Operatic Rock: God Gave Rock And Roll To You

I have featured this song here before. But it is worth another look.

I was watching a TV show late last night. It was showing classic performances from 1970s bands performing live on the now defunct BBC music show, The Old Grey Whistle Test.

Rod Argent founded The Zombies. He later met singer-songwriter Russ Ballard, and they became Argent. In 1973, when they released this song, I was still rooted in my love of Soul music, though also a big fan of David Bowie.
But this anthem from Argent swept me away, with Rod’s amazing organ playing, and Ballard’s brilliant guitar skills.

It was a song with scope, one meant to be seen and heard played live, showcasing the talents of all involved.

Forty-six years later, I am sad to hear that many people associate the song with the American band, KISS. Ballard wrote the song, and together with Rod Argent created a wall of sound to accompany it.

This is the original version, and it never gets old for me.

38 thoughts on “Operatic Rock: God Gave Rock And Roll To You

    1. Thanks, Jenny. You can see a lot of clips from that show on You Tube. The performers always had to play live, and it was very popular with music fans who liked to see new bands out of the mainstream.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Plenty to like about this post, Pete, not the least of which is that much-missed, but always-enjoyed OGWT (my wonderful daughters gave me a dvd set some years ago, so always available for enjoyment at any time now); also, Russ Ballard & Rod Argent are both consummate musicians. The fate of a good song is to be covered with variable results, of course; one of my least favourite covers is “State of Independence” by Donna Summer (whose other work I generally enjoy): I always found the original, by Jon Anderson of Yes more to my taste, but then again, I always loved Yes, from the early days and through their various incarnations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. BBC Four shows some excellent compilations of Whistle Test from time to time, usually on a Friday night. I always watched it, even when I didn’t really care for the bands performing.
      Now you have made me remember ‘Yours Is No Disgrace’. Although I wasn’t that much of a fan of the Prog Rock of Yes, I did like that song.

      Almost ten minutes long. They were very ‘indulgent’ back then. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.


  2. I was commuting back and forth to college that year, and listening to songs like “Crocodile Rock” and “Killing Me Softly,” among others that played constantly on the radio. I’m not familiar with “God Gave Rock and Roll to You.” It’s okay, but one listen is enough for me. I’m going to “Return to Sender.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bill and Teds Excellent Adventure, at least thats when I heard it first πŸ™‚ I’m going to guess it was the Kiss version, but this one trumps it.
    I had to admire Rods hair, very much like my own back in the late 80’s πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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