Argent is a British classic rock band formed by former Zombies leader Rod Argent in 1969. The band included Russ Ballard, formerly with The Roulettes & Unit 2 + 4, (songwriter, lead vocals and guitar), Bob Henrit (drums), Jim Rodford, formerly of the Mike Cotton Sound (bass, vocals) and Rod Argent (songwriter, keyboards, lead vocals). Also involved in songwriting and production was former Zombies member Chris White. The band recorded seven albums (six studio and one live concert) on Epic Records (five hit The Billboard 200 albums chart) with their most successful being the All Together Now album (released during the 70s music era), which included an extended version of their only U.S. hit single “Hold Your Head Up” (#5 The Billboard Hot 100, a million seller and awarded a Gold Disc). Their very first single “Liar” was not a success for them, but the Three Dog Night cover became a Top 10 (#7) hit for them in 1971. Although Argent never charted again in the US they had two other hit songs in the UK “Tragedy” (#34) and “God Gave Rock and Roll to You” (#18) which was written by Russ Ballard and became hit songs for both Kiss and the Christian rock band Petra. Russ Ballard left the band in 1975 and was replaced by both John Verity and John Grimaldi. The band changed labels (United Artists) and recorded their last album “Counterpoints” before disbanding in 1976. In 2010 the band reunited and played on a short concert tour. Other Argent Hit Songs: “Schoolgirl,” “Sweet Mary,” “Celebration,” “It’s Only Money, Part 2,” “Thunder and Lighting,” “Time of the Season,” The Jester,” “Kingdom,” “Closer to Heaven,” “Rejoice,” “Candle on the River,” “Christmas for the Free,” “Man for All Seasons,” “Music From the Spheres,” “Keeper of the Flame,” “Keep on Rollin’,” “I Am the Dance of Ages,” “Highwire,” “Circus,” “Rock ‘N’ Roll Show,” “It’s Fallen Off,” “Dance In the Smoke,” “The Feeling Inside,” “Pleasure”, “Sleep Won’t Help Me,” “Tragedy,” “He’s a Dynamo,” “Be Glad”, “The Coming of Kohoutek,” “Love,” “I Don’t Believe in Miracles,” “The Ring,” “Trapeze,” “Waiting for the Yellow One,” “Be Strong,” “Butterfly,” “It’s Only Money, Part 1,” “Time” & “On My Feet Again.” Here below is the full biography of Argent of our “oldies music” artists profiles:
Who is Argent?
Rod Argent is an English rock musician who used to be a member and founder of the pop-rock group the Zombies, who were famous for their hits in the 1960s “She’s Not There,” “Tell Her No,” and “Time of the Season.”
After The Zombie’s disbandment in 1967, keyboardist Rod Argent formed the progressive rock band Argent in 1969. Rod Argent was born June 14, 1945, in St. Alban’s, England. Through his cousin’s Elvis Presley records, he learned to embrace rock n rock in the age of 11. Although he took piano lesson for about two years, he was essentially a self-taught pianist.
Formation of the band Argent and their early years
Composed by founder Rod Argent, Jim Rodford (bassist, also Rod Argent’s cousin and an ex-member of the Mike Cotton Sound), Bob Henrit (drummer) and Russ Ballard (guitarist/keyboardist, former member of The Roulettes and Unit-4), Argent was formed in 1969. The budding progressive rock band released their self-titled debut album in 1970. Followed up by their most prog-oriented, Ring Of Hands in 1971. Both of their first two albums didn’t make a dent on the charts. Argent issued their third LP in 1972, All Together Now. The album included Argent’s biggest hit all throughout their career, “Hold Your Head Up” which peaked at #5 apiece on both the US and UK charts. Chris White (The Zombies’ bassist, songwriter, producer) co-wrote the single and most of the band’s songs.
The band’s later career – still going strong
In 1973, Argent’s fourth studio album was released In Deep along with the carrier single “God Gave Rock n Roll to You.” It had the similar fate of most Argent’s singles, as it was not a big hit. However, Kiss’ version gained popularity in 1991. Christian rock band Petra covered the song twice and made it a Contemporary Christian rock anthem.
Ballard left Argent the in 1974 and was replaced by John Verity (guitarist/vocalist) and John Grimaldi (guitarist). The new line-up made two albums, (Nexus and Circus) and an unreleased film. In 1975, they had their final LP Counterpoints which was released by their new label, United Artists. The following year, Argent disbanded.
They appeared at the High Voltage Festival in Victoria Park, London on July 25, 2010 and played a short five-date concert tour with gigs in Frome, Southampton, Wolverhampton, Leamington Spa and London in December 2010.