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Wishbone Ash - Wishbone Four CD (album) cover


Wishbone Ash


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3.05 | 186 ratings

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3 stars ''Please close the gate''

Wishbone Ash have always struck me as one of those quintessentially English bands, but with this release they departed from their usual style and the end result has a very American feel. The twin guitars are still present but much of Ted Turner's playing is on pedal-steel. The songs themselves are generally shorter than on previous albums, and there are very few extended instrumental passages or contrasting sections within the songs. It's a pretty standard collection of rockers and folky ballads; there's even a song that comes close to country. Vocals are the usual Wishbone fare, but with none of Martin Turner's scat-singing.

Previous albums had drawn heavily on historical and fantasy symbolism, via the music and the album covers. Wishbone 4's sleeve design is a simple photo of the band, and the songs deal with real, down to earth issues of life on the road, heroin addiction and murder. Presumably this was part of a self-conscious change in style.

Highlights on Wishbone 4 are Ballad Of The Beacon, Sorrel, Rock'n'Roll Widow and the stately Everybody Needs A Friend. George Nash is credited on the sleeve as playing ''keyboards'' on this last-named track. It is of course a Mellotron. Twin Wishbone guitars and Mellotron... I can listen to this song all day.

Overall then, not a patch on previous releases and containing no progressive elements, but still an enjoyable listen with one essential track.

seventhsojourn | 3/5 |


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