The Gods

The Gods were an English psych-rock band that released the 1968–69 Columbia albums Genesis and To Samuel a Son. They morphed into Head Machine for the 1970 album Orgasm on Major Minor.

Frontman Ken Hensley and drummer Lee Kerslake played briefly with Toe Fat and landed lengthy memberships in Uriah Heep. John Glascock went onto Chicken Shack, Carmen, and Jethro Tull. Brian Glascock played in Captain Beyond and joined his brother in Carmen before beginning a decade-long stint with U.S. modern-rockers The Motels.

Members: Ken Hensley (keyboards, guitar, vocals), Brian Glascock (drums, 1966-70), John Glascock (bass, vocals, 1965-67, 1968-70), Mick Taylor (guitar, 1966-67), Tony Munroe (vocals, 1966-67), Nick Simper (bass, 1967), Paul Newton (bass, 1967), Lee Kerslake (drums, 1967-70), Joe Konas (guitar, 1967-70), Greg Lake (bass, 1967-68)


Background

The Gods had roots in The Juniors (alternately billed as The Strangers), a beat group formed in 1962 by Hatfield brothers Brian (bass, 1951–1979) and John Glascock (drums, b. 1948). With singer Malcolm Collins and guitarists Mick Taylor (b. Jan. 1949) and Alan Shacklock (b. 1950), The Juniors (named for their young ages) cut the 1964 Columbia single “There’s a Pretty Girl” (b/w “Pocket Size”).>

In 1965, they morphed into The Hi Numbers with singer Brian Redmond and (without Taylor) cut the Decca single “Heart of Stone,” a song by one Ted White (not the recent Rolling Stones hit) backed with the Martha & The Vandellas cover “Dancing In the Street.” They gigged with The Birds (featuring Taylor’s later Stones successor Ron Wood), The Artwoods (led by Ron’s older brother Art Wood), Steampacket (featuring Ron’s later Faces bandmate Rod Stewart), and The Who (who ironically cut their first single as ‘The High Numbers’).

The Hi Numbers (Redmond, Shacklock, and the Glascocks) became the The Favourite Sons with (future Warhorse) guitarist Ged Peck. Under the management of (former Springfields) Mike Hurst, they cut the mid-1966 Mercury single “That Driving Beat,” a Willie Mitchell cover backed with Hurst’s “Walkin’ Walkin’ Walkin’.” In late 1966, Shacklock jumped ship to Chris Farlowe‘s backing band The Thunderbirds.

The Glascocks enlisted Taylor for a new band, The Gods, with keyboardist Ken Hensley (b. 1945), a veteran of multiple R&B acts (The Blue Notes, Ken & The Cousins, Kit & The Saracens, Jimmy Brown Sound). They cut the June 1967 Polydor single “Come On Down to My Boat,” a hit months earlier by American popsters Every Mother’s Son. Hensley (credited as Hennersley) wrote the b-side “Garage Man.” The label on the 7″ bills the group as ‘The Gods (Thor – Hermes – Olympus – Mars).’

Just as the single dropped, Taylor joined John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers for their 1967 third studio album Crusade. The Gods disbanded but Hensley formed a new iteration with guitarist Joe Konas and drummer Lee Kerslake. After a sequence of short-term bassists (Paul Newton, Greg Lake) John Glascock returned to the fold.>


Genesis

The Gods released their debut album, Genesis, in October 1968 on Columbia. Joe Konas wrote two songs (“Towards the Skies,” “Farthing Man”) and co-wrote three apiece with Ken Hensley (“Looking Glass” “I Never Know,” “Candles Getting Shorter”) and Lee Kerslake (“You’re My Life,” “Misleading Colours,” “Time and Eternity”). Side Two contains two tracks (“Radio Show,” “Plastic Horizon”) written by outsiders Harold Robertson and Paul Sugarman.

1. “Towards the Skies” (3:25)
2. “Candles Getting Shorter” (4:28)
3. “You’re My Life” (3:20)
4. “Looking Glass” (4:14
5. “Misleading Colours” (3:40

6. “Radio Show” (3:11)
7. “Plastic Horizon” (3:26)
8. “Farthing Man” (3:30)
9. “I Never Know” (5:41)
10. “Time and Eternity” (2:43)

Recorded 1968 at Abbey Road Studios, London
Producer David A. Paramor
Peter Vince – Engineer
Mark Brennan – Liner Notes


Non-Album Singles

On October 11, 1968, The Gods released “Baby’s Rich,” a Konas–Hensley number backed with Hensley’s “Somewhere In the Street.”

A. “Baby’s Rich” (2:45)
B. “Somewhere In the Street” (2:47)

On February 7, 1969, The Gods released “Hey Bulldog,” a Beatles cover backed with the Konas–Hensley original “Real Love Guaranteed.”

A. “Hey Bulldog” (3:00)
B. “Real Love Guaranteed” (2:29)

On May 2, 1969, The Gods released “Maria,” a P.J. Proby cover backed with Hensley’s “Long Time, Sad Time, Bad Time,” which appears on their second album.

A. “Maria” (3:58)


To Samuel a Son

The Gods released their second album, To Samuel a Son, in late 1969 on Columbia. Side One consists of nine songs (27:10 duration) tied to the title theme, including the b-side “Long Time, Sad Time, Bad Time.” Side Two (16:20) contains five individual pieces.

Lee Kerslake wrote two songs (“Eight O’Clock In the Morning,” “Lovely Anita”) and John Glascock co-wrote “He’s Growing” with Joe Konas, who wrote two songs (“Penny Dear,” “Yes I Cry”) and co-wrote four with Ken Hensley, who lone-wrote “Lady Lady,” “Candlelight,” “Long Time,” and the title track. “Groozy” is their third Robertson–Sugarman number.

1. “To Samuel a Son” (3:29)
2. “Eight 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” (2:40)
11. “Groozy” (3:38)
12. “Momma I Need” (3:54)
13. “Candlelight” (2:31)
14. “Lovely Anita” (3:29)

Producer David A. Paramor

Konus departed after this album.


Head Machine – Orgasm

Under the moniker Head Machine, The Gods released their third album, Orgasm, in May 1970 on Major Minor. It features seven tracks composed and arranged by producer David Paramor. Orgasm attributes pseudonyms to John Glascock (John Leadhen), Ken Hensley (Ken Leslie), Lee Kerslake (Lee Poole), and proto-member Brian Glascock (Brian Poole), who splits drum duties with Kerslake.

1. “Climax You – Tried to Take It All” (6:42)
2. “Make the Feeling Last” (3:36)
3. “You Must Come With Me” (4:56)
4. “The Girl Who Loved, the Girl Who Loved” (3:36)

5. “Orgasm” (8:54)
6. “The First Time” (5:02)
7. “Scattering Seeds” (3:21)

Recorded in London, November/December 1969
Engineer – Jeff Jarratt, Tony Rockliffe

Bass Guitar – John Leadhen
Drums – Brian Poole, Lee Poole
Organ, Piano, Guitar – Ken Leslie
Percussion – Mike Road
Vocals – John Leadhen, Ken Leslie


Discography:
  • Genesis (1968)
  • To Samuel a Son (1969)

Sources:

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