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Wishbone Ash

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Wishbone Ash Mother of Pearl album cover
2.04 | 4 ratings | 1 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Live, released in 1998

Songs / Tracks Listing

1 Helpless (3:37)
2 Runaway (3:13)
3 Warrior (6:09)
4 Lorelei (6:06)
5 Persephone (3:42)
6 (In All of My Dreams) You Rescue Me (6:50)
7 Outward Bound (3:44)
8 Mother of Pearl (5:26)
9 Rest in Peace (6:26)
10 Time Was (7:01)
11 Bad Weather Blues (7:14)

Total time 59:28

Line-up / Musicians

- Andy Powell / electric & acoustic guitars, mandolin, vocals
- Laurie Wisefield / electric & slide guitars, vocals
- Steve Upton / drums
- Martin Turner / bass guitar, lead vocals

Releases information

Culture Press Records (Germany) CP 1002 1998

Originally Bootleg recordings:
Liverpool Empire, UK 17 November 1976 (Mixing desk recording)
Except Helpless Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK 2 February 1980 (BBC)

Thanks to easy livin for the addition
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WISHBONE ASH Mother of Pearl ratings distribution

(4 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(25%)
Good, but non-essential (0%)
Collectors/fans only (50%)
Poor. Only for completionists (25%)

WISHBONE ASH Mother of Pearl reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Time was. . .when their gigs were better than this

This set was originally released as a bootleg called "Mother of Pearl" (and sometimes "Runaway") but was legitimised in 1998 when it was released by Culture Press Records in Germany. It has subsequently appeared in other formats, including a pairing with "Live in Chicago" for the "Millennium collection" double CD. With the exception of the first track, the recordings actually date back to 1976, and a gig in Liverpool, UK. They are mixing desk recordings, so the sound is of a good quality, and is well balanced. For some reason, the first track "Helpless" is from a 1980 show in Hammersmith, London recorded by the BBC (and made available on a transcription disc), and as such is rather out of place here.

In 1976, the band featured the twin guitars of Andy Powell and Laurie Wisefield who had taken the place of original member Ted Turner. The set list therefore focuses on the band's latest album at that time "New England", with a track each from the previous "Locked in" and "There's the rub". Inevitably, two tracks from "Argus" also make the set. Wisefield's strong influence on the band during his time with them is evidenced by the fact that he is co-credited with writing all the songs except the two from "Argus".

The inclusion of "Helpless" and its positioning as track one is strange, as the song first appeared on the 1980 album "Just testing", an album which was not around when the rest of the set captured here was performed. I cannot even say that it is a particularly great song and justify its inclusion on that basis.

The Liverpool gig begins at track 2 "Runaway", one of 5 tracks here from "New England". While that album as a whole deserves greater recognition, "Runaway" is one of the more prosaic tracks. This set therefore only really comes to life when we dip back into "Argus" for a rendition of Warrior". This version is a superb if largely faithful affair, I only wish the band had a stated policy of performing "Warrior" and "Throw down the sword" as one piece, in the way it appears on "Argus".

The album closes with something of a rarity, the non-album single B-side "Bad weather blues". The song is a good crowd participation number with a shuffling blues beat. It's hardly essential Wishbone Ash, but it does give this set some extra appeal.

In general I find that this set fails to capture either the essence of the band, or the quality of the songs recorded by them while Laurie Wisefield was with them. In general, the album come across as rather tepid and lacking character. Since the source albums, and in particular "New England" were rather good, I can only conclude that this set does not capture this line up at their best.

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