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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Argent - Ring Of Hands (1971 uk, moody, mysterious and melodic with prog shades, 2018 japan remaster)

Argent's back catalog remains in a parlous state 20 years on from the group's peak, with great swathes of the repertoire unavailable on CD, and even some of the band's best-known and loved recordings are still chained up in a vault somewhere. The group's transformation from the logical successors to the Zombies into one of the finest prog bands of the early '70s, almost any song of which would be a shoo-in for some future "best-of" Argent compilation. 

It is true, of course, that Argent was prone to excess on occasion - what is remarkable is just how naturally the band approached that state, as songs build on their own momentum toward peaks that even the best oiled of the group's peers audibly struggled to approach. The combination of Rod Argent's keys and Russ Ballard's words and vocals is, of course, key to this success. 

"Celebration" , “Chained”,  “Pleasure”, all have "classic" stamped across them, even this early into the group's career. And as "Where Are We Going Wrong" brings the CD to a halt, one is left wondering what on earth the bandmembers were talking about...they weren't going wrong anywhere.
by Dave Thompson

1. Celebration - 2:55
2. Sweet Mary - 4:07
3. Cast Your Spell Uranus (Russ Ballard) - 4:32
4. Lothlorien - 7:52
5. Chained (Russ Ballard) - 5:20
6. Rejoice - 3:46
7. Pleasure - 4:53
8. Sleep Won't Help Me - 5:11
9. Where Are We Going Wrong (Russ Ballard) - 4:10
All songs written by Rod Argent and Chris White except as noted

*Rod Argent - Organ, Electric Piano, Vocals
*Russ Ballard - Guitar, Vocals
*Jim Rodford - Bass Guitar, Guitar, Vocals
*Robert Henrit - Drums, Percussion

1970  Argent - Argent (Japan remaster)

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