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Wishbone Ash - Live Dates CD (album) cover


Wishbone Ash


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4.40 | 111 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Live Dates is one of those classic live albums of the 70's that any rock fan must have. It is in the same league with the better known Made In Japan (Deep Purple), Yessongs (Yes), Genesis Live (a pity it is not a double album!), Live And Dangerous (Thin Lizzy), Live At Leeds (The Who) , Strangers In The Night (UFO) and very few others. Unlike many of their peers, Wishbone Ash were really better live than in the studio, as this CD shows all the time. Those guys were outstanding musicians and their performances are spotless, beautiful and, believe it or not, extremely well recorded.

My CD is the single disc version, released in the mid-90's by the Beat Goes On label, which were the very first companies to actually do a fine, respectful, remastering of the original tapes. Their work on this album is up to their fame: crystal clear sound, where you can hear everything, even the guitarrist pickin'on the strings of the guitar on the 17 minute epic Phoenix. The single CD holds the entire double LP in 79:48 running time, quite a feat! The double original CD by MCA has only one song on the second disc, another version of Phoenix, not worth the extra money you had to pay for it. At the time I thought this was very unfair to the fans and I still think so. So look for the BGO version.

The set list is great, picking up songs from their first four LPs. If you ever wanted to know a band that is quite progressive and used no keyboards on their sound, then Wishbone Ash is a good exemple (just hear the 9 minute instrumental track Pilgrim to get a glimpse of how good and progressive they really were). Great guitar solos, licks and duels, fine vocal hamonies and a very strong rhythm section (the bass is so well mixed you can hardly believe) Those guys were very influential for the 80's hard and heavy metal bands (like Iron Maiden, among others), but not only. Their melodic sound is very original and have some classical and british folk leanings that add to their obvious rock'n roll and blues influences (they deliver a great cover of the Jimmy Reed's blues classic Baby Waht You Want Me To Do). Andy Powell is a superb guitarrist, and his slide guitar interventions here and there are quite creative and different from most players.

All in all a classic album recorded when Wishbone Ash was at itsr peak. One of the few live albums that captures the band outdoing their already fine studio perfomances. Everything works here. A must have for any rock fan, prog or not. Five stars, no less.

Tarcisio Moura | 5/5 |


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