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Wishbone Ash

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Wishbone Ash Bare Bones  album cover
3.01 | 31 ratings | 3 reviews | 6% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Wings of Desire 3:40
2. Errors of My Way 5:15
3. Master of Disguise 3:50
4. You Won't Take Me Down 5:27
5. Love Abuse 4:01
6. One More Chance 3:14
7. Baby Don't Mind 3:48
8. Living Proof 4:13
9. Hard Times 4:43
10. Strange Affair 5:51
11. Everybody Needs a Friend 5:57


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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

Andy Powell / Guitars & vocals, lLead Vocals on all but two songs.
Mark Birch / Guitars & vocals, lead Vocals on "You Won't Take Me Down" and "Everybody Needs a Friend", lead Vocals together with Andy on "Errors of My Way".
Bob Skeat / Bass & vocals
Ray Weston / Drums

Guest Artists:
Lewis Gibson / Violin on "Errors of My Way"
Mick Parker / Accordian on "Errors of My Way" and "Baby Don't Mind"
Morwena Lasko / Violin on "Master of Disguise"
Paul Moran / Hammond Organ on "Master of Disguise" and "Everybody Needs a Friend" Piano on "Hard Times" and "Everybody Needs a Friend"
Glen LeFleur / Percussion on "You Won't Take Me Down" and "Love Abuse"
Claire Hamill / Backing Vocals on "Love Abuse"
Giles Hedley / Harmonica on "Love Abuse" and "Strange Affair"
Aynsley Powell / Percussion on "Living Proof"
Chris Davis / Dobro on "Strange Affair"

Releases information

HTD Records / Castle Music HTDCD104, TRACD332, CMACD568 1999
Transatlantic TRACD332 2001
Talking Elephant TECD022 2001
Essential CMRCD507 2002
Silverline 288088-9 2001, 284593-2 2005 Combined Audio CD/DV

Thanks to avestin for the addition
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CD live in windy city
~ USD $14.63
CD wishbone ash
~ USD $13.04

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WISHBONE ASH Bare Bones ratings distribution

(31 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(6%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(19%)
Good, but non-essential (48%)
Collectors/fans only (23%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

WISHBONE ASH Bare Bones reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by mystic fred
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars During the 90's there were many artists "unplugging" their guitars and producing acoustic albums of their best songs, namely Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Nirvana, Neil Young, Page and Plant, Michael Schenker, and even Kiss, Oasis and Rod Stewart were "at it" and here we have Wishbone Ash's contribution, "Bare Bones".

The album could not be described as totally "unplugged", but contains some nice folky and bluesy songs accompanied by many various stringed instruments including acoustic guitars and dobro guitar, plus accordion, violin and harmonica to good effect, even a Hammond organ is used. The material and instruments have been chosen to good effect, producing a beautiful airy, folky effect, almost like the band in your local pub (I wish!!). "Errors of my Way" sounds absolutely brilliant - this had me running for my acoustic guitar, and including the song on my own "list of songs to learn", and the beautiful violin snaking its way through the song is a master stroke. The aforementioned violin appears on some tracks, which contain contributions (listed above) by many established guest musicians.

Overall a very uplifting listen, though I would have been pleased to see more Ash classics on here given the folky treatment, but the songs chosen fit together seamlessly. Though this album is not strictly folk music, and unaccustomed as I am to things folkish (other than Blue Grass/ Leo Kottke style of music, Blues and the odd snatch from JP), this music is right up my street. A very interesting album, though not strictly Prog, something that has worked well for WA, and definitely worth three stars - though the aforementioned "Errors of my Way" is really worth FIVE!


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Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Everybody needs to do an unplugged album

The "unplugged" concept is not a new one, over the years a diverse range of bands and artists have re-interpreted their works more or less devoid of electric instruments. The MTV series of unplugged concerts probably did most to give such projects credibility, and indeed to find a market for them.

"Bare bones" can be seen as Wishbone Ash's attempt to "Unplug", most of the tracks here being songs already familiar to their fans from previous albums. Given that their undisputed trade mark is the twin lead electric guitars in the line up, it may seem more than a little odd that they should record (almost) an entire album with the lead guitars safely left in their cases. Happily, the results belie any notion that the project is therefore founded on shifting sand.

The chosen tracks are not perhaps the most obvious selections, the complete absence of anything from "Argus" immediately raising an eyebrow. These tracks though do lend themselves well to the acoustic environment, with some such as "Error of my ways" being subject to considerable modification along the way. "Living proof" is also subject to a radical overhaul, becoming virtually a clone of "Leaf and stream" from "Argus".

In terms of the line up, it is Andy Powell who is in control here, bringing back Long absent drummer Ray Weston as a band member and former band mate Claire Hamill on a guest basis. Singer and guitarist Mark Birch makes his sole appearance on a Wishbone Ash album ("What do you mean the next album is an acoustic one?!"), and a lengthy list of other guests come and go on individual tracks.

The overall atmosphere of the album is pretty laid back, with songs such as "You won't take me down" having a relaxed bluesy appeal. The appearance of violin on a couple of tracks adds a unique atmosphere to them, and the use of organ on two tracks (seemingly considered an unplugged instrument, see Neil Young!) is a clever move too.

For me, the best tracks are the two sung by Mark Birch, these being the afore mentioned "You won't take me down" and the sublime "Everybody needs a friend". The latter is an absolute master-stroke of emotional blues rock, with guitar, organ and vocals combining in a stunning piece of great beauty. Here, the band finally relent and add some fine lead guitar.

On the down side, "Love abuse" leaves me completely cold, but in the words of Michael Jackson, one bad apple does not spoil the whole bunch (baby).

It is of course acoustic guitar which provides the foundation of the album throughout, but the diverse range of instruments played by the numerous guests actually results in the album being arguably more innovative than any other release from Wishbone Ash. Ironically, while "Bare bones" should therefore appeal to a wider audience than any other by the band, dedicated fans may find it harder to take. Not therefore the best place to start to discover the real Wishbone Ash, but an album well worth investigating nonetheless.


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Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars Bare blues

After the weird and unexpected venture into electronic music with Trance Visionary and Psychic Terrorism, Andy Powell and the band tried out the acoustic format for this album, cleverly titled Bare Bones. Since the band has made many nice acoustic ballads over the years, the potential was clearly there. However, what we get here is largely disappointing.

I was surprised of how Blues-based this album is. Selecting such lackluster blues numbers as Hard Times and Strange Affair was not a wise move in my opinion. The presence of harmonica strengthens the Blues feeling. There is also a folky flavor to several songs, but it is not the kind of acoustic Folk Rock one might expect from a British band but a very American Folk sound. The inclusion of violin, accordion and even Hammond organ provided by different guests seemed promising, but there is not much room left to instrumental workouts here. The Prog-quota of this acoustic album is zero.

The trademark dual lead guitar attack is of course nowhere to be found here and apart from Andy Powell's vocals there is not much here telling us that this is a Wishbone Ash product. Still, this is a decent recording with a few good moments. The highlights for me are Errors Of My Way and Everybody Needs A Friend. The rest of the album is pretty generic and does not merit repeated listens.

I would recommend this only to the fans of the band


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