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Wishbone Ash - Raw To The Bone CD (album) cover


Wishbone Ash

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Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars The mid eighties were a challenging time for Wishbone Ash and predictably the band needed to Morph with the times, necessary survival instincts to gurantee evolution rather than dissolution. Raw To The Bone shows in many respects why they survived even with line up changes. This almost sounds like ( sorry to say) a better version of Foreigner or perhaps Boston. And it has that eighties date stamp to prove it. Nevertheless, thankfully Raw To The Bone saw the light of day and while Mervyn Spence did OK in the vocal department ( and Bass), check out the third track ' Don't cry' he didn't quite own his territory. But still a great tune if you are into straight forward rock and roll, al la Gary Numan! ' Cell of Fame' is another highlight as is ' Love is Blue' with some tight drum work from Steve Upton. There are some shockers though like ' Rocket in My Pocket' and Perfect Timing'. Overall not a Train Smash as some critics suggest and the determination and tight arrangements ensure this album deserves two stars at least.
Report this review (#179229)
Posted Friday, August 8, 2008 | Review Permalink
1 stars The hey-days of this band are definitely behind. When you've been through the opening track you can only wonder how this good band fell that low. But this is of course not an isolated case. Most of the giants that appear on this site were subject to the same and sad situation (Floyd and Graaf being noticeable exceptions).

This work is even poorer than their previous release as far as I am concerned. Pure AOR or basic rock music is on the list. To name them all would consist in a listing each track available. No need of course?

Once in a while, you can expect some decent music. Like during "Love Is Blue" which features great vocals. But is this really what we expect from WA? I guess not? It is quite hard to recommend this album: most of the tracks available are just too average to do so. Not even talking about prog of course.

This album is just sub-par hard-rock music ("Rocket In My Pocket"). If you are ever willing to discover an inch of prog, I can only tell you to pass your way. This album doesn't hold any of these moments. Some funky and Led Zep atmosphere ("It's Only Love") wouldn't probably meet your expectations.

This album was totally formatted for FM radios. But it was not to my ears. One little star. This is their weakest album so far.

Report this review (#457706)
Posted Monday, June 6, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars The cover of Raw to the Bone is probably one of the most deceiving album covers ever.

From the cover one would expect some kind of very heavy metal from that period, something like Abattoir - Vicious Attack, Destruction - Infernal Overkill, Exodus - Bonded by Blood, Grave Digger - Witch Hunter, Omen - Warning of Danger, Piledriver - Metal Inquisition, Savatage - Power of the Night, Slayer - Hell Awaits, Trouble - The Skull, Venom - Possessed etc.

Instead it is a band with Folk, Celtic, Grateful Dead and a bit of Blues in them trying desperately to sound Heavy Metal.

Personally, I blame the music media who took a few comments from members of certain metal bands who in their youth/teens went to Wishbone Ash concerts or saw them on TV in the early to mid 1970s, saw the twin leads, which was unique at that time, particularly in the early 1970's, and claimed Wish Bone Ash was an influence on them because of this.

The same Music Media then started to refer to Wishbone As as a hard rock/heavy metal band, which if they ever bothered to listen to their records, nothing could be farther from the truth

What happens is the record company and management gets hold of this, and heavy metal being very profitable in record sales at that time, presses the band to make a hard rock/heavy metal recording.

It was sort of like the same record companies and management in the 1940's and 1950's pressing Swing Bands to make fashionable Bebop recordings, or recently, pressing traditional Heavy Metal bands in the 1990's to make fashionable Grunge style music, or sadly a number of progressive rock bands in the late 1970s attempting to be fashionably new wave, love those synth drums, Love Beach Anyone?

In most cases, only a few are good, most are mediocre to bad because the band/performer's hearts are not in it.

One of the biggest proof of this is WA's horrible hard rock cover of Lowell George of Little Feat Rocket in My Pocket, which since Ash also had a little bit of Feat in them, especially the slide work, could have be great, but horrible in trying to hard rock the tune.

That said, given this is a review in a progressive rock website, it could only be worth two stars, but it is not a bad recording, just a mediocre for reasons above

Report this review (#1201199)
Posted Monday, June 30, 2014 | Review Permalink
1 stars AOR vocals and mainstream music approach, in an album they should never release.

Let's do the track-by-track marathon:

Cell Of Fame: An AOR song of descend quality. It sounds somewhat repetitive to me, and with nothing outstanding to offer.

People In Motion: Oh, Wishbone Ash are a hair metal band now? OK... A mediocre one non the less.

Don't Cry: "Don't cry, I still love you, don't cry, I'll never leave you". You better leave mainstream forms and go back to your roots guys, you offer nothing at all on that spectrum.

Love Is Blue: An interesting riff. That's it. Nothing more. To the next one.

Long Live The Night: It could be a Def Leppard outtake. An outtake.

Rocket In My Pocket: An irrelevant cover to an irrelevant Little Feat song.

It's Only Love: A good song for Guns 'n' Roses for rehearsal before shows. A bit better than the previous songs...

Don't You Mess: I thought it was a couple of minutes longer than it actually was, due to the fact that I had no desire to listen to yet another different/same song.

Dreams (Searching For An Answer): Oh! This one is kinda good! If you wanna listen to something from this album, choose this one.

Perfect Timing: OK, this one is somewhat listenable too. But "Perfect Timing" for this record to end, non the less!

RATING: So, they recorded this one, they listened to it, and they said "oh, nice, we can play AOR too". Really? OK... 1 star.

Report this review (#1630644)
Posted Monday, October 10, 2016 | Review Permalink

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