ARGENT – In Deep at 50

In Deep would be the 4th album from British band ARGENT. The band was named after keyboard player/songwriter Rod Argent, ex of The Zombies, and also included singer/guitarist Russ Ballard, who would write the band’s biggest hits, as well as make a bigger name for himself as a songwriter years later, as many acts would cover and/or have hits with his songs (Argent & Solo) – including Ace Frehley, America, Three Dog Night, Roger Daltrey, Rainbow, Santana, and Uriah Heep. The rhythm section consisted of bass player Jim Rodford (RIP), and drummer Bob Henrit – both would later join The Kinks, as well as work with John Verity, and various other acts. Anyway, In Deep was released in the spring of 1973, and was the follow up to the band’s highly successful All Together Now, which featured the band’s massive hit (and best known song) “Hold Your Head Up”. And although In Deep didn’t feature as nearly big of a hit or fared as well, it is the band’s best, IMO. Side one kicks off with the band’s next anthem “God Gave Rock N Roll To You”, which was a Top 20 hit in the UK, but didn’t break the Top 100 in the US, but it would be a favorite among fans. It would become a bigger hit in the US in 1991 when Kiss recorded it for the soundtrack to Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (Kiss updated it on guitars-only, sped it up a bit, and altered it enough, enabling them to add Simmons, Stanley and Bob Ezrin to the songwriting). In a 2012 interview*, Ballard revealed-  “The first song that I wrote after my depression was ‘God Gave Rock N’ Roll To You’. The lyrics were all about that optimistic feeling that I had at the time. Of course, when KISS did another version of the song, they changed some of the lyrics because they didn’t fit with the overall image of a rock band in America. Every single song I wrote during my depression was sad but it was also natural. ‘God Gave Rock N’ Roll To You’ was my first happy song after the depression period.”

This was followed up by favorites “It’s Only Money, Part 1” and “It’s Only Money, Part 2”; the latter would be issued as a follow up single, both are classic Argent numbers penned (also) by Russ Ballard, and would feature on the band’s 1974 double live release – Encore: Live In Concert. Side one ends with the first of 4 songs from Rod Argent and co-writer / producer Chris White (ex Zombies) – “Losing Hold”, a soulful ballad that builds up a good bit, features one of Ballard’s finest vocals, and has a bit of a haunting feel to it, reminds me of Bloodrock’s “D.O.A.” Side 2 gets a bit more poppy with the lengthy “Be Glad”, which features Argent’s piano work and harmonies, with lots of changes. Also, included is the outstanding “Candles On The River”, which is heavier, yet has more of a late 60s vibe to it (maybe it’s the organ sound and harmonies?). Also included is the Beatle sounding “Christmas For The Free”, and Ballard’s closing bar-room rocker “Rosie”.

The cover art design for In Deep was created by Hipgnosis would feature photos of bandmembers (front & back) jumping into water. In a 2017 Interview Rod Argent recalled the taking of the album’s cover photo – “I can swim now, but at the time we did that cover, I couldn’t swim. I wasn’t afraid of the water, I just couldn’t swim and the people doing the cover wanted a photograph of under water and they went to a swimming park where there were portholes in the sides of the pool and a restaurant there, so people could look under water to see people swimming. They said to me: “Ok, jump in and go down to the bottom of the pool”. I said: “I can’t”. They said: “Why?” “I can’t, because I can’t swim”. They said: “Nooo, come on!  Are you joking?” I said: “No, I can’t”. I finally jumped in. I don’t know how, I managed to keep underwater for that long. I can do it now, but at the time that cover was taken I was actually underwater, I jumped in the deep and I couldn’t swim.”

A shame this album doesn’t get more attention, as it is now 50 years old, there seems to be a lack of any significant CD or special (anniversary?) reissues. But a classic ’70s British rock record well worth having.

ARGENT Rocker ARGENT release a Russ Ballard composition as their new single in two weeks time. God Gave Rock’n’Roll to You is the name of the single and is a track from their In Deep album which will be issued on March 2. Argent have delayed the opening of their next American tour to promote both records, and will now open in California on March 16. The tour breaks for the group, to take a two week rest in Britain before they go on to dates on the East coast, Hawaii, Japan and Australia. In late June the band play British and European dates and at the end of June, Argent work on a new album. Remaining British dates for the band before they leave for the U.S. are at Leeds Polytechnic (2), Glenn Ballroom, Llanelly (8), South Parade Pier, Portsmouth (10), Goldsmith College, London ( 16 ) Loughborough University (24 ) and Salford University (March 2). – Record Mirror (02-03-1973)

(prod. by Rod Argent & Chris White) (Mainspring, ASCAP). “Hold Your
Head Up” established British contingent as a potent singles selling act, but this Russ Ballard song will make them giants. Edited down from almost -7 minute version from “In Deep” Ip, cut will penetrate charts almost immediately. Epic 10972.
– Record World (03-24-1973)

ARGENT (Epic 10972)
God Gave Rock And Roll To You (3:20) (Mainspring, ASCAP- R. Ballard)
This is the follow-up they’ve been looking for to “Hold Your Head Up.”
English band hits you with the hook chorus right away and keeps your interest
throughout thanks to their instrumental prowess and lyrics. Flip: no info.
– Cash Box (03-24-1973)

ARGENT, “IN DEEP.” This group hit the top of the charts with “Hold Your Head Up,” and their subsequent larger following should mean a huge smash for this album, their most consistently superior yet. “God Gave Rock And Roll To You” is the musical wizard to watch, while other blues and ballad cuts are all tops. Epic KE 32195. – Record World (03-31-73)

ARGENT -In Deep, EPIC NE 32195 (Columbia). Highly energized move music led by Rod Argent’s flowing organ work and Russ Ballard’s guitar support. produce an LP of modern intensities and rich sonorities. This is four beat rock, with samplings of delightful veal harmonies. The quartet maintains a tight discipline which has an organized effect. Best cuts: “It’s Only Money Part 1. “Candles On the River.” “Rnsie.”
Dealers: This British band is well.hnown for its solid, hard dewing music and
can he placed in the rock and Brilish rock group bins.
– Billboard (03-31-1973)

ARGENT (Epic 11019) It’s Only Money (3:28) (Mainstay, BMI-Ballard)
Culled as a follow up to their brilliant “God Gave Rock ‘n Roll To You”,
Argent come up with another hypnotic hook guaranteed to capture the record
buying public. Single makes for great top 40 and FM programming. Flip: No
info.. available.
– Cash Box (07-07-1973)


K. 04/23

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