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Wishbone Ash - There's The Rub CD (album) cover

THERE'S THE RUB

Wishbone Ash

 

Prog Related

3.89 | 192 ratings

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Easy Livin
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Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars To be or not to be a good album? That is the question.

With "There's the rub", Wishbone Ash endured the first line up change of their career. Out went a disenchanted Ted Turner, to be replaced by guitarist Laurie Wisefield. Wisefield had been in the band HOME who had toured with Wishbone Ash, his contribution to HOME's superb third album "The alchemist" being of particular note.

The album title is taken from Hamlet's "To be or not to be.." soliloquy in Shakespeare's play of that name. This becomes a pun in the sleeve imagery of a cricket player preparing the ball before a delivery.

To address the all too obvious production issues which arose with "Wishbone Four" which the band produced themselves, Eagles producer Bill Szymczyk (20,000 points in Scrabble!) was brought in. The band relocated to Florida for the recording sessions at Criteria Recording studios, also used by Eric Clapton and the Bee Gees.

The differences are immediately apparent on the opening "Silver shoes". An otherwise fairly ordinary guitar rock song is exploited to the full through the crisp production. The song represents the album well. The prog influences of "Argus" are largely left aside (as they were on "Four") in favour of high quality rock songs. Most of these are certainly extended, but the structures remain relatively straight-forward.

Occasionally, such as on "Persephone", we have something more meaty. This slower number is vaguely similar to "Everybody needs a friend", with some fine twin guitar work and a strong melody. The other slower track of the album is the folk influenced "Lady Jay", the lyrics of which were inspired by an English west country folk legend. The song is a sort of cross between "Warrior" and "Leaf and stream".

The final track, "F.U.B.B." takes its title from a variation on the US army term SNAFU (one internet dictionary describes it as "Fouled Up Beyond Belief"). This lengthy instrumental builds from a solo bass guitar intro through a series of fine guitar workouts. The early part of the track tends to plod along a bit, until the pace is raised and a more dynamic element is introduced, with the album closing on a high.

"There's the rub" restored much of Wishbone Ash's credibility after the lacklustre "Wishbone four". Unfortunately, the record company seemed to have lost faith, and without the appropriate promotion the album failed to sell well. Not a great deal for those looking for traditional prog here, but a fine well produced album nonetheless.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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