It was a meeting with Paul Atkinson and Hugh Grundy at St Albans School, and Chris White and Colin Blunstone from St Albans Grammar School in the early 1960s, which led to the formation of what was to become the pop group The Zombies.
Argent, a former St Albans Cathedral Chorister, was one of the group’s two main songwriters, alongside Chris White. Initially, he was the band’s lead singer and wrote the hits She’s Not There, Tell Her No, and Time of the Season, amongst others. Although Argent played a variety of instruments including the organ, mellotron and harpsichord, he primarily played the piano and keyboard for The Zombies. Over a 50-year period, ‘Time of the Season’ became one of the top 50 most performed British songs in the US.
When The Zombies split in 1967, Rod Argent formed Argent, and in 1972 had a hit album called All Together Now.
Argent played piano on Variations with Julian Lloyd Webber, Gary Moore and Andrew Lloyd Webber and on the title track of The Who’s album, Who Are You. In 1986, Argent composed the ITV theme music Aztec Gold which covered the World Cup. It was later released as a single called Silsoe. Argent also composed the theme music to the ITV sitcom The Piglet Files, and played keyboards on and produced Joshua Kadison’s album Painted Desert Serenade in 1993.
Whilst composing music for various TV programmes, Argent formed a production company with ex-Van Morrison Drummer Peter Van Hooke. Argent and Van Hooke achieved great success with Tanita Tikaram’s album Ancient Heart with both of them playing the majority of the album’s instrumental parts. The album went on to sell more than four and a half million copies in the UK and Europe.
In 1997, he released an exhaustive compilation of hits by The Zombies called Zombie Heaven and in 1999, Argent released a solo piano album called Rod Argent Classically Speaking, which included his own compositions, Chopin études and music by Ravel, Bach and Grieg. Other solo albums include Moving Home and Red House.
Argent has toured and performed at multiple concerts and in 2009, the original surviving members of The Zombies performed Odessey and Oracle at four reunion concerts. Over the last fifty years, Odessey and Oracle has grown in popularity and has been placed in the 100 Greatest Albums List by NME Magazine and Rolling Stone magazine.
In 2012, Argent came back to The Blacksmith’s Arms in St Albans, where he first rehearsed with The Zombies, to unveil a Blue Plaque. Argent continues to make music today and has accumulated over 50 years in the music industry.
Argent has been married since 1972 and has a son and daughter.