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 had a record deal with Columbia. 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.
When it came out in 1968, the LP consisted of 10 tracks. The 1994 CD version has an additional four songs. It features both sides of the band's extremely rare 45's singles "Baby's Rich" and "Hey Bulldog".
The cover of the CD shows the original sleeve artwork which was designed by Hipgnosis. "Hipgnosis" was a British art design group that specialized in creating cover art for the albums of rock musicians and bands, most notably Pink Floyd, Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Def Leppard, Yes, Styx, Scorpions, and Black Sabbath. Hipgnosis consisted primarily of Storm Thorgerson, Aubrey Powell and, later, Peter Christopherson. The group dissolved in 1983, but Thorgerson still works on album designs. In 1968 Thorgerson and Powell were asked by their friends in Pink Floyd if they were interested in designing the cover for their second album, A Saucerful of Secrets. They did, and did additional work for EMI, including photos and album covers for Free, Toe Fat and The Gods. Being film and art school students, they were able to use the darkroom at the Royal College of Art, but when they completed school, they had to set up their own facilities. They built a small darkroom in Powell's bathroom, but shortly thereafter, in early 1970, rented space and built a studio.
When first starting out, Powell and Thorgerson adopted their name from graffiti they found on the door to their apartment. They liked the word, not only for sounding like "hypnosis," but for combining two somewhat contradictory terms, "hip", or new and cool, with "gnosis," relating to ancient learning.
* Brian Glascock (drums) (later with The Motels and with the Bee Gees)
* Mick Taylor (guitar) (later with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and the Rolling Stones)
* Ken Hensley (organ and vocals, occasional guitar) (later with Uriah Heep)
* Joe Konas (guitar/vocals)
* Lee Kerslake (drums) (later with Uriah Heep)
* Paul Newton (bass) (later with Uriah Heep)
* Greg Lake (bass) (later with King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer)
* Cliff Bennett (vocals)
02. Candles Getting Shorter
03. You're My Life
04. Looking Glass
05. Misleading Colours
06. Radio Show
07. Plastic Horizon
08. Farthing Man
09. I Never Know
10. Time And Eternity
11. Baby's Rich
12. Somewhere In The Street
13. Hey Bulldog
14. Real Love Guaranteed