  • Pleasure
  • God Gave Rock And Roll To You
  • It's Only Money Pt. 1
  • Thunder And Lightning
  • Tragedy
  • Time Of The Season

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    Argent is named after keyboardist/musician Rod Argent. What most music fans may, or may not know, is that Rod Argent was a member of the 1960s band, The Zombies' ("Time Of The Season," "She's Not There," and "Tell Her No" were their biggest hits.) For the 1970s music decade fans, Argent's "Hold Your Head Up" was a huge classic rock hit. Argent's music otherwise was pretty much unnoticed. The Argent Anthology: A Collection Of Greatest Hits captures only eight tracks. And of the eight, some should have easily been considered other classic rock hits. In one case, one of the songs here was recorded by another band. And, out of all the eight tracks on this compilation, all but one was written, or co-written by Rod Argent.

    The band Argent released only seven albums throughout the 1970s. By 1974, their popularity (for some) had faded, yet their songs could easily be heard throughout FM radio playlists. Only one song would be a regular, "Hold Your Head Up", and even decades that followed, many of today's oldies stations continue to include this song in their playlists.

    The U.S. version of The Argent Anthology here has tracks from their "peak" studio albums, and one live track: Their biggest hit, "Hold Your Head Up" and "Tragedy" were from their third album, All Together Now (1972). "Tragedy" mixes both Rock and Funk, making this track very interesting.

    Another interesting track is Russ Ballard's "Liar" from their 1970 debut self-titled album, Argent. For those who hear Argent's version, you're probably asking "Where did I hear this song before?" It was recorded by another band (and more popular than that of Argent), Three Dog Night.

    "Pleasure" (from the band's second album, Ring Of Hands [1972]), has a nice Rock start, yet builds up towards its end, making it a great song, and of course, one song that everyone probably never heard of, but should have. Which is the same for "God Gave Rock And Roll To You" -- a should-be Classic Progressive Rock song that no one really ever heard. It was from their 1973 album In Deep (fourth album). And as I listen to this song, somehow I'm hearing a song that would be released. Another track from In Deep here is "It's Only Money Pt. 1." This one is also a rocking song. And for those who really enjoy this type of rock music, you often ask, why haven't I heard of this band called Argent? They're great!

    By 1974's Nexus album, it just may seem that Argent may have been winding down. As "Thunder And Lightning" from this album is just an "ok" rock tune. Yet, what is another interesting track is the last one, from their live album, Encore: Live In Concert, released in 1974. Argent's previous band, The Zombies and their hit "Time Of The Season" gets an updated approach by the band Argent. This one is definitely worth listening to. As again, Argent is one of those bands that you just know, by "Hold Your Head Up." And speaking of this well-know hit, if you're not familiar with the long version of this hit, once again, it's worth checking out.

    Argent is one of those bands that never got its recognition more, in the 1970s. Maybe it was because their songs were four minutes or more. Progressive Rock bands were well-known with this time limit. And, most likely, Argent's music would have been more fitted on FM radio, than AM. But still, Argent's music is worth looking into. And alghough, this anthology is just the tip of the iceberg as they say, their regular studio albums are also worth listening to.

    Rod Argent continued to record after Argent. He recorded two solo albums. One in 1978 (Moving Home and in 1988 Red House. In 1998, he recorded a Classical album, Classically Speaking. Being a keyboardist, his organ solos has always been standouts in his music. Rick Wakeman mentioned of Argent's Hammond B3 organ solo as the greatest organ solo ever. Such a compliment from another fellow keyboardist, who, in my opinion, Wakeman would have to be the greatest keyboardist of all time. And, Wakeman has recorded a huge assortment of Classical albums, I'm curious in how Argent had recorded his own Classical album, Classically Speaking. From Amazon, it seems this album maybe out of print, as this cd is close to the $30 mark for purchase. It was originally released in the UK, being an import. And also looking up Rod Argent's other two solo albums, Red House is available on CD for an affordable price, but Moving Home is not available on CD.

    Rod Argent and another Zombie-member, vocalist Colin Blunstone have recorded together in 2004 (as The Zombies), As Far As I Can See. Previously, Argent had worked with other artists, such as The Who, Gary Moore, and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Also, he was a member of Ringo Starr's All-Starr band in 2006. The Zombies original survivng members reunited in 2009, and a new album, Still Got That Hunger, in 2015. (The Zombies had other studio albums released prior to the 1960s: In 1991, 2004, and 2011.)

    But for those who enjoy Classic Rock, and even Progressive Rock, Argent's Anthology is a good start. For those looking more, there are other Best Of compilations, or to even pursue more of their music, their original studio albums are available on CD.




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