Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Encore: Live in Concert
Genres: World Music, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
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This is an excellent live show for Argent fans and Prog Fans
mbfthrasher | Renton, Washington United States | 08/31/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm puzzled that other reviewers fault this piece. If you are an Argent fan I can't see how you wouldn't be absolutely thrilled; I know I am. True, as sometimes happens in live shows the songs may be longer than the studio versions. If it bothers you when a band "extends" songs when live then maybe this would not be your favorite. However, I'll put it to you plainly - if you like Yes, ELP, Triumvirat, Deep Purple, I don't see how you would not thoroughly enjoy this concert. It is well recorded/mixed and each player does a fine job. Nobody sounds wasted or burned out; it simply is an excellent piece. Again, for instance, if you cannot stand a band like, for instance, Yes, this is not for you."
A really good surprise
B. E Jackson | Pennsylvania | 07/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Argent were one of those rock bands from the early to mid 70's that was famous for one or two hits, and then seemed to disappear. I think it's important to keep good music alive (whether it's old or new) and that's why I'm writing a review for Argent's Encore: Live in Concert album. I love the 78 minutes worth of rock music featured on this disc. It's unfair to call these guys rip-offs of Emerson, Lake and Palmer just because the two bands happen to share a few similar ideas. According to this album, Argent is excellent, and they are *not* totally a progressive rock band like many people seem to label them as. Just a few connections to some of the popular prog rock bands around at the time.
I feel like doing a track-by-track review, to give you a good idea what you're getting into.
Track 1. The Coming of Kohoutek- It's a 10-minute instrumental. Starts off with a catchy mellotron bit that flows beautifully into a guitar riff. A good, steady drumbeat soon follows with a short synth part coming in next. A keyboard jam immediately following all this activity comes in next, which is the highlight of the track for me. Just think- all these musical instruments make an appearance during the first four minutes of the song! A brief electric guitar bit with noticeable background flutes is the next slice of excitement on the musical menu, apparently continuing with the theme of "How many musical instruments can we impress the audience with".
Man, what a song! Are those organs I hear around the 5 minute and 30 second mark? Awesome! Here comes some tasty piano notes 7 minutes in. My favorite part is probably the little synth march bit that comes in around the 7:30 mark. Wow is THAT part good (but short)! A synth jam soon follows, and what a treat it is! Those synths sound a good 10 years ahead of their time, when they became popular in the early 80's. Good, good stuff. Now THAT is one of the best possible ways to open an album!
Track 2. It's Only Money (Part 1)- This is one of those party hard rockers that was a very popular trend back in the 70's. Nazareth, Judas Priest and Kiss did many similar songs. It resembles the Beatles "Money", which was probably intentional. I'm not a big fan of the Beatles tune but this is a great track. It's like the band members took the basic idea of the Beatles song and made it better, in my opinion. I love the "la la la" chant at the end.
Track 3. It's Only Money (Part 2)- Just as catchy as the previous track. This song is like an expansion of Part 1, but with a different verse melody and chorus. It's really just as good. Short guitar, keyboard and synth jams all play (in order) towards the middle of the song. It's really cool the way the track progresses into different musical instruments.
Track 4. God Gave Rock and Roll To You- A *really* catchy chorus! You won't forget it after you hear it. I love the groovy bass intro and how it quickly leads into some fantastic guitar playing before the memorable chorus permanently makes its presence known in your head. The verse melody is totally underrated with some simple but meaningful lyrics and music "love your friend and love your neighbor, love your life and love your neighbour, you know it's never too late to change your mind". What an INCREDIBLE moment when the guitar comes in and quietly repeats the vocal chorus around the 4-minute mark. That is a really good moment, no doubt about it.
Track 5. Thunder and Lightning- I actually got into a fight with my father when I first played this song. I was the thunder and he was the lightning! The track starts off with some brutally heavy guitar work and a solid verse melody. Pretty good chorus too. You know, this band was WAY too talented to be ignored the way they have been. The 70's are gone, but this music should live forever just because it's so different from anything I've ever heard before. A strange synth jam appears near the end, which seems messy at first but it's actually not.
Track 6. Music From the Spheres- Am I crazy or does the chorus sound like something the Alan Parsons Project would do? I don't think they were around just yet when this record was released (in 1974). This song definitely does its job making me think about travelling across the universe with its "hectic one minute, quite soothing and comfortable the next" approach going on. Just the way the verse melody and chorus was written reminds me of sailing through the universe and then coming across a meteor shower, I guess. Also found on this track is some superb guitar work and an excellent lengthy keyboard jam. What you have here is a consistently pleasing 9-minute track. The ending is particularly memorable for the insane Who-like drumming and the loud, demanding keyboard riff.
Track 7. I Don't Believe in Miracles- A short ballad featuring mainly pianos. It's really good though. Don't be scared just because I said "ballad". You need a song like this to catch your breath from all the previous tracks, which were quite difficult and lengthy to take in the first time you hear them. After this track, there's about 30 minutes of exciting (not to mention, unordinary) music left.
Track 8. I Am the Dance of Ages- Quiet piano playing opens a song that is anything but ordinary. The track is almost Genesis-sounding in spots. Some MONSTER guitar riffs appear near the beginning along with some Peter Frampton-like vocals. I can't find the words to accurately describe the chorus. It's very angry, and amazingly insane. It reminds me of trying to guide a ship through dark and dangerous waters, like through a severe thunderstorm in the middle of nowhere. A tune like this proves how special 70's music used to be. It's almost 10 minutes in length and the tune seems to sail by in an instant. Some really good synth and mellotron passages give off a dark impression. One scary song overall.
Track 9. Keep on Rollin'- A good-time Southern Rock boogie featuring decorative piano playing. Layers and layers of excellent piano work. Some sizzling hot guitar playing near the end.
Track 10. Hold Your Head Up- MUCH different from the studio version everyone knows from the radio. Well, the verse melody and chorus remain pretty much the same, but the keyboard jam is shorter in order to make room for a fairly lengthy synth jam. I'm not sure if that was a good idea or not. The keys morph into the synths very nicely, though. In fact, so nicely you might not even know it's happening! Somewhere around the 6-minute mark it sounds like the synths turn into that traditional Christmas classic "Deck the Halls". Anyway, this version of "Hold Your Head Up" is raw and not nearly as "mystical" or adventurous as the studio version. I have to give the band members credit though- you can tell they are really into it and end up giving us a fantastic live version as a result. It's just different from the version you've known the last 30 or so years. The synth parts all work, though.
Track 11. Time of the Season- A much faster, more rocking, and lengthier jammy version of the Zombies classic. I love it!
Overall, Argent doesn't deserve all the years they've been ignored or the comparisons to other artists they've had to put up with. This album is a very raw-sounding classic rock record that puts a lot of emphasis on instrumental jamming, which is a good thing. Maybe it's a bit heavy on the synths, but that's about the only complaint I can find with the album. All the tunes are memorable, and the entire 78 minutes worth of music satisfies my craving for classic rock at its very best."