The Gods (band)
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|Genres||Progressive rock, psychedelic rock|
|Associated acts||Jethro Tull
The Rolling Stones
The Gods were an English group founded in 1965. The original band members included Mick Taylor (later with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and The Rolling Stones), Brian Glascock, his brother John (later with Jethro Tull), keyboardist Ken Hensley (later with Uriah Heep) and Joe Konas. Lee Kerslake (drums) joined in 1967 and would later also play in Uriah Heep. Greg Lake (later of Emerson Lake Palmer fame) joined in 1967 and left the band after approximately one year.
Taylor, Glascock and Glascock were schoolmates from Hatfield and had been playing together as The Juniors (or The Strangers), a band they formed in 1962. Also part of this band were Malcolm Collins (vocals) and Alan Shacklock (guitar). They eventually signed with EMI / Columbia Records. Their first 7" single (Columbia DB7339) appeared in 1964 ("There's a Pretty Girl"/"Pocket Size"). In 1965, the line-up changed. Mick Taylor continued to play guitar and teamed up with Hensley (organ/vocals). They also added Konas (guitar/vocals) and changed their name to "The Gods".
In 1966, The Gods opened for Cream at the Starlite Ballroom in Wembley, London. A single (Come On Down To My Boat Baby/Garage Man) was recorded in early 1967 on Polydor Records. At this point the line-up included Mick Taylor, Ken Hensley, John Glascock, and Joe Konas.
In May 1967, Mick Taylor got a call from John Mayall who was looking for a new guitarist to replace Peter Green. When Taylor joined the Bluesbreakers, he left behind a faltering bluesband. The band sought to revive their fortunes on the club/college circuit. They relocated to London and secured a residency at The Marquee. John Glascock (bass) was replaced by Paul Newton in June 1967 and then by Greg Lake. But the latter was too talented for the backing role they had him in so he soon left to join King Crimson in the summer of 1968. The band had to re-group again and John Glascock was asked to return.
With John Glascock back in the fold they recorded a couple of progressive rock albums and a few singles. Of their singles, "Hey! Bulldog", The Beatles track, is their best known, and both sides have been included on the compilation album, The Great British Psychedelic Trip Vol. 3. The band played an amalgam of psychedelia and progressivism. Tracks like "Towards The Skies" and "Time And Eternity" from their 1968 album Genesis are full of heavy ploughing Hammond organ and distorted guitar riffs and Ken Hensley's unique and rather dramatic vocals add a further dimension.
Most of The Gods' material is fairly typical late 1960s pop/rock, epitomised by songs like "Radio Show" and "Yes I Cry". There are shades of Vanilla Fudge on their cover of West Side Story extract "Maria". On a few tracks like "Candlelight" and "Real Love Guaranteed" there is an inkling of the heavier sound Hensley and Kerslake would propagate in their next venture, Uriah Heep.
After recording two albums, Genesis (1968) and To Samuel a Son (1969), they signed with a new record company, recruited Rebel Rousers singer Cliff Bennett and formed Toe Fat, which also lasted two years and two albums. In 1970, they published an album under the pseudonym Head Machine, untitled "Orgasm" with Ken Hensley on keys, guitars and vocals, John Glascock on bass, Joe Konas on guitars and Lee Kerslake on drums.
- Ken Hensley - organ, guitars, vocals (1965-1969)
- Joe Konas - guitars, vocals (1965-1969)
- John Glascock - bass (1965-1967, 1968-1969; died 1979)
- Mick Taylor - guitars (1965-1967)
- Brian Glascock - drums (1965-1967)
- Lee Kerslake - drums (1967-1969)
- Paul Newton - bass (1967)
- Greg Lake - bass (1967-1968; died 2016)
- Alan Shacklock - guitars (1969)
- Cliff Bennett - vocals (1969)
- Genesis (L.P. Columbia SCX 6286) 1968, re-issued 1994 Repertoire Records
- To Samuel a Son (L.P. Columbia SCX 6372) 1969, re-issued 1995 Repertoire Records
- Best of The Gods (compilation CD)
- Orgasm Head Machine (Audio Archives AACD014) 1970
- "Come On Down To My Boat Baby / Garage Man" (Polydor 56168)
- "Baby's Rich" / "Somewhere In The Street" (Columbia DB 8486)
- "Hey Bulldog" / "Real Love Guaranteed" (Columbia DB 8544)
- "Maria" (from "West Side Story") / "Long Time Sad Time Bad Time" (Columbia DB 8572)