Phoenix Rises From The Ashes of Argent
In 1973 Rod Argent was looking for new lead vocalist for Argent following the departure of Russ Ballard. John Verity eventually joined Argent later that year and there followed a period of intense recording and touring until the band decided to retire from the road in 1976. It was during Argent's final tour of America that lead vocalist/ guitarist John Verity, drummer Bob Henrit, and bassist Jim Rodford decided to form a new band. The Argent split was amicable and out of its ashes arose Phoenix. A management deal was struck with Trident in London, who also had a studio in London's West End where many major artists recorded, including The Beatles. "Our intrepid 'Power Trio' was very soon burning the midnight oil, recording tracks for their first album; now under the watchful eye of CBS Records," recalled Verity.
The new band was orginally to be called 'H.R.V' - Henrit, Rodford, Verity. The album title was to be along the lines of: 'HRV like a Phoenix rising from the ashes of Argent' but the record company and the media soon latched onto the name 'Phoenix' so the band quickly changed the name. The album was released in 1976 and the band was soon touring Europe as special guests to headliners 'Aerosmith'. A second album recorded for CBS remains unreleased although a couple of singles, including a version of 'Time of the Season', were issued. 'In Full View' was the third and final Phoenix album recorded for Charisma Records without Jim Rodford who had left to join The Kinks. At this time the band also recorded a number of Russ Ballard songs including the original version of 'I Surrender', which subsequently became a hit for Rainbow.
Phoenix eventually turned into the band Charlie for one album on RCA records: 'Good Morning America' before Bob joined Jim in The Kinks and John Verity turned to record production and working on a solo album: 'Interrupted Journey' which featured Bob Henrit on drums. Never far apart, the pair were soon working together playing heavy blues/rock as the John Verity Band. Since then, in addition to his work with the Band, John has been gigging and working in recording studios throughout the world, producing, playing guitar, or singing with acts including Motorhead, Tank, Ringo Starr, Russ Ballard, Colin Blunstone, Mike Berry, Dave Berry, Brian Connolly, John Parr, John Coghlan, The Searchers, Mike Rutherford (of Genesis), Keith Emerson, Greg Lake, Zombies, and Michael Schenker - just to mention a few...
Phoenix - s/t and 'In Full View' CD will be available from Amazon, iTunes and your local retailer on November 10th. Other titles scheduled for release by Renaissance Records includes Graham Parker & The Rumour 'Live In San Francisco 1979', Network - s/t and 'Nightwork', Fran King 'My Sweet Elixir', City Boy 'It's Personal', Duke Jupiter - 'White Knucle Ride', Unicorn - 'Blue Pine Trees', 'Too Many Crooks' (prod. by David Gilmour), Nick Gravenites 'Bluestar' and Roxy Music 'Manifesto Alive' (live 1979).
Click here to read today's full Day in Rock report