Since the Days of Argent -- by Rod Argent

Rod was kind to get in touch in early 1998 and offer this nice synopsis of his musical career covering the twenty years prior. He's been busy, so read on.

After "Argent" split up in '75, I deliberately tried to broaden my base for a time, and initially appeared as a session player on quite a few records, including "The Who" [Who Are You], Roger Daltrey [One of the Boys], and albums by other artists as diverse as John Dankworth, Cleo Laine, Colin Blunstone, Gary Moore, Jon Hiseman and Andrew Lloyd Webber. In fact, I played keyboards on all the Lloyd Webber stuff from "Variations" in 1977, up to "Phantom of the Opera" in 1985. I recorded two solo albums: "Moving Home" for MCA in 1978, and "Red House", for EMI [Relativity Records in the States]. After the "Moving Home" album I did a series of three concerts around London with a wonderful band including Alphonso Johnson on bass, Chester Thompson on drums and Robin Lumley and Peter Robinson on 2nd and third keyboards. Also, in 1980, I wrote a musical called "Masquerade", which was performed at the Young Vic in London.

Around 1985 I started to get into writing music for television, and composed themes and incidental music for many U.K. programmes.

During 1987, I began a production collaboration with Peter Van Hooke [ex Van Morrison drummer] which has resulted in some very successful albums. Tanita Tikaram's 1st album "Ancient Heart", released in 1988, sold over 4 million, mainly in europe; her second,"The Sweetkeeper", is nearing the two million mark, as is the first album of Joshua Kadison's that we produced --- "Painted Desert Serenade"[1993]. Currently we are about to produce a second album for "Soraya". Her first record, "On Nights Like This", which came out in 1996 has now almost reached the magic million mark. She has been successful mainly in South America and Germany. Pete and I do a lot of the playing on the albums we produce, which gives us a performance outlet which we both need. That brings me just about up to date ---- except for one thing. Over the past 18 months I've been putting together a solo piano classical album, which is now finished. It's a project which I've loved, and I mean to try to develop it with some live concerts etc.. It's basically made up of piano music which I particularly love ---- some Ravel, a couple of Chopin studies, along with some preludes ---- some Bach ---- and I've also included three of my own compositions!

I'm about to look for a deal, but am seriously thinking about making it available for sale in the meantime via mail order over the internet. I'll definitely update you on this!

Colin is playing live again after about twenty years. I saw a gig of his at "the Borderline" in London which was brilliant. He did some Zombies material, [such as "Indication"] which I don't ever remember us doing live all those years ago! He had a great band around him, put together by Don Airey, and was singing as well as I've ever heard him. The Times gave it a terrific review on the arts page. I know he's gathering material for a new album, and I think that Renaissance records may be putting out his last album "Echo Bridge".

Well, that's all for now.

Kind regards

Rod Argent

Rod Argent's site.