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Wishbone Ash

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erik neuteboom
3 stars It was at the home of my best friend in the second half of the Seventies that I heard Wishbone Ash for the first time. I was immediately blown away by the pleasant melodic sound, based upon the captivating duo-guitarwork by Andy Powell and Ted Turner. I started to check out their albums and discovered that Wishbone Ash showed many different faces on those albums, from folk rock and art rock to heavy bluesrock. I was mostly pleased with the LP Argus, in my opinion their most mature and captivating effort. On this DVD you can see previously unreleased live footage from that era like early Seventies TV shots, very exciting to see Turner and Powell with their guitars! The label Classic Rock Productions has released some controversial and even misleading DVD's but I love the serie Inside (I have already bought ELP, Yes, Pink Floyd, Bowie and Genesis) because of the interesting mix of story telling, historical facts, jokes and rare video footage 1971, 1973, 1983, 1984 and 1989. I never knew that Wisbone Ash auditioned for a keyboard player before their debut LP, they finally took another guitarplayer because in those days every band wanted to sound special and for sure Wishbone Ash did with their duo guitar work! If you like musical documentaries, just enjoy this fine DVD story about a folk rock band that gradually turned into a harder-edged bluesrock band but always kept a fanatic cult-following, they deserve it and are still alive and rocking!
Report this review (#87614)
Posted Friday, August 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars And you thought we overused the 5 star rating!

This instalment of the "Inside" rockumentary series attempts to cover the entire career of Wishbone Ash from 1970 to 2004 in just over an hour. With 18 studio albums plus one live release ("Live dates") being reviewed, many albums are skimmed over with the briefest of comments.

As usual, the panel consists of a group of journalists and others from the music industry who, although having little direct relationship with the band, are sympathetic to their music. Credibility is added by the presence of the late DJ Tommy Vance and original member Andy Powell. A couple more members from later line ups also appear, including Trevor Boulder, who discusses his brief time away from Uriah Heep.

Even the early albums are covered with what seems like indecent haste, "Argus" getting a mere 7 minutes in the spotlight. It is though rightly hailed as the band's masterpiece. The effect of this is rather clouded by the liberal application of 5 star (the maximum) ratings to many other albums by the band which, while admittedly good, do not warrant such an accolade. The only album to receive one star is the disastrous "Locked in".

Although it is never said, the impression is given that a number of the selected gurus are (understandably) only slightly familiar with the succession of forgotten albums recorded by the band in the 1980's. The comments rapidly veer away from the opinionated to the Wikipedia style factual.

Interestingly, Powell's misguided foray into dance with "Trance Visionary" is overlooked completely, as is the fine album of unplugged reworkings released under the "Bare bones" name.

As usual with these Bob Carruthers productions (he is also one of the pundits), the film clips are from a range of live gigs which do not necessarily match up with the time period of the song being discussed. Nevertheless, we do get some vintage footage from the early 1970's in addition to the more recent material.

In all, this DVD serves as both a useful introduction to the band for those who know little of them, and also as quick resume of the band's long career for those who already appreciate their work.

Report this review (#182836)
Posted Friday, September 19, 2008 | Review Permalink

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