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Argent reaches a musical and commercial peak
on December 29, 2003
With the 1972 release of "All Together Now," Argent achieved a wider degree of fame and commercial success, thanks in no small part to the hit "Hold Your Head Up." More than thirty years later, the song remains a FM radio classic, thanks to its catchy guitar riff, marching rhythm, a great organ solo by Rod Argent that ranks up there with anything Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman ever did, and a memorable, anthemic chorus that sticks in your head long after the song finishes.
While not as musically consistent as the first two albums "Argent" and "Ring of Hands," "All Together Now" compensates for this flaw by displaying the stylistic diversity that made Argent an interesting progressive rock band. Tunes such as "Keep On Rollin'," "He's a Dynamo" and "Be My Lover, Be My Friend" reflect Rod Argent's and guitarist/vocalist Russ Ballard's ability to write, play and sing rock 'n' roll as energetic as anything that bands such as the Faces and Humble Pie were putting out then. Whatever is lost in authenticity is compensated for with verve and professionalism. Ballard, in particular, sings his heart out on his own compositions, "Tragedy" and "He's a Dynamo," injecting quite a dose of passion to them.
For the most part, Argent's progressive rock excursions "I Am the Dance of Ages" and "Pure Love" are, if nothing else, listenable and enjoyable. The latter is an album highlight, providing (Rod) Argent the opportunity to write a cohesive multi-part suite ranging from a lengthy-but-engaging organ solo to a plodding waltz-style heavy rock section.
"All Together Now" represents a high point of Argent's discography, an album that displays the stylistic diversity that made them one of the more interesting progressive rock groups of the '70s. Everything is here, from great songs to excellent musicianship.