Artist Details

Rod Argent

Keyboardist/songwriter Rod Argent spent the '60s as a crucial part of underappreciated British Invasion popsters the Zombies, and later moved on to embrace album rock as leader of his own band, Argent. He was born June 14, 1945, in St. Alban's, England (near London); aside from about two years of lessons, he was a largely self-taught pianist. He discovered rock & roll at 11 through his cousin's Elvis Presley records, but also grew up appreciating classical music and jazz, and his study of those forms would lend his future pop compositions a definite melodic and harmonic sophistication quite unlike most of his British Invasion peers. The Zombies were formed when Argent was just 16, and signed with Decca in 1963 on the strength of his composition "She's Not There," which became a hit on both sides of the Atlantic the following year. Their second American Top Ten, the Argent-penned "Tell Her No," arrived in 1965, but despite a number of stunning singles written either by Argent (the band's most prolific composer) or guitarist Chris White, the Zombies had trouble landing another hit. They disbanded in 1967 after completing the psychedelic classic Odessey and Oracle, and Argent formed a new band called Argent, with Chris White sharing production and songwriting duties (though he wasn't an official member). Argent the band remained their main focus even after "Time of the Season" belatedly became the Zombies' biggest hit in early 1969.

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