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Wishbone Ash - The Millenium Collection CD (album) cover


Wishbone Ash

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Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Crossing the Atlantic in 12 years

This compilation consists of two live sets, both of which are already available separately.

Disc one contains a set from 1976 originally released as a bootleg under the title "Mother of pearl". The album was later legitimised through an "official" release in Germany. The recordings of the gig in Liverpool, UK are taken from the mixing desk, so the sound quality is of a high standard. The set focuses on the 1976 album "New England", with no less than 5 tracks from that album appearing. The performances here are strangely muted affairs, lacking the spark which made and still make Wishbone Ash gigs such enjoyable affairs. Other than the two "Argus" songs, there is little here to get excited about.

Bizarrely, the opening track of this set is taken from a gig some 4 year later recorded by the BBC. "Helpless" (not the Neil Young song!) was a track on the "Just testing" album, and as such is rather out of place here.

Disc two has the album known variously as "The Ash live in Chicago", "Live in the windy city", "Living Proof", etc. This was to be Ted Turner's last album with the band, but the recordings here, which date from 1992, are upbeat and energetic. The songs are mostly taken from the three reunion albums recorded during the period leading up to the gig, with six in total from "Here to hear" and "Strange affair". These songs sit well alongside the three from "Argus", capturing the band's trademark sound and style. The recording quality is good, although for me the balance is not quite right, especially on bass and vocals.

While tracks such as "Throw down the sword" and "Blowing free" are the clear favourites, those who enjoy them will also find "Standing in the rain", "Why don't we" and many more to be approaching a similar standard.

In all, a worthwhile budget label opportunity to obtain a couple of fine live albums by Wishbone Ash.

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Posted Saturday, September 20, 2008 | Review Permalink

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