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Wishbone Ash

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Wishbone Ash Front Page News album cover
2.98 | 122 ratings | 4 reviews | 13% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1977

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Front Page News (5:10)
2. Midnight Dancer (4:28)
3. Goodbye Baby Hello Friend (3:50)
4. Surface To Air (4:53)
5. 714 (3:20)
6. Come In From The Rain (4:47)
7. Right Or Wrong (2:51)
8. Heart Beat (4:21)
9. The Day I Found Your Love (4:31)
10. Diamond Jack (4:23)

Total Time: 42:56

Line-up / Musicians

- Andy Powell / acoustic & electric guitars, mandolin, backing vocals
- Laurie Wisefield / lead, rhythm & 12-string guitars, lead (3) & backing vocals
- Martin Turner / bass, lead vocals
- Steve Upton / drums

- Mike Lewis / strings arranger & conductor

Releases information

Artwork: Hipgnosis with Alwyn Clayden (graphics)

LP MCA Records - MCA 2311 (1977, UK)

CD MCA Records ‎- MCAD 11027 (1994, Germany)

Thanks to chris stacey for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy WISHBONE ASH Front Page News Music

WISHBONE ASH Front Page News ratings distribution

(122 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(13%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(17%)
Good, but non-essential (42%)
Collectors/fans only (25%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

WISHBONE ASH Front Page News reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Having always been a Wishbone Ash fan especially their first four albums, Front page News came as a bit of a surprise as it was more commercial than it's predecessors. Laurie Wisefield was part of the band now and if you had come to accept that bands in the latter part of the 70's were beginning to evolve ( some more so than others to survive) then you will like this album a lot. It is more in the easy listening category but the opener has the trademark Wishbone Ash 'slurry' like vocals. If you like Ballad Of The Beacon from Wishbone Four you will know what I am referring to.'Midnight Dancer 'has a great hook with some fine bass work and then Laurie Wisefield's influence and vocals kick in with the poppy ' Goodbye Baby Hello Friend' He is a great vocalist and an equally gifted guitarist. " Surface To Air' is a Martin Turner classic and side one closes with the docile '714'. In reference to the vinyl only side two is a patchy affair with a couple of decent tunes with the opener ' Come In From The Rain' and the upbeat closer ' Diamond Jack'. It is not as strong side two which unfortuantely reduces the overall rating but I still highly recommend Front Page News for anyone wanting to add this great band to their Progressive/rock collection
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Read all about it, Wishbone Ash track features string section shock!

With Laurie Wisefield now firmly installed as the second lead guitarist and sometime vocalist, Wishbone Ash continued to develop the sound and style they had introduced on "New England". For this album, they retained the production services of Ron and Howard Albert, but returned to their original record label, MCA.

The opening title track sets the scene for the album in a slightly laid back, mid-paced song. Apart from the delightful vocals, the song features some excellent integral guitar work, which complements the composition rather than dominating it. That laid back atmosphere is repeated in songs such as "Midnight dancer" which changes pace mid- way, the slow wah-wah guitar giving way to an all to rare burst of faster lead guitar duelling. Wisefield assumes lead vocal duty on the Crosby Stills and Nash like "Goodbye baby, hello friend", another relaxed song with more of a pop basis. The CSN influences appear elsewhere from time to time, perhaps emanating in part from the style of Wisefield's previous band Home. On the relaxed instrumental "714", we even have orchestration by Mike Lewis, surely a first for Wishbone Ash.

And so it is that a succession of slightly melancholy mid-paced songs with strong harmonies flows seamlessly on. All the while, bursts of great but all too brief guitar work intrude, but usually they simply serve as a solid basis for the tracks.

The second side is slightly harder, but rarely does the pace reach anything like what might be described as energetic. Songs such as "Right or wrong" have a stronger blues influence, with hints of LED ZEPPELIN or DEEP PURPLE.

There are no feature tracks on "Front page news". This is a straightforward album of ten 4-5 minute songs, consummately performed but with little development. For that reason, the album will never be Front page news in terms of Wishbone Ash's catalogue. Seen for what it is though, this is a proficient offering packed with pleasant melodies, while undoubtedly standing as the band's least aggressive release.

The gatefold sleeve has a rather strange collage of images which appear to bear no relation to the album title or the songs it contains.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars I am not used to make a pre-judgment about an album while looking at the cover. But in this case, it looks so obvious?

What is available here is rather weak. It is even weaker than on their previous album ("New England"). This release starts with a dreadful title song which is a slow and basic rock oriented music. But with no feel. The only artifact left in their prior work was the presence of their trade mark twin guitars. This is almost alien on this "Front Page News".

The downhill is rather obvious during the poor "Goodbye Baby Hello Friend" as well as the dreadful rock ballad "Surface To Air". Where has the inspiration gone? Disappeared! All gone I'm afraid. What a disappointment!

1977 was of course not a great year for traditional rock bands (nor for prog ones either). Still, some bands brought me to heaven at the time; but they don't belong here (hi Joe).

When I listen to the syrupy "714", I just wonder which band is playing such a crap. Not the "Wishbone Ash" that I liked for sure. The filiations with CSN & Y are quite dramatic during "Heart Beat" which is one of the good songs from this album: excellent vocal harmonies (as the masters) and gentle guitar breaks. The same applies to the closing "Diamond Jack".

Still, these are only two good songs out of ten! Two stars generously granted.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Definitely better than New England, the band continues upwards from the unsuccessful Locked In! My track-by-track opinion is this: Front Page News: A nice song, melodic and all, but FOR THE LOVE OF GOD Martin Turner make the microphone less sensitive, we can totally hear the saliva in your mo ... (read more)

Report this review (#1619542) | Posted by BigDaddyAEL1964 | Friday, October 7, 2016 | Review Permanlink

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