The Gods – To Samuel a Son

Written by: The Gods - Mick Taylor and Brian Glascock

The Gods were an English group founded in 1965. The original band members included Mick Taylor (later with John Mayall’s  Blues breakers and the Rolling Stones), Brian Glascock, and his brother John (later with 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 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 on Polydor Records. 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 to replace Peter Green. When Taylor joined the Blues breakers, he left behind a faltering blues band. 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 Paul Newton in June 1967 and then by Greg Lake. Greg Lake left in the Summer of 1968 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 progressive rock albums and a few singles. Of their singles, “Hey! Bulldog”, The Beatles track, is their best known, and both sides have been included on the compilation album, The Great British Psychedelic Trip Vol. 3. The band played an 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 fairly typical late 1960s pop/rock, epitomised by songs like “Radio Show” and “Yes I Cry”. 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.[citation needed]

The Gods were the successors of The Rolling Stones at the 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.

~ from wikipedia.

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This review is from: To Samuel a son (Audio CD). This album is an excellent piece of late 60s psych,which features Ken Hensley who went onto Uriah Heep,in fact when this was released very early in 1970,The Gods were no more,

Ken Hensley then went onto form a group called Head Machine who released the 1 album in !970(this too has moments that will be of interest to psych fans)but the sounds on”To samuel a son” album sound as if they were recorded a lot earlier,the pick of a very consistent album are the tracks”To Samuel A Son”with its swirling organ and sound effects and phasing, “He’s Growing”is a fab piece of piano dominated poppsych,with some marvellous vocal arrangements,”Sticking Wings On Flies”is a fairground like feel with some marvellous guitar parts,”Lady Lady”again replete with swirling organ and treated vocals with a real psyched out middle section,”Five to Three”is again a organ dominted piece of psych-prog,”Autumn”is a wee gem awash with mellotron intertwined with the organ,this is one of the more mellow tracks, “Yes I cry”is actually a bit Beatlesque in sound,a nice pop like track”Momma I need”features some good electic piano parts again with effective vocal arrangements,i wholeheartedly recommend this album to any UK psych fan,all tracks(except 1)are well worth hearing,i just slightly prefer this album to their debut”Genesis”which is also worth searching out!!