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Wishbone Ash - Time Was... The Live Anthology CD (album) cover

TIME WAS... THE LIVE ANTHOLOGY

Wishbone Ash

 

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3.49 | 5 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Time was in pieces

The rather grandiose title of this two CD collection somewhat overstates what it actually contains. Instead of a career spanning "Anthology" gathering live tracks from different stages in the band's career, what we have here is recordings of just two gigs of varying interest.

Disc 1, which was recorded in Japan in the early 1990's at which time Andy Powell, Ted Turner and Martin Turner remained from the classic line up. Long serving drummer Ray Weston completes the quartet. This is a re-issue of the single album called "Timeline" released in 1997.

In terms of musicianship, the playing is enthusiastic, the opening tracks establishing a strong rhythm. The track list mixes the old and the (then) new, the trademark twin lead guitar sound being naturally dominant throughout. While there are many many live Wishbone Ash albums to choose from, fans will find this of interest as there are actually few from around this time. The album is rounded out by a couple of out of place but nonetheless interesting BBC studio session recordings of "Vas dis" and "Where Were You Tomorrow" from 1970.

Incidentally, do not be misled by the listing of "Time was" as one of the tracks, here it is represented only by the acoustic first couple of minutes. Ironically, the version on disc 2 misses out the acoustic intro, and jumps straight into the rock section.

Disc 2 contains the live album "The King will come" (but not the one listed in the compilations section of this site) recorded in 1973 and 1976 and first released in 1999. Once again, the main interest here is because the 1976 tracks come from around the time of the band's "Locked in" album, and are thus relatively rare. Unfortunately, that album was the worst the band recorded!

At least here, "Warrior" and "Throw down the sword" are afforded their rightful places next to each other. Tracks 1-8 are from 1976, and are actually thought to come from a gig in Schreveport, Lousiana (the officially named gig in Davenport, USA seemingly being the figment of someone's imagination). These tracks feature Laurie Wisefield on second lead guitar and Graham Maitland on keyboards . The remaining tracks date from a gig in Canada (probably Toronto) in 1973, and thus have Ted Turner on lead guitar along with Andy Powell. Once again, the mix of tracks is pleasing, with plenty from "Argus" to satisfy the masses.

One bizarre moment during the set is that "Ballad of the beacon" stops after a couple of minutes. It is not clear whether this is where the band stopped, or if the track has been edited, with audience applause added later. In any event, it seems more than a little odd.

In all, a good way to obtain two live albums containing relatively rare material in one budget priced package. The renditions of the tracks are not particularly adventurous, but they do capture the energy of the the songs well.

Finally, note that this set differs from the similarly named "Time Was, The Wishbone Ash Collection" compilation.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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