Argent (band)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

OriginLondon, England
GenresProgressive rock, hard rock, psychedelic rock, glam rock[1]
Years active1969–1976, 2010, 2012, 2013
Associated actsThe Zombies, The Roulettes, Chris White, The Kinks
Past membersRod Argent
Bob Henrit
Jim Rodford
Russ Ballard
John Verity
John Grimaldi

Argent was an English rock band founded in 1969 by keyboardist Rod Argent, formerly of The Zombies. They were best known for their songs "Hold Your Head Up" and "God Gave Rock and Roll to You".


Original members of the band were Rod Argent on keyboards, bassist Jim Rodford (Argent's cousin and formerly with the Mike Cotton Sound), drummer Bob Henrit and guitarist Russ Ballard (both formerly with The Roulettes and Unit 4 + 2).[2] Lead vocal duties were shared between Ballard, Rodford and Argent.

The first three demos from Argent, recorded in the autumn of 1968 featured Mac MacLeod on bass guitar, though he would not become a member of the group.[3] Rod Argent, Chris White (former Zombies bassist, producer, songwriter) and Russ Ballard were the group's songwriters.

When Ballard left in 1974, he was replaced by guitarist/vocalist John Verity and guitarist John Grimaldi. This lineup produced two albums and a film that was never released (though a clip is available to view on John Verity's website). The band's decision to stop touring late in 1976 has never been fully explained, though the decision might have been influenced by the declining health of one of its members. Rodford, Henrit and Verity briefly continued together under the name Phoenix before going their separate ways, with first Rodford and then Henrit becoming members of The Kinks.[1] Meanwhile, Rod Argent went on to work with Andrew Lloyd Webber, and to produce a couple of solo albums. He also opened a keyboard shop in the West End of London.

The original Argent lineup reunited at the High Voltage Festival in Victoria Park, London on 25 July 2010, and undertook a short five-date concert tour in December 2010, with gigs in Frome, Southampton, Wolverhampton, Leamington Spa and London.[citation needed]

Argent also reunited for a five show tour in January-February 2012, before performing one last show at the Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury, for a benefit concert, on 2 June 2013, supporting The Zombies, with Steve Hogarth and Steve Rothery, of Marillion, opening the concert.

Rodford died after a fall on 20 January 2018, at age 76.[4][5]


Argent's biggest hit was the Rod Argent and Chris White composition "Hold Your Head Up", featuring lead vocals by Russ Ballard, from the All Together Now album, which, in a heavily edited single form, reached No. 5 in the US. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.[6]

The sound of the band was a mix of rock and pop, but also covered more progressive rock territory in songs like "The Coming of Kohoutek", an instrumental from their Nexus album. When Ballard left the band after Encore, they took an even more progressive/fusion turn with their final Epic album Circus[2] and then signed to a new record label (RCA) for the final 1975 album Counterpoints. By 2005, all albums, including compilations, have been re-released on CD, except Counterpoints.


"Hold Your Head Up" was covered in 1987 by the band 20/Twenty. [7], and (in the same year) by Australian supergroup the Partyboys

The band Jellyfish opened most of their shows with an abbreviated version of "Hold Your Head Up".

Mother Love Bone covered "Hold Your Head Up" which was recorded in 1989. Their version was released on a promotional only 7" vinyl in 1989. It was reissued on 7" vinyl in 2014 as a limited edition Black Friday Record Store Day release on Stardog/Republic Records.[8]

Phish play an instrumental version of "Hold Your Head Up", usually as a transition into a "joke song" by drummer Jon Fishman.[9]

Argent also recorded the original version of "God Gave Rock and Roll to You", written by Russ Ballard, which was covered by Kiss in 1991 under the name "God Gave Rock 'n' Roll to You II", and featured prominently at the end of the film Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey. The song also became a Contemporary Christian rock anthem and was twice covered by the Christian Rock band Petra, in 1977 (on the album Come and Join Us) and again in 1984 (on the album Beat the System), with new verses.[10]

Some of Ballard's compositions became hits when they were covered by other artists, including Rainbow ("Since You Been Gone" and "I Surrender"), Kiss, Petra, Hello, Santana and more recently the Brazilian metal band Oficina G3. The Russ Ballard song "Liar" on Argent's first album became a hit for Three Dog Night.[11]


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Label United States United Kingdom[12]
1970 Argent Epic
1971 Ring of Hands
1972 All Together Now 23 13
1973 In Deep 90 49
1974 Nexus 149
1975 Circus 171
Counterpoints RCA

Live albums[edit]

Year Album United States United Kingdom[12]
1974 Encore: Live in Concert 151
1997 The Complete BBC Sessions
2010 High Voltage Festival

Compilation albums[edit]


Year Song US Hot 100 UK Singles[12] Album
1970 "Liar" Argent
1971 "Sweet Mary" 102 Rings of Hands
1972 "Hold Your Head Up" 5 5 All Together Now
"Tragedy" 106 34
1973 "God Gave Rock and Roll to You" 114 18 In Deep
"It's Only Money, Part 2"
1974 "Man for All Reasons" Nexus
"Thunder & Lightning"
"Time of the Season" Encore: Live in Concert
1975 "The Jester" Circus

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Eder, Bruce. "Jim Rodford". AllMusic. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Argent". AllMuisc. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  3. ^ "Microsoft Word - MacMacleod5.doc" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 November 2011. Retrieved 2012-05-01.
  4. ^ "Jim Rodford, of Argent, Kinks, Zombies Fame, Dies". 11 August 2015. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  5. ^ "Jim Rodford, Kinks and Argent Bassist, Dead at 76". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  6. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 308. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  7. ^ "Altered". Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  8. ^ "Songs From The Mirror". Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  9. ^ "". Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  10. ^ Powell, Mark Allan (2002). Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers. p. 693. ISBN 1-56563-679-1.
  11. ^ "Three Dog Night, "Liar" U.S. Chart Position". Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  12. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 29. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.