Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Wishbone Ash - No Smoke Without Fire CD (album) cover


Wishbone Ash


Prog Related

3.49 | 99 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

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

AlanB | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this WISHBONE ASH review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives