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WISHBONE ASH

Prog Related • United Kingdom


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Wishbone Ash biography
The history of 'Wishbone Ash' goes back to 1966, when drummer Steve Upton of the 'Scimitars' joined bassist Martin Turner and Martin's brother Glen in the band 'The Empty Vessels'. The trio named themselves 'Tanglewood' and moved to London. Glen Turner quit soon and was replaced by Ted Turner of Birmingham band 'King Biscuit'. The line-up was finalised by guitarist Andy Powell (Ex-'Sugarband'). The two guitarists developed a melodic twin guitar lead style that would become the trademark of 'Wishbone Ash'.
In 1970 'Wishbone Ash' released their self titled first record, establishing a mixture of Blues-Rock, Jazz and English Folk, that the band would elaborate on in their following records. The production work by Martin Birch was excellent and the record contains the masterpiece 'Phoenix', that would become a 'Wishbone Ash' live classic and give way to elaborate improvisations on stage. At the same time the band would start to use lyrics and imagery drawn from mythology and fantasy. like 'The King will come', 'Throw down the sword', 'Persephone' & 'Argus'.
In 1971 'Wishbone Ash' released 'Pilgrimage' and a year later 'Argus', both records bringing the 'Wishbone Ash' sound to perfection by introducing elaborate vocal arrangements and sophisticated instrumental passages. Both records are masterpieces. In 1973 the band released their fourth LP, 'Wishbone Four', and toured Europe, documented by their live release 'Live Dates' (1973) and followed by an extended America Tour. In 1974 Ted Turner left and was replaced by Laurie Wisefield (Ex-Home) who added steel guitar and banjo to the 'Wishbone Ash' sound on their 1974 release 'There's The Rub'. During the rest of the seventies the new line-up recorded a series of good but less interesting records.
In 1987 the original line-up re-united fora series of records, including the all instrumental 'Nouveau Calls' (1988), before going again though a series of line-up changes. At the end of the 90's the band found a new stability with founding guitarist Andy Powell, bass player Bob Skeat and drummer Ray Weston, joined in 2004 by Finnish guitarist Muddy Manninen.

'Pilgrimage' and 'Argus' are highly recommended.




Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
'Wishbone Ash' mixed Blues-Rock, Jazz and English Folk in a progessive way.



Discography:
1970 WISHBONE ASH
1971 PILGRIMAGE
1972 ARGUS
1973 WISHBONE FOUR
1973 LIVE DATES
1974 THERE'S...
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ArgusArgus
Extra tracks · Remastered
Mca 2002
Audio CD$1.79
$2.99 (used)
Blue HorizonBlue Horizon
Intergroove 2014
Audio CD$10.70
$9.51 (used)
Wishbone AshWishbone Ash
Mca 1992
Audio CD$1.77
$2.45 (used)
PilgrimagePilgrimage
Import
Island UK 1991
Audio CD$6.33
$7.99 (used)
Live Dates IILive Dates II
Real Gone Music 2012
Audio CD$9.11
$12.31 (used)
Live DatesLive Dates
Remastered · Import
Bgo - Beat Goes on 2003
Audio CD$9.77
$9.00 (used)
New England / Front Page NewsNew England / Front Page News
Remastered · Import
Bgo - Beat Goes on 1998
Audio CD$12.51
$20.68 (used)
Essential CollectionEssential Collection
Import
Spectrum Audio UK 2013
Audio CD$5.05
$9.38 (used)
Live in ConcertLive in Concert
Direct Source Label 2003
Audio CD$0.99
$0.99 (used)
Time Was: The Live AnthologyTime Was: The Live Anthology
Import
Castle Music UK 2004
Audio CD$131.70
$11.02 (used)
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More places to buy WISHBONE ASH music online Buy WISHBONE ASH & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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WISHBONE ASH shows & tickets


  • Cambridge Rock Festival 2014 on 7 Aug 2014
  • Wishbone Ash at Sellersville Theater, Sellersville, PA on 23 Sep 2014
  • Wishbone Ash at Sellersville Theater, Sellersville, PA on 23 Sep 2014
  • Wishbone Ash at The Brook, Southampton on 6 Nov 2014
  • Wishbone Ash at Colos-Saal, Aschaffenburg on 14 Jan 2015
  • Wishbone Ash at Z7 Konzertfabrik Pratteln, Pratteln on 20 Jan 2015

WISHBONE ASH discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

WISHBONE ASH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.77 | 180 ratings
Wishbone Ash
1970
3.57 | 172 ratings
Pilgrimage
1971
4.23 | 470 ratings
Argus
1972
2.97 | 127 ratings
Wishbone Four
1973
3.88 | 131 ratings
There's The Rub
1974
1.87 | 71 ratings
Locked In
1976
3.09 | 79 ratings
New England
1976
2.83 | 58 ratings
Front Page News
1977
3.54 | 63 ratings
No Smoke Without Fire
1978
2.81 | 63 ratings
Just Testing
1980
2.73 | 45 ratings
Number The Brave
1981
1.96 | 33 ratings
Twin Barrels Burning
1982
1.76 | 32 ratings
Raw To The Bone
1985
2.97 | 42 ratings
Nouveau Calls
1987
2.86 | 28 ratings
Here to Hear
1989
2.67 | 26 ratings
Strange Affair
1991
3.76 | 45 ratings
Illuminations
1996
1.71 | 19 ratings
Trance Visionary
1998
1.68 | 18 ratings
Psychic Terrorism
1998
3.00 | 27 ratings
Bare Bones
1999
3.61 | 32 ratings
Bona Fide
2002
2.88 | 36 ratings
Clan Destiny
2006
3.13 | 39 ratings
Power Of Eternity
2007
3.18 | 17 ratings
Argus Through The Looking Glass
2008
3.66 | 38 ratings
Elegant Stealth
2011
3.34 | 20 ratings
Blue Horizon
2014

WISHBONE ASH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.43 | 59 ratings
Live Dates
1973
4.11 | 9 ratings
Live In Tokyo
1979
3.59 | 36 ratings
Live Dates Volume 2
1980
2.75 | 4 ratings
BBC Radio 1 Live In Concert
1991
3.36 | 9 ratings
Live In Windy City (USA 1992) (AKA "Live in Chicago & Living Proof)
1992
3.00 | 7 ratings
Live in Geneva
1996
2.50 | 2 ratings
Live - Timeline
1997
2.00 | 1 ratings
Their Greatest Hits
1998
2.00 | 1 ratings
Mother of Pearl
1998
3.08 | 11 ratings
Live Dates 3
2001
1.09 | 2 ratings
Runaway
2001
3.84 | 6 ratings
Almighty Blues - London and Beyond
2004
3.46 | 3 ratings
Time Was... The Live Anthology
2004
4.00 | 4 ratings
New Live Dates, Volume One
2006
3.20 | 5 ratings
Live In Hamburg
2007
4.00 | 5 ratings
New Live Dates, Volume Two
2007
1.73 | 6 ratings
Argus Then Again Live
2008
4.00 | 2 ratings
The Life Begins Tour
2011

WISHBONE ASH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.96 | 4 ratings
Classic Rock Legends (DVD)
2001
3.05 | 5 ratings
Inside Wishbone Ash 1970-2004
2003
3.09 | 3 ratings
Live Broadcasts
2003
5.00 | 1 ratings
Almighty Blues: London & Beyond
2004
3.67 | 3 ratings
Phoenix Rising - Classic Ash: Then & Now
2004
2.29 | 5 ratings
25th Anniversary Of The Marquee (DVD)
2005
3.19 | 8 ratings
30th Anniversary Concert (DVD)
2006
4.05 | 3 ratings
Rock Milestones Wishbone Ash : Argus
2006
5.00 | 1 ratings
Live at the Spirit of 66
2006
5.00 | 1 ratings
Live in Hamburg
2007
4.00 | 2 ratings
40th Anniversary Concert - Live In London
2009
4.08 | 4 ratings
Martin Turner's Wishbone Ash - The Life Begins Tour
2010

WISHBONE ASH Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.54 | 8 ratings
Classic Ash
1977
2.50 | 4 ratings
Hot Ash
1981
4.14 | 7 ratings
Distillation
1997
3.05 | 3 ratings
The Millenium Collection
1999
2.00 | 1 ratings
On Air
1999
4.00 | 1 ratings
Wishbone Ash (The Primo collection)
2003
2.18 | 2 ratings
The Collection
2003
3.18 | 2 ratings
Warriors
2003
2.09 | 4 ratings
Lost Pearls
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
Backbones
2004
3.00 | 1 ratings
Tracks
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
Tracks 2
2004
2.10 | 2 ratings
The King Will Come
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Mystery Man
2005
3.48 | 7 ratings
First Light
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Tracks 3
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Tender
2008
0.00 | 0 ratings
Tough
2008
2.00 | 1 ratings
Rocked Up Beyond Belief
2008
4.07 | 5 ratings
Sometime World: An MCA Travelogue
2010

WISHBONE ASH Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.58 | 14 ratings
Live From Memphis
1972

WISHBONE ASH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Pilgrimage by WISHBONE ASH album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.57 | 172 ratings

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Pilgrimage
Wishbone Ash Prog Related

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 1971's 'Pilgrimage' picks up pretty much where it's impressive predecessor, 1970's eponymous debut, left off. This time round, however, the classic Ash line-up of Andy Powell(guitar, vocals), Martin Turner(bass, vocals), Ted Turner(guitar) and Steve Upton(drums) opt for a slightly mellowier vibe, dipping into their reserves of folk influences in order to embellish 'Pilgrimage' with it's own distinct sound and thus separate it from the rockier 'Wishbone Ash'. Indeed, it has been a feature of Wishbone Ash's lengthy career to bravely juxtapose styles from album-to-album, often to the very real disappointment of even some their own fans, yet what this truly illustrates is a group more concerned with seeking creatively satisfaction than commercial benefits, an honourable trait. In the end, they received both, with 'Pilgrimage' proving an important stepping stone on the road to international success. Of course, you can't really write a review of early Wishbone Ash material without mentioning 'Argus', the group's awesome magnus opus that overshadows everything else they did, in particular 'Pilgrimage' which it closely follows. 'Argus' would expand the group's sound into progressive rock territory, concentrating on the impressive dual guitar attack of Powell and Ted Turner, yet 'Pilgrimage' would ultimately hold back from this kind of grandstanding, instead featuring a deep, glowing, almost amber sound brushed with the rustic hues of acoustic strums, slow-burning melodies and topped off by two jokers in the pack in the jazzy opening number 'Vas Dis' and the slow-burning epic 'Valediction', which still ranks as an out-and-out Ash classic. Although 'Pilgrimage' doesn't quite hit the same satisfying mystic-rock mark as the two classic albums that immediately surround it, this is still top-notch Ash product and one of only four albums to feature the group's pioneering original line-up. STEFAN TURNER, TOULOUSE, 2014

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 Wishbone Ash  by WISHBONE ASH album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.77 | 180 ratings

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Wishbone Ash
Wishbone Ash Prog Related

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Still recording, releasing and touring after almost half-a-decade in existence, the lengthy and colourful Wishbone Ash story began all the way back in 1970 with this assured self-titled debut. Forty-four years and twenty-nine studio albums have followed, yet the simple fact of the matter is that Wishbone Ash peaked early on, issuing a fine opening trio of albums before venturing into a long, slow and sometimes painful artistic-and-commercial decline. However, despite those ill-judged late-career forays into NWOBHM-era heavy metal and, er...techno(!?) on the late-nineties albums 'Trance Visionary' and 'Psychic Terrorism', Wishbone Ash have actually enjoyed a pretty successful career, cracking North America during the late-seventies, issuing at least one stone-cold classic in the form of 1972's 'Argus' and somehow sustaining an audience throughout their many fluctuations in both style and popularity. Like many groups who started out during the heady days of the late- sixties/early-seventies, Wishbone Ash's best bits defintely came early on, during a short-but-scintillating three-year period that began with this debut album, continued on with 1971's 'Pilgrimage', and peaked with the all-conquering 'Argus'. All three albums, plus 1974's folksy 'Wishbone Four', feature the 'classic' Ash line-up of Andy Powell(guitar, vocals), Martin Turner(bass, vocals), Ted Turner(guitar) and Steve Upton(drums), and it this period which truly defines the group. These peak years effectively ended when, following 'Wishbone Four', the group's original twin-guitar attack was broken up, and Laurie Wisefield, formerly of progressive rock outfit Home, replaced the departing Ted Turner. From here on in, the distinctive Wishbone Ash sound would undergo a gradual Americanisation, with albums such on as 'Locked In' and 'New England' showcasing a slick and formulaic hard rock style aimed squarely at the North Ameican charts. Issued by MCA during the run-up to Christmas, 1970's 'Wishbone Ash' proved a surprise debut success and instantly found the group an audience in their homeland. The dual guitar attack offered up by Powell(who, as of summer 2014, is still leading the group) and Ted Turner both thrills and enthralls on the album's closing pair of epics, with both the ten-minute 'Handy' and the mystical opus 'The Phoenix' displaying the group's clever mix of hard rock pyrotechnics, soaring harmonies and atmospheric acoustic undertones. Despite a so-so opening with the frenetic, blues-stained opener 'Blind Eye', this remains a fine album from a youthful and energetic group. Echoes of 'Argus' can be heard in the album's carefully-layered grooves, whilst Martin Turner's ambivalent lyrics mesh cleverly with the album's lofty themes. STEFAN TURNER, TOULOUSE, 2014

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 Raw To The Bone by WISHBONE ASH album cover Studio Album, 1985
1.76 | 32 ratings

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Raw To The Bone
Wishbone Ash Prog Related

Review by SMSM

2 stars The cover of Raw to the Bone is probably one of the most deceiving album covers ever.

From the cover one would expect some kind of very heavy metal from that period, something like Abattoir - Vicious Attack, Destruction - Infernal Overkill, Exodus - Bonded by Blood, Grave Digger - Witch Hunter, Omen - Warning of Danger, Piledriver - Metal Inquisition, Savatage - Power of the Night, Slayer - Hell Awaits, Trouble - The Skull, Venom - Possessed etc.

Instead it is a band with Folk, Celtic, Grateful Dead and a bit of Blues in them trying desperately to sound Heavy Metal.

Personally, I blame the music media who took a few comments from members of certain metal bands who in their youth/teens went to Wishbone Ash concerts or saw them on TV in the early to mid 1970s, saw the twin leads, which was unique at that time, particularly in the early 1970's, and claimed Wish Bone Ash was an influence on them because of this.

The same Music Media then started to refer to Wishbone As as a hard rock/heavy metal band, which if they ever bothered to listen to their records, nothing could be farther from the truth

What happens is the record company and management gets hold of this, and heavy metal being very profitable in record sales at that time, presses the band to make a hard rock/heavy metal recording.

It was sort of like the same record companies and management in the 1940's and 1950's pressing Swing Bands to make fashionable Bebop recordings, or recently, pressing traditional Heavy Metal bands in the 1990's to make fashionable Grunge style music, or sadly a number of progressive rock bands in the late 1970s attempting to be fashionably new wave, love those synth drums, Love Beach Anyone?

In most cases, only a few are good, most are mediocre to bad because the band/performer's hearts are not in it.

One of the biggest proof of this is WA's horrible hard rock cover of Lowell George of Little Feat Rocket in My Pocket, which since Ash also had a little bit of Feat in them, especially the slide work, could have be great, but horrible in trying to hard rock the tune.

That said, given this is a review in a progressive rock website, it could only be worth two stars, but it is not a bad recording, just a mediocre for reasons above

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 Argus  by WISHBONE ASH album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.23 | 470 ratings

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Argus
Wishbone Ash Prog Related

Review by TerryDactyl

5 stars When finally the world comes to an end it will surely be a spear holding Darth Vader, obviously deserted on Earth by his drunken buddies, who will do it. I mean, he must be irked, look at 'em they're leaving him down here all to himself, poor rascal, and no one will ever understand anything about the Death Star even if he sings a beautiful twin guitar song in the hard rock vein about it, even if he sings loud and proud about kings coming and warriors coming too, in fact everything on this record is coming or passing by, or blowing, except Darth Vader who seems to be a little reticent to come, or go, or blow for that matter, anywhere. In fact the main character of the second side, Darth Vader, seems to be a little perturbed about being left here on Earth by his drunken buddies, and he starts trouble, meditates, starts more trouble, finally sees the error of his ways, stops being a baddie and just tosses his sword away, though it would have been better if he threw the sword into a stream after impaling a leaf, for dramatic purposes, you must understand.

All Joshing aside, this is a wonderful album filled with neat hooky songs that flirt with being metal and post Beatles pop goodness at one time, beautiful and thrilling guitar interplay that falls just short of Thin Lizzy's heyday and the first works of bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden.

The production is sort of weird, murky and raw. I personally love it with a humming desire, but I do understand many people might not like that level of rawness (or Doobie in their funk, even) and would consider it "tinny" or "something" but, really, if you are into the rawer side of music, "Argus" has a very nice biting sound that can soothe the little soul inside the teacups we call our bodies.

Track by Track: (Side by Side)

The theme of Side 1 is very loose, in fact non-existent. This is not a concept album, though I one time thought it was, but I was in a very literary mood that month. A collection of upbeat wonders for those who want to jiggity jog and bounce all the way through the wormhole.

1. Time Was : Long and interesting, very mellow opening, nice blast of rock after a couple mintues. Overall a very filling song, makes you shake a tail feather in parts.

2. Sometime World: Full on Prog! Total masterpiece of a song, makes the toes curl and the joy spew like pea soup.

3. Blowin' Free: Really good driving music for when you want that whole "I'm in my car, the road goes on forever, the party never ends and each mile of blacktop eaten is like a buffet in Heaven" feeling.

Side 2 has the "Darth Vader left on Earth by his Drunken Buddies" theme.

All the Bruhaha about this album comes mostly from this side (though the first side is fantastic!) and it's oddly peculiar storyline sort of about Darth Vader (maybe) that might or might not have something to do with the sterling reputation this album carries around like a sock full of silver bars.

4. The King Will Come: My favorite song on the album, by far. Check out that guitar at the beginning, one of the best riffs ever written by simple mortal humans and a good song too, all apocalyptic, guess Vader's PO'd that he's been abandoned and wants to take his subtle, yet flaming, revenge upon all the unbelievers. Magnitude of ten-thousand as proto-metal as a breadfan and twice as pretty.

5. Leaf and Stream: If we consider this side to tell a "story" or be "thematic" this is either an interlude or Vader is sitting by a stream, mask off, crying into the water as he reminisces about space flight.

6. Warrior: Another great. More proto-metal, very Maiden-y, but not as fast. If there is a complaint about this album it is that there are songs that could have used a little more speed, a bit more heaviness, but heck, this was 1972 we aren't all that far removed from "Goin' up the Country." I guess this song is about Vader being a warrior or something. Wonder if Jedi tricks work on Earth?

7. Throw Down The Sword: Where the hero decides to give up the warring ways, great track, meltingly beautiful guitars and a whole hand basket of pretty other things too. The album ends, Vader accepts his plight and sorta makes peace with himself. Great stuff.

Overall, the truth about this album is that it's wonderful, surprising things happen and it seems much shorter than it really is.

Truly an original record that nothing else in the world sounds much like (not even other WA albums) so do yourself a favor, listen, and if it helps you can pretend that the guy on the cover is a Roman Warrior who saw a space ship instead of Darth Vader...

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 Blue Horizon by WISHBONE ASH album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.34 | 20 ratings

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Blue Horizon
Wishbone Ash Prog Related

Review by DocB

1 stars For fans of the classic Wishbone Ash sound, Blue Horizon does not warrant a high rating, particularly in the Prog Archives. The album has neither the classic Wishbone Ash sound, nor much progressive content. But, to be fair, a lot of Wishbone Ash music after the first few albums should be classified as classic rock, not prog rock. The music on Blue Horizon is essentially blues rock, this being the case with most Wishbone Ash releases under the leadership of Andy Powell. One notable exception is the 1996 Illuminations album, and it appears that former band member Roger Filgate had a lot to do with that album. The music on Blue Horizon is played well enough, but the songwriting is not very imaginative. Listening to Mk I and Mk II Wishbone Ash from the 1970s, it's apparent that singer, songwriter, bass player, producer Martin Turner is the prime source of the classic Wishbone Ash sound. It also appears obvious why the joint compositions on the early albums are credited to M. Turner, S. Upton, T. Turner and A. Powell, though the credits sometimes get listed alphabetically in the revisionist history of the band. For the classic Wishbone Ash sound, check out Martin Turner's Wishbone Ash. If you want to hear some really good blues rock, check out the Allman Brothers Band, who blend blues, jazz and rock in innovative ways.

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 Blue Horizon by WISHBONE ASH album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.34 | 20 ratings

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Blue Horizon
Wishbone Ash Prog Related

Review by Kingsnake

5 stars Wishbone Ash are still going strong. The new millenium is very constistent. Andy Powell has a steady and energetic group of musicians in his band. For almost seven years the line-up is the same.

This new album is exactly what you woul expect from the Ash: folkrock, bluesrock, progrock and even some jazzfusion, lots of twinleads, beautiful melodies, some riffing, some clean guitar. They even added some fiddle in two songs.

Andy is perhaps not the most famous and outstandig leadvocalist but he always does a good job.

This album reminds me sometimes of Argus but also Illuminations, There's the Rub and No Smoke Without Fire.

This is not only one of the best records the band ever put out, but perhaps even the best record of 2014 of any band.

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 Classic Ash by WISHBONE ASH album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1977
3.54 | 8 ratings

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Classic Ash
Wishbone Ash Prog Related

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars I really loved Wishbone Ash's "Argus" so have been drawn to live Cds and compilations that are surprisingly cheap these days from Wishbone Ash. The great WA sound consists of duel guitar playing from the excellent musicianship of Andy Powell and Ted Turner; they would always be remembered for this. The guitar breaks are nothing short of extraordinary, before Iron Maiden and before Judas Priest's twin guitar solos there was Powell and Turner. Martin Turner's vocals are easy to take and he doesn't go for high octave but stays in the mid range, his bass playing is noteworthy too.

There are some of the classics here that appear often in live performances or on comps.

'Throw Down the Sword' is criminally missing but I guess most ash addicts are going to have "Argus" as it is the penultimate treasure. "Pheonix" is here all 10 and a half minutes of it including those incredible twin guitar solos. 'Persephone' is a slow paced bluesy thing with tons of grinding Hammond taken from "There's The Rub" from 1974.

'Rock N Roll Widow' is from "Wishbone Four", a straight forward rocker with loads of lead guitar breaks. 'Blowin' Free' from "Argus" begins with the killer riff that drives the song. The lyrics are great to sing to; "I Thought I had a girl I know because I seen her, her hair was gold and brown, blowin' free like a cornfield..." The twin guitar solo is a feature once again and this is a real favourite with the band and they always include it on their live set, which sound jammier and better than this. There are some delicious passages of soaring guitar and blues scales on this. The time sig remains fairly much the same apart from some slower bits thrown in such as; "In my dreams..." section.

"Argus" gem 'The King Will Come' is my favourite Wishbone Ash song and I saw this on the Classic Rock Anthology which drew me to the band. The band have so much fun rockin' it out and the lead guitarist wears flowing white flares. Powell moves back and forth playing a flying V guitar staring into the camera just having the time of his life. They sound incredible live, so this studio version is not as loud and aggressive though it's still great. The guitars are not as up in the mix but the harmonies are divine. It is a song about the Biblical end times when the king (Jesus) will return and apocalypse will reign; the Revelation. The lead break is magnificent from both guitarists using wah wah pedal effects and huge scales. Once again this is a staple of the live set and would not be complete without it. It is brilliant prog rock. "See the word of the prophet on a stone in his hand, poison pen Revelation, just a sign in the sand..."

Overall it is a solid compilation, cheap and succint; it epitomises all that make Wishbone Ash great. There are better comps stretching to 2 CDs or more but at least this comp features some of the treasures of the great Wishbone Ash at an affordable price for those that want to dip their toes into the sound and fury of this great band.

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 No Smoke Without Fire by WISHBONE ASH album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.54 | 63 ratings

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No Smoke Without Fire
Wishbone Ash Prog Related

Review by AlanB

4 stars Derek Lawrence, producer of Wishbone Ash's Magnum Opus, Argus, was back in the fold for this album, and boy, does it show! Of the 5 albums in between Argus and NSWF, two were pretty good, two were disappointing, and one was downright awful. No Smoke Without Fire is, in my opinion, the best Wishbone Ash album since Argus and the best of the Laurie Wisefield era. The album opens with You See Red, a Wisefield composition that was released as a single (but never got anywhere near the charts). The song includes some lovely vocal harmonies and twin lead guitar. Next up is Baby The Angels Are Here, which has some excellent interplay between Martin Turner's bass and Andy Powell's guitar. I was never too keen on the mellow Ships In The Sky, whilst Stand And Deliver is one of the more controversial Ash lyrics. Based on the poem The Highwayman, the song seems to glorify rape, particularly in the second verse

When I climb inside your window With more in my mind than a share of the night You can kick bite and scratch, but you'll have to surrender The chances are you won't see me no more

Musically the song has a great hook line, but the dodgy lyrics let it down. Shame.

On to Side 2, we have three of the best songs on the album. Anger In Harmony is a rocker with some lovely twin guitar duelling at the end. The album title comes from a line in this song, and it also contains what I think is an inspired lyric "your trigger finger's itching on your loaded tongue." Then we have Like A Child, with a beautiful guitar line underpinning the vocals and some excellent vocal harmonies again. Finally, the epic Way Of the World is the Mark 2 band's Phoenix and easily stands up against that masterpiece.

AND if that wasn't enough, the CD version of NSWF has the best bonus tracks I've ever heard on a CD. There are two songs, Firesign and Time and Space, which are as good as any track on the album, and were presumably left out only because of lack of space. Personally I would have included one of them in place of Stand And Deliver. Then we have three live tracks, Lorelei, Come In From The Rain and the regular encore number Bad Weather Blues, all of them performed to Wishbone Ash's usual high standard. These three are included because Bad Weather Blues was the B side of the You See Red single, whilst a 7" single containing the other two live tracks was given away with the original vinyl album.

Highly recommended

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 Live Dates Volume 2 by WISHBONE ASH album cover Live, 1980
3.59 | 36 ratings

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Live Dates Volume 2
Wishbone Ash Prog Related

Review by AlanB

4 stars I saw Wishbone Ash live about half a dozen times during the 1970s, and all but one of those occasions was the Turner/Upton/Powell/Wisefield lineup. They always gave a great show, and Live Dates Volume 2 showcases their performance perfectly. What I like about this album is that some of the songs actually sound better than the original studio versions - in particular Living Proof, which has a bassline which just drives the song along, Goodbye Baby Hello Friend, which sounded insipid on Front Page News but is given new life here, and the closing rocker, No Easy Road. But for me the highlight of the album is what was side 3, consisting of the three slow numbers Lorelei, Persephone and You Rescue Me. Powell and Wisefield's soloing is sublime here.

This album wasn't available on CD for many years which was a frustration to fans, but it became available a couple of years ago. I would recommend it to anyone who appreciates melodic rock and skilful guitarists.

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 Argus Then Again Live by WISHBONE ASH album cover Live, 2008
1.73 | 6 ratings

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Argus Then Again Live
Wishbone Ash Prog Related

Review by AlanB

1 stars Oh Dear Oh Dear.......

Argus is my all time favourite album, but on this recording Andy Powell butchers it. Powell's vocals can be reasonable, even if they don't sound like classic Wishbone Ash, but he was having an off-day here. It says much that the best track on the CD is Real Guitars Have Wings, and yes, you've guessed it, it's an instrumental. Musically the performance is excellent, but my advice is, avoid this album, listen to the original Argus instead, or if you want a decent live rendition of the whole album, look no further than the Life Begins live DVD or CD recorded by Martin Turner's Wishbone Ash.

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