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"The Gods" were an English group founded in 1965. The bandmembers included Mick Taylor (later with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and the Rolling Stones), Brian Glascock and John Glascock (later of Jethro Tull). They were schoolmates from Hatfield and had been playing together as The Juniors (or The Strangers), a band they formed in 1962. Also part of this band were Malcolm Collins and Alan Shacklock. They eventually signed with EMI / Columbia Records. Their first 7" single (Columbia DB7339) appeared in 1964 ("There's a Pretty Girl"/"Pocket Size"). In 1965 the line-up was changed. Mick Taylor continued to play guitar and teamed up with Ken Hensley (organ/vocals) (later guitarist with Uriah Heep). They also added Joe Konas (guitar/vocals) and changed their name to "The Gods". In 1966 The Gods opened for Cream at the Starlite Ballroom in Wembley, London. A single (Come On Down To My Boat Baby/Garage Man) was recorded in early 1967. At this point the line-up included Mick Taylor, Ken Hensley, John Glascock, Brian Glascock and Lee Kerslake.
In May 1967 Mick Taylor got a call from John Mayall who was looking for a new guitarist. When Taylor joined the Bluesbreakers, he left behind a faltering bluesband. The band sought to revive their fortunes on the club/college circuit. They relocated to London and secured a residency at The Marquee. John Glascock (bass) was replaced by Greg Lake in June 1967. The problem was that Greg Lake was too talented for the background role the rest of the band had in mind for him and in the Summer of 1968 he split to join King Crimson. The band had to re-group again and John Glascock was asked to return.
With John Glascock back in the fold they recorded a couple of interesting progressive rock albums and a few 45s. Of their 45s, "Hey! Bulldog", the Beatles track, is their best known, and both sides have been included on compilation CD "The Great British Psychedelic Trip Vol. 3". The band played an imaginative amalgam of psychedelia and progressivism. Tracks like "Towards The Skies" and "Time And Eternity" from their 1968 album Genesis are full of heavy ploughing Hammond organ and distorted guitar riffs and Ken Hensley's unique and rather dramatic vocals add a further dimension.
Most of The Gods' material is pretty typical late sixties pop/rock, epitomised by songs like "Radio Show" and "Yes I Cry". The compilation album The Best Of The Gods offers a good way to get to know the band's music. There are shades of Vanilla Fudge on their cover of West Side Story extract "Maria". On a few tracks like "Candlelight" and "Real Love Guaranteed" there is an inkling of the heavier sound Hensley and Kerslake would propagate in their next venture, Uriah Heep.
The Gods were the successors of the Rolling Stones at the famous Marquee Club in London. After recording two albums, Genesis (1968) and To Samuel a Son (1969), they signed with a new record company, recruited Rebel Rousers singer Cliff Bennett and changed their name to Toe Fat which also lasted two years and two albums.
Reissue Liner Notes
After leaving Stevenage based R&B outfit The Jimmy Brown Sound in early 1965, keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist Ken Hensley formed The Gods with Mick Taylor (guitar), John Glasscock (bass/vocals) and Brian Glasscock (drums). However, this lineup only lasted until June 1967 when Taylor quit to join John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and then the Rolling Stones. Hensley then moved to Hampshire where, whilst living in a van(!), he met up with bassist Paul Newton and put together a new version of The Gods which featured Hensley, Newton, drummer Lee Kerslake and guitarist John Konas. However, despite building up a good following on the South Coast college circuit, Newton left (he later became a founding member of Uriah Heep) and was replaced by Greg Lake. With a residency at London's Marquee and a contract with EMI's Columbia label it looked like The Gods would at last release something but, as Hensley recalls, "Just as we were about to start recording we had a falling out with Greg. The main problem was that he was far too talented to be kept in the background."
The Gods: Joe Konas, Lee Kerslake, John Glascock, Ken HensleyWith Lake leaving in the summer of 1968 to form King Crimson (and later Emerson, Lake & Palmer), John Glasscock returned to the lineup and the band released the album Genesis (SCX 6286), now an £85 collectors item, and the single "Baby's Rich" / "Somewhere In The Street" (DB 8486), all recorded on a four-track studio. This was followed by the singles "Hey Bulldog" / "Real Love Guaranteed" (DB 8544) and "Maria" (from "West Side Story") / "Long Time Sad Time Bad Time" (DB 8572), both released in 1969, though by the time the band's second LP To Samuel A Son (SCX 6372) was released at the end of the year The Gods had long since ceased to exist. In fact they had become the band Toe Fat backing ex-Rebel Rouser Cliff Bennett and appeared on one self-titled LP released on Parlophone.
Following this, Ken Hensley became a founding member of Uriah Heep where he again teamed up with Paul Newton. He also released three solo LPs ("Proud Words On A Dusty Shelf", "Eager To Please" and "Free Spirit") as well as working with the likes of Blackfoot and Ozzy Osbourne. Kerslake, after a short spell with the National Head Band, also joined Uriah Heep whilst John Glasscock later worked with Chicken Shack, Carmen and Jethro Tull whilst Konos quit the playing side to run a music shop in Ontario, Canada.
1. To Samuel A Son (3:29)
2. Three O' Clock In The Morning (3:16)
3. He's Growing (2:25)
4. Sticking Wings On Flies (2:39)
5. Lady Lady (3:18)
6. Penny Dear (2:34)
7. Long Time, Sad Time, Bad Time (3:12)
8. Five To Three (2:59)
9. Autumn (3:12)
10. Yes I Cry (2:42)
11. Groozy (3:41)
12. Momma I Need (3:57)
13. Candlelight (2:34)
14. Lovely Anita (3:32)
15. Maria (3:58)*
Total Time: 48:40
- Ken Hensley / keyboards, vocals
- Joe Konas / guitars, vocals
- Lee Kerslake / drums, vocals
- John Glascock / bass, vocals