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Wishbone Ash - Argus CD (album) cover


Wishbone Ash


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4.24 | 712 ratings

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The Runaway
5 stars The sweet sounds of Wishbone Ash...

I remember listening to this on a flight to London, as I was going to see them live, and I was totally unfamiliar with the music. I pressed the middle button of my iPod and the sweet acoustic picking of Ted Turner began. At the beginning I thought this would be a cheesy pop album and decided I'd listen all the way through. I went past the blasting guitars of Time Was, to the Wah-Wah solos in The King Will Come, to the trebled Stratocaster in Warrior, to the tearjerking twin guitar solo of Throw Down the Sword. As I laid down my iPod upon listening to this album, I didn't do, or say anything, I just sat, and thought of how magnificent an album like this can be.

Argus is considered by many as the first album to actually feature twin lead guitars that inspired many bands to come, like Thin Lizzy and Judas Priest, and boy are they correct. This album sounds like a cross between Thin Lizzy, Uriah Heep, Deep Purple, and the Strawbs, but the Ash maintain a sound of their own.

Theres all you need for a progressive rock album in here, drums, twin guitars, hammond organ (though in the background), pumping bass, and vocal harmonies, all performed amazingly by the team of Ted Turner, Martin Turner, Andy Powell, and Steve Upton. People may compare Martin Turner's vocals to those of John Wetton, but eventually, it was Wetton who covered Throw Down the Sword with Martin, and not Martin covering One More Red Nightmare with John Wetton...

There is a long-running discussion on Progarchives whether or not Wishbone Ash is prog, only because of later albums like There's the Rub, and everything that followed, but the first four and Live Dates are legendary progressive rock tracks.

The composition is fantastic, the writing is bombastic, and everything in between is just indescribable!

This is not only a "desert island" album, but it is also an album in which every track is perfect and beautiful in its own way, a way you cannot describe in words. If songs like Throw Down the Sword, Warrior, and Sometime World don't give you chills, you will have to give another listen to this album.

Time Was begins as what may seem the acoustic track of the song, and even a bit poppy, but then it breaks out and blasts into chords, and riffs, and solos, and licks, and whatever you'd want from a progressive rock song. Time was when there were things around to be afraid of, aren't they right? One of the most lovable tracks on this album. A bit similar to Jethro Tull and Camel in some cases.

Sometime World also starts as a mellow song, but again, like Time Was, it blasts into heartbreaking lyrics and a solo that will leave you shivering on the floor. The team of Ted and Andy are guitar geniuses, each to their own style.

Blowin Free, the song upon which I am named, is the more mellow, happy, chill song. It does feature electric guitars, drums, and that cranky Firebird-bass sound, it stil features love lyrics and a sweet melody written on the scale of D. Probably the poppiest track on the album, even though it's not poppy.

The King Will Come has a fade-in intro with a memorable chord sequence. It's a song that if you listen to it in the right time, it wil strike you well and will remain as a signature song in your heart for years, and years, and years. This song is riff-a-palooza, and also features an astonishing Wah guitar solo that is very significant in the history of rock, as one of the earlier uses of the Wah-wah pedal.

Leaf and Stream is the disappointing track of the album, although it's fairly good. It features electric guitars, although playing finger picked for the entire track, not going into a solo, or switching to chords anywhere. The song always sounds like it's going somewhere although it's stuck on that same chord sequence and finger picking technique. This is recommended for fans of the Prog Folk sub-genre, but more folk-rock than prog folk.

Warrior, oh, the memories I have with Warrior. Multi-part awesomeness featuring one of the awesomest solos in the history of man-kind that will keep you awake for hours trying to learn it note to note, even if it is far above your ability (I say this from experience). That chilling sound of a Stratocaster with a whammy bar in the beginning of the song gives you the basis of the awesomeness that is to follow. You can call it Wishbone Ash's epic, but their best song would probably be:

Throw Down the Sword, one of the only 2 songs I have ever cried because of. It also features a twin lead fade-in, similar to that of The King Will Come, and a long snare drum- roll by Steve Upton. The drums finally do their fill and the whole band comes in and the song just rocks! It gives you the chills and after a few minutes, you just want the chills to go away, and when the finally go away, you hear the lyrics, There were times when I stood at death's own door, only searching for an answer and the twin guitar solo begins, and the chills come back, and it will take you time, but you will soon realise that you are listening to one of the greatest songs ever. Recommended for fans of every sub-genre on the archives, minus Neo-Prog, all the metal ones, and also for fans of Folk-rock artists, like Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Leonard Cohen.

To be honest, not this many words were needed, everything you need is in these 5 words: GET THIS ALBUM RIGHT NOW. 5 stars, and even 500 if I could. Seriously though, it is a shame, if you are a Camel, Jethro Tull, and Spirogyra fan and do not quickly get this album!

The Runaway | 5/5 |


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