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Wishbone Ash - Bona Fide CD (album) cover


Wishbone Ash


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3.67 | 51 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars At the end of the winter 2001 German tour Mark Birch left the band, which placed Andy in a predicament as a spring tour had already been booked. He turned to his old friend Ben Granfelt (Leningrad Cowboys etc), who had been a special guest at the 30th Anniversary concert, and Ben jumped at the chance of being able to join the band. Of course, this also gave the band impetus in going into the studio to record a new album. Ben has had a huge impact already on the song-writing front, as while Andy wrote two of the songs on his own, Ben contributed three, including the two instrumentals (most of the others were co-compositions).

This certainly doesn't sound as if it has been recorded by a band that have only been together for a short while as when Andy and Ben lock horns it is like the Ash of old, although with a modern slant. "Changing Tracks" is a good example of classic Ash that has been taken further, as it relies on solid melodies without the trademark duels. But anyone listening to the introduction of "Shoulda Woulda Coulda" will know immediately that this is the band who introduced twin leads to the world, as it is typical 'Argus'-style Ash. That album is thirty years old now, and while there may not be a "Blowing Free" on this album, it is still one that they can be proud of.

This is an album that all Ash fans will love, as it follows on in the steps of 1996's 'Illuminations', which is arguably their last studio album prior to this one. Only Andy Powell remains from that line-up but while he is on the scene he will always protect the musical legacy of a great band. Certainly the instrumentals do not sound as if they have been written by a newcomer to the outfit, as they are typical of what Andy and Ted used to do.

Originally appeared in Feedback #68, Jun 02

kev rowland | 4/5 |


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