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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 for a 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 :
'Wishbone Ash' mixed Blues-Rock, Jazz and English Folk in a progessive way.

1972 ARGUS
1974 ...
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Argus [Expanded Edition]Argus [Expanded Edition]
Extra tracks · Remastered
Geffen 2002
Audio CD$3.14
$0.26 (used)
Wishbone AshWishbone Ash
Geffen 1992
Audio CD$3.91
$0.26 (used)
Wishbone Ash - Live DatesWishbone Ash - Live Dates
Import · Remastered
BGO 2015
Audio CD$7.38
$7.37 (used)
Road Works: BoxsetRoad Works: Boxset
Imports 2015
Audio CD$13.61
$18.38 (used)
The Essential Collection - Wishbone AshThe Essential Collection - Wishbone Ash
Audio CD$3.69
$5.93 (used)
No Smoke Without FireNo Smoke Without Fire
Extra tracks · Import
Mca UK 2000
Audio CD$4.32
$3.02 (used)
Island UK 1991
Audio CD$3.75
$1.51 (used)
Blue HorizonBlue Horizon
Intergroove 2014
Audio CD$8.83
$8.23 (used)
Wishbone FourWishbone Four
Spectrum Audio UK 1999
Audio CD$4.32
$5.62 (used)
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WISHBONE ASH discography

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

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

3.79 | 217 ratings
Wishbone Ash
3.57 | 210 ratings
4.21 | 566 ratings
2.99 | 149 ratings
Wishbone Four
3.88 | 163 ratings
There's The Rub
1.90 | 82 ratings
Locked In
3.11 | 94 ratings
New England
2.86 | 75 ratings
Front Page News
3.52 | 78 ratings
No Smoke Without Fire
2.86 | 78 ratings
Just Testing
2.70 | 56 ratings
Number The Brave
2.01 | 43 ratings
Twin Barrels Burning
1.85 | 45 ratings
Raw To The Bone
2.99 | 51 ratings
Nouveau Calls
2.91 | 36 ratings
Here to Hear
2.68 | 32 ratings
Strange Affair
3.74 | 55 ratings
1.70 | 24 ratings
Trance Visionary
1.74 | 23 ratings
Psychic Terrorism
3.00 | 31 ratings
Bare Bones
3.64 | 37 ratings
Bona Fide
2.93 | 42 ratings
Clan Destiny
3.18 | 48 ratings
Power Of Eternity
3.23 | 20 ratings
Argus Through The Looking Glass
3.59 | 46 ratings
Elegant Stealth
3.39 | 38 ratings
Blue Horizon

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

4.45 | 71 ratings
Live Dates
4.20 | 10 ratings
Live In Tokyo
3.64 | 40 ratings
Live Dates Volume 2
3.00 | 6 ratings
BBC Radio 1 Live In Concert
3.38 | 11 ratings
Live In Windy City (USA 1992) (AKA "Live in Chicago & Living Proof)
3.22 | 9 ratings
Live in Geneva
2.50 | 2 ratings
Live - Timeline
2.00 | 1 ratings
Their Greatest Hits
2.10 | 2 ratings
Mother of Pearl
3.12 | 13 ratings
Live Dates 3
1.09 | 2 ratings
3.84 | 6 ratings
Almighty Blues - London and Beyond
3.46 | 3 ratings
Time Was... The Live Anthology
3.93 | 6 ratings
New Live Dates, Volume One
3.33 | 6 ratings
Live In Hamburg
3.94 | 8 ratings
New Live Dates, Volume Two
2.11 | 9 ratings
Argus Then Again Live
4.00 | 3 ratings
The Life Begins Tour

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

4.00 | 6 ratings
Classic Rock Legends (DVD)
3.05 | 5 ratings
Inside Wishbone Ash 1970-2004
3.09 | 3 ratings
Live Broadcasts
5.00 | 1 ratings
Almighty Blues: London & Beyond
3.67 | 3 ratings
Phoenix Rising - Classic Ash: Then & Now
2.29 | 5 ratings
25th Anniversary Of The Marquee (DVD)
3.18 | 9 ratings
30th Anniversary Concert (DVD)
3.96 | 4 ratings
Rock Milestones Wishbone Ash : Argus
5.00 | 1 ratings
Live at the Spirit of 66
5.00 | 2 ratings
Live in Hamburg
4.25 | 4 ratings
40th Anniversary Concert - Live In London
4.08 | 4 ratings
Martin Turner's Wishbone Ash - The Life Begins Tour

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

3.55 | 9 ratings
Classic Ash
2.50 | 4 ratings
Hot Ash
3.00 | 1 ratings
The King Will Come
4.25 | 8 ratings
3.05 | 3 ratings
The Millenium Collection
3.50 | 2 ratings
On Air
4.00 | 1 ratings
Wishbone Ash (The Primo collection)
2.33 | 3 ratings
The Collection
3.25 | 3 ratings
2.28 | 6 ratings
Lost Pearls
0.00 | 0 ratings
3.00 | 1 ratings
0.00 | 0 ratings
Tracks 2
2.10 | 2 ratings
The King Will Come
0.00 | 0 ratings
Mystery Man
3.51 | 8 ratings
First Light
0.00 | 0 ratings
Tracks 3
2.00 | 1 ratings
0.00 | 0 ratings
2.00 | 1 ratings
Rocked Up Beyond Belief
4.13 | 7 ratings
Sometime World: An MCA Travelogue

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

2.66 | 16 ratings
Live From Memphis


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Pilgrimage by WISHBONE ASH album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.57 | 210 ratings

Wishbone Ash Prog Related

Review by maryes

3 stars WISHBONE ASH "Pilgrimage", although in majority of his total time (45:13) don't present a really prog music , With the exception of the two initial Tracks "Vas Dis" and title track "Pilgrimage"( two great musical ideas) the rest of the album is much more a hard- rock album with some soft passages which slightly reminds or suggests progressive music. So... will be enough an analysis of two above mentioned tracks. In fact the two tracks are very similar in construction, a repetition of a same theme during the most or total time - the first track "Vas Dis" shows a excellent duet guitars/vocals and is their major attraction ! The second track after a almost pastoral passage brings the same repetition of bass/drums rhythm and a chorus in a counterpoint with the instrumental part ( not in duet , like in previous track ) This only two tracks in my opinion don't makes a great collection item, by this considerations my rate is 3 stars !!!
 Argus by WISHBONE ASH album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.21 | 566 ratings

Wishbone Ash Prog Related

Review by PoolmanProgger

5 stars "Argus" is arguably the proggiest album Wishbone Ash ever released, a dreamy hodgepodge of prog, blues and hard rock. This album is so good that it even ranked first on a Melody Maker readers poll as the top album of 1972, and one listen is all that you need to discern its superb quality. Starting with the fantastic "Time Was" and rolling through to the stunning anti-war protest "Throw Down the Sword", "Argus" is definitely a recommended listen to any prog fan.

Side One opens with "Time Was", which starts out with an extended acoustic intro which seamlessly transitions into a delicious guitar showcase for Andy Powell. "Sometime World" is much the same, but with better harmonizing between Martin Turner and Andy Powell and the best guitar solo of the album from Powell, which fades out the song. In my opinion, "Sometime World" is the best song on the album, one that is guaranteed to be stuck in your head for a long time. Side One closes out with "Blowin' Free", probably the most folk-tinged song on the album, not nearly as classic as the first two tracks, but it still holds its own as a solid track.

Side Two opens with "The King Will Come", which starts "Argus"'s medieval-themed suite on Side Two. In my opinion, "The King Will Come" is the weakest track on "Argus". Not that it's a bad song, but it just never goes anywhere, and it seems more repetitive than the previous tracks. Next is "Leaf and Stream", the album's best ballad, though probably the least proggy song on the entire album. "Warrior" is a fantastic song with the catchiest chorus on the album, which segues into "Throw Down the Sword". On this track, you can definitely hear the Iron Maiden influence, as Steve Harris basically plagiarized the opening two minutes of "Throw Down the Sword" in at least a half-dozen Iron Maiden songs.

Overall, "Argus" is definitely the finest album Wishbone Ash ever recorded, and sadly, they'd never come close to replicating it again. "Argus" is the perfect blend of the bluesy sound of their first album, the progressive folk sound of their second album, and the hard rock they'd later be known for on subsequent releases. "Argus" was also a landmark album in terms of the twin-lead guitar sound, a style that would later be adopted by such bands as Thin Lizzy, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, all of whom credit Wishbone Ash as an influence on their music. If there is one Wishbone Ash album that I'd recommend to the prog listeners on this site, "Argus" would be that album. A true classic of the genre.

 Pilgrimage by WISHBONE ASH album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.57 | 210 ratings

Wishbone Ash Prog Related

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Pilgrimage is a subtle and interesting collection of early '70's art-rock that doesn't have the ambition to jump fully into the prog circle, but has plenty of nuanced artistry and instrumental work to make it something more than old- fashioned classic rock.

The album opens with the quirky "Vas Dis," an upbeat and complex song that ties the listener up in tempo and instrumental knots. The song shows off strong musicianship and tight playing. It's fairly aggressive, jazzy, and certainly a bold move to start the album off with.

"The Pilgrim" is probably the standout track, featuring exceptionally restrained guitar textures that weave around the melodic bass playing of Turner. It's a dreamy track that transitions into an upbeat and powerful rock instrumental with complex playing by all members. A great track.

This sort of song, which we hear again in the two instrumental interludes of "Alone" and "Lullaby" are the clear winners of the album. "Jailbait," a slice of good-old-fashioned-boogie-woogie classic rock works as a tongue-in-cheek diversion but doesn't leave much impression. The band doesn't feel as comfortable playing this kind of music, like they don't have the hooks or energy to grab hold of the listener.

"Valediction" is another thoughtful song, and is the most lyrically heavily track on the record. It's a true ballad that builds nicely to an engaging finale, but shows one of the weaknesses of the band: the lead vocals, which are tepid and without much emotion. Luckily for us there are instrumental highlights throughout for it not to matter much. We close with two live samples, included the extended "Where Were You Tomorrow," showing Wishbone Ash indulge their boogie-woogie stylings in an enjoyable closer.

A good, but not great album that is best when the band indulges their skills as writers and instrumentalists and not as rock stars.

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 4 - Lyrics/Vocals: 2 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

 Argus by WISHBONE ASH album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.21 | 566 ratings

Wishbone Ash Prog Related

Review by justaguy

1 stars I have stumbled many times on the high rating of Wisbone Ash on Progarchives and never understood why. Once again, I have seen this record here highly rated as a prog related album here. This one, I didn't hear before. Of course, I just had to try again. After all, it sits there, as a top record, next to Led Zeppelin, Queen, Black Sabbath, Rainbow, etc. Alas, again a disappointment. An ordinary rock record, like thousands others that have been made during last 50 years. I could not find any outstanding song on it, or even something memorable. Yes, sure, it is played well and there are even a few nice guitar hooks here and there, but that is it. I wouldn't advice any prog lover to go and buy this one :-(
 There's The Rub by WISHBONE ASH album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.88 | 163 ratings

There's The Rub
Wishbone Ash Prog Related

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'There's the Rub' (67/100)

Repeated listening to Wishbone Ash has definitely tempered some of the more vicious criticisms I've had towards their music. While There's the Rub hasn't dissuaded my belief that they're fairly weak songwriters, I've been able to rationalize their weaknesses somewhat. Even if the essence in many of the Wishbone's seems lacking, there is still earnest enjoyment to be had if I interpret the song structures as a potential vessel for great guitar moments. There's the Rub might not have as many of these moments as Argus did, but I might go so far as to say the songwriting here is a little more consistent.

Wishbone Ash's other guitarist Ted Turner had left the band prior to this album's recording. Had it not been for newcomer Laurie Wisefield, I'm not sure the album would have sounded as good as it does. The surprising sounds of the banjo and steel guitar are here thanks in large part to him, and while the band don't make use of these ingredients outside of a purely rock context, it does sweeten the band's melodic rock sound a fair bit.

Wishbone Ash had, by this point, all but given up their hesitant chase with progressive rock, but they fortunately kept their sense of variety. Although I remain unimpressed with their largely predictable hard rock songwriting, it is worthy to mention that each of the songs on There's the Rub (like Argus) feels distinct in some way. "Silver Shoes" and "Hometown" are country-rock tunes, of all things. "Don't Come Back" is a standard hard rocker, "Persephone" is an atmospheric ballad, and the album's highlight "Lady Jay" bears the distinct feel of a Medieval madrigal. The nine minute instrumental "F.U.B.B" seems like it was penned with Wishbone Ash's considerable guitar talents in mind. Be that as it may, nothing here quite excites me the way "Sometime World" off Argus did, but in does feel like the band were a little more aware of their strengths and weaknesses on There's the Rub than they were on their magnum opus. Wishbone Ash fans may proscribe me for saying so; I don't think this one is quite as exciting as Argus, but it is very close.

At first, I thought the lyrics on There's the Rub were pretty awful. With the welcome exception of "Lady Jay" and "Persephone", it felt like Wishbone Ash were running into hard rock cliches as often as not. Having given the album a little more time now, I think I judged them too harshly. There's a melancholic angle to the words here I might not have expected at first glance. "It hurts when people let you know that you're not a movie star..." Taken outside the bright energy of "Silver Shoes", it sounds sad, and it sounds as if Wishbone Ash may have been writing it as a self-conscious reflection on their own career. I can see why it might not have been immortalized as a classic like Argus, but if anything, it demonstrates a renewed sense of self-awareness in their own strengths and weaknesses.

 Argus by WISHBONE ASH album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.21 | 566 ratings

Wishbone Ash Prog Related

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Argus' - Wishbone Ash (68/100)

Around 1970-71, the British musical zeitgeist was all about this kind of hard rock; a little bit psychedelic, a little bit progressive, and a lot of blues. I've made it a side-quest of mine to listen to as many of the golden-era bands as I can, and while I haven't heard many that were laughably bad, I wouldn't say there were more than a couple in every hundred of these heavy-blues-psych outfits that deserved to stand the test of time. Although the stream of incessantly mediocre records Wishbone Ash have churned out in the decades since their heyday has pegged them as a generally less-than-fantastic band in my mind, there's always Argus. While the band's best collection of songwriting still feels something brittle in my eyes, the band could play. The evocative album cover doesn't hurt either.

In my experience with Wishbone Ash, I've noticed two major opinions arise. The first (and arguably most relevant to Argus) is that Wishbone Ash had one of the most full-bodied sounds in hard rock. The vocal harmonies were crisp. The bass guitar was as heavy and thunderous as anything I might expect to hear from Chris Squire on a Yes album. The acoustic elements were effective and far from overwhelming, the solos were great, and the ever-so-praised twin harmonized guitar assault still gives the impression that, in one way at least, Wishbone Ash were several years ahead of their time. At least one foot was planted in the familiar blues rock canon, but Wishbone Ash were doing some pretty cool things on their other end. It's nigh-impossible not to think of the NWOBHM that took Britannia by storm a decade following some of the slick twin harmonies Powell and Turner pull off here. If anything, Argus is a home to some great rock guitar. The heavy instrumental jam that takes up the latter half of "Sometime World" is one of the coolest things I've heard in classic hard rock; whenever there's a guitar solo, the rest of the band escapes the excuse to be lazy and actually kicks it up another notch. Considering I'm usually given to thinking of rock guitar solos as ego-driven filler in all but the brightest cases, it's a major credit to Wishbone Ash that their jams are so exciting.

The second, possibly more controversial opinion rests on the band's composition; namely the impression that Wishbone Ash aren't particularly inclined towards writing compelling tunes. I'm sure even the staunchest fan would have a hard time arguing that Powell and company were as good at writing music as they were at playing it. While it's doubtful Wishbone Ash wrote five superb songs following their heyday, the lack of truly great songwriting is apparent even on Argus. Just look at "Time Was" for an example of this; I had high hopes for the nine minute track, but the lacklustre transition from the folkish acoustic overture to a predictable hard rock formula does little to stir me. Some of the album's most memorable numbers (see: "Warrior") cross my jaded ears as something Fly By Night-era Rush might have done on a less inspired day. The band's range from hard rock to blues, country and Medieval-tinged folk keeps the album from sounding samey, but for all of Wishbone Ash's relative ambition here, the songwriting never feels more than average. This wouldn't usually threaten a hard rock album so much, but considering Argus has earned itself the status of would-be classic in the decades since its release, I'll admit I was expecting something more from it.

I actually had the chance to see Wishbone Ash play live last night. If this review is any slight indicator, I was not particularly enamoured with any of the material I'd heard from the band, but I was nonetheless fairly excited to see how they might approach a concert performance. While the night benefited from a confident stage show and a lot of vivid guitar soloing, there is one thing about the show that's been stuck in my mind the most. Whenever a song from Pilgrimage or Argus was announced, cheers erupted from the small crowd. However, whenever there was a song from any of the two dozen albums thereafter, the crowd was virtually silent. I mean, Andy Powell introduced a song from their latest album Blue Horizon and for a few seconds, there wasn't a single cheer. It's as people had clamped up and insisted on hibernating until the next song from Argus played.

I felt a little bad about it; while this is definitely more a reflection on the poor crowd than the band themselves, it should go to prove a point. If Wishbone Ash were particularly good songwriters, there's a solid chance lightning would have struck more than once or twice. Even as far as Argus is concerned, the songwriting is a far step short of some of the band's better-loved contemporaries. If there's anything to make Wishbone Ash's magnum opus worth revisiting in my eyes, it's not the music itself, but the way it's performed. Even last night, the band stand as a great performing unit; it's all the more lamentable they've never had the great songs to back it up.

 Argus by WISHBONE ASH album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.21 | 566 ratings

Wishbone Ash Prog Related

Review by Mista-Gordie

5 stars This bluesy hard prog rock masterpiece is certainly one of the very best of the genre and has a lot of merit for the twin guitar attack, which is its most definite characteristic, and which would later influence bands like Iron Maiden. The virtuosity of the two guitarist is impressive to say at least, but what always strikes me is the fact that they both play with the exact same tone, attack and approach, making them virtually impossible to distinguish, and all that without sounding like the average blues lead guitar. It sometimes sounds like two tracks of the same guitarist duelling himself passionately, and the result is nothing short of amazing.

"Time Was" starts out slowly, like a folk-rock ballad, before bursting into a groovy, southern rock-like second part which contains superb guitar leads and a simple but effective bass work.

The same pattern is kind of repeated on the second track "Sometime World", but in an even more effective way this time. The track starts out slowly and progresses into a more upbeat part with a great bass riff. Awesome guitar guitar work also, as always. This might be the most heartfelt track on the whole album.

"Blowin' Free" is the bluesiest track on the album, quite forgettable, but nevertheless very pleasant. I definitely never grow tired of that one.

"The King Will Come" starts the second side of the LP brilliantly, with that epic intro building up to two great riffs (one on guitar and one on bass) playing simultaneously and perfectly complementing each other. Both instruments are on their very best on this track, and I'm thinking especially about these twin guitar solos around 3:15, which represent more the classic Wishbone Ash sound than anything on this album. Around 4:30 comes the most proggy moment of the album, a true highlight, and it leads to a return to the main riff to close the track brilliantly.

"Leaf and Stream" is probably the less impressive track out here, though it's quite beautiful. There's not a lot to remark here, except great guitar playing, just as usual.

"Warrior" is another stunning track, featuring one of my all time favorite hard rock intros and many of my favorite guitar exchanges between Powell and Turner. The lyrics are wonderful- and wonderfully delivered, and this could have been a perfect album closer. I know I said earlier in this review that "The King Will Come" was the best track here but it really was no easy choice, as these two tracks are to me the two greatest Wishbone Ash classics.

While the previous one could have been the perfect album closer, "Throw Down the Sword" is not so bad either, even if there are at least 5 better tracks on the rest of this record (1,2,3,4,6). Overall it's a great track, but it might lacks the epic feel an album finale should have (especially one with a concept). Fortunately, it is saved by a heart wrenching guitar exchange between the two virtuosos.

Finally, the bonus track "No Easy Road" is also very pleasant, but happily hasn't been included on the final record final record, cause it would have been totally out of place.


 New Live Dates, Volume Two by WISHBONE ASH album cover Live, 2007
3.94 | 8 ratings

New Live Dates, Volume Two
Wishbone Ash Prog Related

Review by AlanB

4 stars This album, together with the previously-released New Live Dates Volume 1, represents the set list played by Martin Turner's band (at the time called Martin Turner's Wishbone Ash) in their early days following the band's formation in 2005. It includes a guest appearance by original Wishbone Ash guitarist Ted Turner, who on this disc plays guitar and lead vocals on two songs. The first is a song which he wrote, Why Don't We, and the ten minute version here is a real tour-de-force. The other song featuring Ted is the crowd-pleasing encore number "Jailbait."

The selection of songs on the album represents a good spread of material from the Wishbone Ash back catalogue (or at least the times when Martin Turner was in the band), and for me the most appealing tracks are the live rarities, including Diamond Jack and Say Goodbye. The latter is one of the band's most underated songs, having the misfortune of being the final track on the awful "Locked In" album. Being freed from the rest of that album here, it has had new life breathed into it. Keith Buck's guitar solo is a highlight.

Martin Turner and his band have managed to recreate the original sound of the classic Wishbone Ash era and put together a fine pair of live albums in New Live Dates 1 and 2.

 Pilgrimage by WISHBONE ASH album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.57 | 210 ratings

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
 Wishbone Ash  by WISHBONE ASH album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.79 | 217 ratings

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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