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Wishbone Ash

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Wishbone Ash Wishbone Ash album cover
3.89 | 326 ratings | 23 reviews | 29% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1970

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Blind Eye (3:42)
2. Lady Whiskey (6:11)
3. Error of My Ways (6:56)
4. Queen of Torture (3:21)
5. Handy (11:36)
6. Phoenix (10:27)

Total Time 42:13

Line-up / Musicians

- Andy Powell / guitar, vocals
- Ted Turner / guitar, vocals
- Martin Turner / bass, vocals
- Steve Upton / drums

Releases information

Artwork: John C. LePrevost with Gene Brownell (photo)

LP MCA - MKPS 2014 (1970, UK)

CD MCA - MCAD 10661 (1992, Europe)
CD 'Beat Goes On' - BGOCD 234 (1994, UK)

Thanks to alucard for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy WISHBONE ASH Wishbone Ash Music

WISHBONE ASH Wishbone Ash ratings distribution

(326 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(48%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

WISHBONE ASH Wishbone Ash reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by mystic fred
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Absolutely amazing debut album from Wishbone Ash, though on hearing it for the first time some may wonder where the prog elements come into it as they boogie their way through the first two tracks, "Blind Eye" and " Lady Whiskey". Engineered by Martin Birch who many may know worked on albums by Deep Purple, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Whitesnake and Iron Maiden, the album reached no.34 in the UK album charts by 1971. An unusual feature of the group, originally from Devon, was the twin lead guitarists Andy Powell and Ted Turner, who sang on the album along with Martin Turner on bass. the group played a gig with Deep Purple, and after jamming with Ritchie Blackmore during a sound check they were recommended to Purple's producer Derek Lawrence and they never looked back. the third track on side one of the album, "Errors of my Ways" slows the tempo and features a wonderful guitar solo, one of my personal favourites. The next track, "Queen of Torture" has a similar boogie style to the first two. On side two the first track "Handy" is eleven minutes long and starts off as a slow bluesy instrumental featuring some fine twin lead guitar work, short bass solos and a classic drum solo from Steve Upton, and develops in to a blues/scat style jam session. one of the real all-time-classic pieces Wishbone Ash is famous for is the last ten-minute track "Phoenix", which really shows off the lead guitar effects to the full. The signature twin-guitar boogie style sound is here, and includes a snatch from Purple's "Child in Time" and though this LP obviously may not seem as sophisticated as the classic albums that followed, you must admit this is one hell of a debut. I deeply regret not seeing them live, but i'll definitely catch 'em next time they're round! Sound quality of this album on my original vinyl issue on MCA is excellent - detailed, spacious and balanced, I hope they have preserved this on transition to cd. An essential masterpiece of British Prog.
Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Some of the best debut albums are the finest from a band and Wishbone Ash came very close with thir first one. The debut is the atypical Wishbone Ash branded sound which made it's mark on many albums to follow. Argus will unquestionably always be their best album but vintage jamming tracks like the excellent ' Lady Whisky' and the ballad like ' Error of My Ways' are arguably a couple of the best songs ever written by the band. The album closes off with the 11 minute jam of ' Handy' which has great drum work from Steve Upton and the guitar laden ' Phoenix' makes for a great ending to the album. I guess many critics will feel their albums climaxed at Argus but I beg to differ. What I do know is that this debut comes very close to be the true epic, vintage high quality sound that many fans grew to admire and respect over the years from Wishbone Ash. A worthy four stars for the debut.
Review by Sean Trane
4 stars With this first album, the quartet become right away a serious contender for the best complementary twin-lead guitar attack. For the first few years in the early 70's, WA will be one of the most endearing group for anybody into what was to be become prog rock, but like most progheads, they never really considered them to be progressive in the true sense of the words. Sure these four young men were particularly good at their respective instruments, and their music was certainly a lot more complex than some of the contemporary groups of the time, but apart from one album (Argus), they never could quite confirm the adventurous direction they had taken with their cornerstone album, Argus. And it is no surprise that some prog specialist actually create a new category called "hard prog" where WA would have their place along with other predominantly guitar rock. On the whole, their lenghty career which spans into a fourth decade by now, they really stuck to a hard rock with an excellent live band reputation even if the personnel changed many times over the years with only Andy Powell as the mainstay.

If the twin-barrel guitar-powered engine of group were Ted Turner and Andy Powell, Steve Upton's drumming was also helping out as the powerhouse pistons, while in the early albums bassist Martin Turner (no relation to their guitarist Ted) provided them with a rather strong if unspectacular vocals while still playing one of the better bass playing of those years.

This debut album coming with an impressive but sober gatefold artwork came as an excellent surprise with the first vinyl side presenting four very tight tracks and the second side with two strong extended tracks sometimes close to a jam where their good musicianship was ever present. From the straight rock of Lady Whiskey and Queen Of Sorrow to the more delicate and delightful Errors Of My Way, their music was evidently aimed at a male fanhood with a touch of machismo clearly underlined by their lyrics and guitar heroics. Some of their vocal delivery (Martin Turner's good voice was extremely well supported by Andy Powell and sometimes by Ted Turner and when the three were singing in unison, this could be a goosebumps experience) are simply awesome and in some case can remind a bit of those lenghty bard-like stories sung around a fire: check out the Errors track.

The second side will be of more interest to the proghead with two long tracks and all of the leisure to expand on their virtuosity without ever being too demonstrative. Once the track slows down (around the middle of the track, listen to Martin's bass guitar flowing up and down your spine ever so effortlessly drawing shivers and chills, but unfortunately this comes to a stop with a rather boring and failed drum solo, before the track reprises in a much less poetic and rockier manner, which does not suit the superb debut. The second track, Phoenix is one of the best they ever wrote and is also over the 10 min mark. Even if the crescendo (around the 7 min 30 mark is a bit long), the musicianship is excellent and, if perfectible, the writing is quite enthralling. To describe their sound is rather hard, because WA had their own distinctive and (then) unique sound.

Their first album held so much promise, that their follow-up had a hard time living up to it, and in may ways, it did not. For progheads, the debut album is certainly one their best ever although not flawless, but for a first try, this was for sure a masterstroke.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Phoenix rising

Some 30+ years before the arrival of "Explosions in the sky", Wishbone Ash pioneered the line up of bass, drums and twin lead guitars. They may not have been the first band to do so (that is a debate for the forum) but they were certainly the first to enjoy a run of major success with that structure. (Unlike EitS however, Wishbone Ash were prepared to let each of the lead guitarists ply his trade with solos, and also added vocals to their songs).

This their eponymous debut album displays all the naivety of a band setting out, while simultaneously offering some truly inspired work. It is side two of the album to which we need to look to find anything prog, and in particular to the criminally under-recognised "Phoenix". This 10― minute epic has a classic prog structure, with some wonderful melodies, and supreme guitar work. When placed in context (it was recorded in 1970), it arguably laid the framework for many prog classics which followed. Admittedly it is at times rather clumsy but in many ways that only adds to the attraction of the piece. "Phoenix" was some years ahead of its time, and it still stands up well today as a magnificent opus. The other track occupying side two of the album is the 11― minute "Handy". This is a rather more orthodox extended blues rock number, which in all honesty outstays its welcome considerably.

Side one of the album consists of four more orthodox folk and blues based songs. While these are more than adequate offerings for a first album, on their own they do little to distinguish Wishbone Ash as a band to be watched.

In all, "Wishbone Ash" was a highly credible first album, "Phoenix" in particular offering real hope that the band could come up with some excellent progressive music, with or without keyboards in their line up.

Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars A surprising debut, especially if you heard this one after ‘Argus’ or even ‘There’s the Rub’. This is much closer to the straightforward rock the band would churn out in the eighties. The musicianship is still quite good, but there’s nothing to suggest these would be the same guys who would put together the stunning ‘Argus’ just a couple years later.

One of the more unexpected sounds is the piano right from the first track, “Blind Eye”. This is honky-tonk boogey music in the finest tradition, and would not have been out-of- place played in a biker tavern in Selma Alabama. The twin guitars sound great, but there’s nothing remotely progressive here. Same goes for “Lady Whiskey”, which sounds about like what you would expect from the title.

By the time “Error of my Ways” rolls around though, the band has settled into a sound more like what I first heard from them in the mid- seventies. The harmonizing vocals aren’t quite developed yet and come across sounding like a campfire cowboy round, but the mood here is more subdued and the guitar work quite a bit more expansive than on the first two tracks.

The guitar work on “Queen of Torture” sounds all the world like Stevie Ray Vaughn, despite the fact it takes two guitarists to pull off the imitation (and the fact these guys predated Vaughn by a few years). Hard to believe they hail from Devon and not Dallas.

The last two tracks of the album at least stretch out the tempo and allow for some extended instrumental guitar passages, although at times Powell and Turner seem to be searching for direction. The obligatory drum solo marks this as boogey blues though, a tone that marks the entire album, really.

The closing “Phoenix” is the most creative stretch on the album, with some stunning solo guitar sections that inevitably merge into the twin attack that would be this band’s trademark for decades to come. I would imagine this got played a lot in concert, and can almost picture the swaying, slightly intoxicated hippies grooving to the sound. This is very much in the vein of what the Allman Brothers were doing at the exact same moment several thousand miles to the west. Think “Mountain Jam” from ‘Eat a Peach’ and you’ll get the general idea.

This was a very good rocking blues album at a time when there were not a lot of British bands excelling at this type of music. But it’s not progressive any more than dozens of similar southern American bands were doing then, and would continue to do throughout the seventies and eighties. It’s a good album, not great, and not really essential for progressive music collections. If you like excellent guitar playing, moody lyrics, and lots of solo instrumentals, you’ll probably like this album. Otherwise, mostly for collectors only. Three stars, but just barely. peace

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Wishbone Ash selftitled debut album was released in 1970. Wishbone Ash is basically a ( soft) hard rock band and there are few progressive tendencies in their music which means they fit well into the Prog related catagory. The most progressive thing about Wishbone Ash is their twin guitar leads which bands like Thin Lizzy and Iron Maiden are very influenced by.

The music on this album is generally in the blues rock vein, but there are also jazz and folk influences in the music. Error of My Ways are folk influenced while there are some swing jazz tendencies in the almost instrumental Handy. The rest of the songs are more or less blues rock with the two guitarists complimenting each other in a great way. Just listen to Lady Whiskey with itīs beautiful double guitar melody. The Opener Blind Eye is probably the weakest song here with itīs honky tonk piano. Both Queen of Torture and the classic Phoenix are great songs.

The musicianship is really great and for fans of guitar driven music there are some really nice licks here and there. The vocals are a bit weak in my ears, but they are not that important. I can enjoy the album anyway.

The production is a bit thin but still enjoyable. Note that Martin Birch ( Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Fleetwood Mack, Blue Öyster Cult, Whitesnake, Jeff Beck, Gary Moore, Michael Schenker) is credited for Engineering the album.

This album is a good debut from an influential band. I donīt think itīs excellent but there are moments where the album rises above good and touches excellent. Itīs a sure 3 star album in my book.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Have you ever found yourself entangled with music especially in the interlude part? I have experienced it many times especially those with long guitar or keyboard solo. One of great rock songs with great interlude using guitar solo is those performed by Ted Nugent in his great composition called Stranglehold where the interlude contains fabulous guitar solo augmented by powerful drumming and dynamic bass lines. It's truly a great rock track that has become my ultimate favorite since I was a teenager. Another great rock interlude is the one performed by Grand Funk Railroad under the track name of Inside Looking Out. Oh man . this is a wonderfully crafted interlude with - of course - great overall composition. For those of you who were there when the 70s rock music came out, you must have known the songs that I mention.

So, what Ted Nugent and Grand Funk got to do with Wishbone Ash?

Well, it's actually refers to the power of association. Last night while driving I spun this debut album by Wishbone Ash and the entire album brings me back really to the glory days of 70s where I loved all kind of music: be it pop, rock, or disco and . so sorry by that I time I knew nothing what was then called prog. I loved King Crimson, Yes, Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin, Barrabas, Chase, Chicago Transit Authority, Tea, Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Argent, Wishbone Ash, KC & The Sunshine Band, BT Express, Heatwave, Shirley Bassey, Mac & Kattie Kisson, George Baker Selection, Bee Gees, ABBA, Pussycat, Mouth and McNeal altogether with the local heroes like Koes Plus, Koes Bersaudara, Dara Puspita, Rasela, God Bless, Golden Wing. All happened at the same time! Do you remember song that was very popular at that time titled as Hang On Sloopy? That was one of the hit in mid 60s but was still popular in early 70s. Check out on youtube on this song, you might have known it!

Yes, the debut album of Wishbone Ash represents the style of music that came out during that time. I especially associate with Nugent's Stranglehold when I enjoyed the double guitar solo as interlude of "Phoenix" - the last track of this album. Oh man. the double guitar solo by Powell and Turner is truly stunning and brings the memory back in the 70s. If you know this song and Stranglehold or GFR's "Inside Looking Out" you definitely know what I mean. I don't want to go through a memory extravaganza, but I am sure if you are new to this debut album by Wishbone Ash you hardly disagree with me that Phoenix is an excellent composition. "Blind Eye" is another great track with blues rock approach, unique singing style, nice piano work - it's a solid composition.

"Error of My Ways" combines nice psychedelic composition with a tinge of blues music featuring excellent guitar solo in double guitar formation. "Handy" is also a solid composition using bass guitar as dominant instrument at intro part followed with excellent guitar work in blues rock style. The exploration of double guitar work reminds me to the follow-up rock music with bands like Iron Maiden or Metallica.

Overall, this is an excellent debut album with blues rock style and very little prog components in this album. However, this album was one of important releases from vintage rock bands. I cannot afford not to associate this kind of music with those like Ted Nugent or Grand Funk did in the same decade. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW (i-Rock! Music Community)

Review by Certif1ed
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Make a Wish

The debut from Wishbone Ash is a strong one, to be sure, firmly stamping the band's unique sound on the world of rock music. The tell-tale twin leads and distinctive guitar tones in the carefully sculpted and immaculately performed instrumental sections and retrospective musical characterisations show aspiration to the great genre of Progressive Rock, defining classic 1970s rock without foraying into the realms of pop music.

The opener, however, is weak, and sounds like it was selected by a record company anxious to shift units - not at all like a Wishbone Ash number. Mind you, my first introduction to this great band was through the mighty Argus, an epic tour-de-force, then Pilgrimage, an altogether heavier - and somewhat more interesting excursion.

Blind Eye kicks off like an early Deep Purple number, proceeding via Bluesbreakers and Savoy Brown territory, with pounding piano-driven boogie, courtesy of Procol Harum's Matthew Fisher, and Fleetwood Mac inspired guitar lines.

The classic Wishbone Ash sound begins to make itself more apparent on Lady Whiskey, where the twin- guitar propelled riffing and extended soloing over constructs very similar to those of Leslie West's Mountain are closer in spirit to the material that would later appear on Argus - but far more basic. Steve Upton provides an interesting percussion section, dropping to pounding sections and varying the flow of the piece nicely during the instrumentals reminding me of some of the heavier Pink Floyd jams with maybe a dash of Black Sabbath thrown in for good measure.

The sound is established completely in Errors of My Way, where a more folksy sound creeps in to the texture, unexpected chords spring out the progressions, and ever longer instrumental sections with strong melodies (but somewhat tentative counter-melodies) provide the air guitarist with a dream come true.

Much of the interest is derived from the band interaction, rather than the soloing itself, which runs out of steam pretty quickly, noodling around the blues scale. But the band build up dynamics, with lights and shades of leafy forest glades - for there is something quintessentially English about the music, that hearkens back to mediaeval times or before.

This is continued in Queen of Torture, whose galloping rhythms predict Iron Maiden - even the vocals seem like a pre-echo of Bruce Dickinson - and the arpeggio lead figures suggest almost any NWOBHM band you care to consider.

The more interesting pieces are those found on side 2 of the original vinyl.

Handy features a bass solo for an introduction that all rock bass players should familiarise themselves with. While todays uber-technicians may scoff at the rather casual techniques (I prefer the word casual to sloppy, simply because sloppy is an ugly word and suggests lesser musical abilities than technically tight and polished, which is simply not true) - the musical imagination in the composition is only to be admired.

This 11 and a half minute piece is all about band interplay and dynamic - very much the rock side of jazz rock, using the improvisation and synergistic techniques of jazz towards a purely rock end. And as a result, it does sound a bit like early Floyd in places - and yes, I'm afraid I am reminded of the great Derek Smalls when I hear the bass solo, and most of the second half of this piece. I wonder if Martin Turner ever wore a cucumber down his trousers.

Suddenly, a guitar moment jumps out at me, and I'm reminded of the great Michael Schenker and the roots of Metal as a genre - not to mention the heavier side of Krautrock.

Even more suddenly, following the drum solo, a completely new blues/jazz flavoured song kicks in, completely out of character with the previous material, somewhat spoiling the composition. There's some nifty Ten Years After flavoured work in here - and I wish there was more voice/guitar doubling - but if unexpected surprises are your thing, then this could please.

Finally, there's another Floyd/ballad 10 and a half minuter called Phoenix, which builds some nice atmospherics courtesy of the Feeling Good style falling bass line and acid wah guitar ripples. As the piece progresses, some nice intense heavy riffing emerges from the crystallised jams - I recognise that falling arpeggio sequence from Deep Purple's Child In Time - and the song changes tempo frantically leading to a very satisfying ending.

Certainly one of the better rock albums from 1970, of great interest to any fans of that era, guitar- driven rock and post Barrett / pre Dark Side Floyd. Maybe a little clumsy in places, but compositionally inventive, and when it rocks, it does so with almost unheard of precision for the era, and a unique style - a very tricky combination to get right, but on the whole, Wishbone Ash succeeded. No mean feat for a debut album.

Hence an excellent addition to your collection, but not essential - particularly when there's Pilgrimage and Argus to consider. Definitely worth more than one listen.

Review by seventhsojourn
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is no Argus, that's for sure, but it has its moments and it includes at least one of Wishbone Ash's greatest tracks. Despite it being their debut album all of the band's characteristic traits are already present, from the straightforward boogie of BLIND EYE and the blues-rock of LADY WHISKEY, to the folk-inspired ERRORS OF MY WAY and the jazz-inflected HANDY. This last named song is unusual in that it starts off with a bass solo, with the jazz influence showing up toward the end of its 11-minutes with a swing rhythm and some of Martin Turner's trademark scat vocals. It meanders a bit in the middle and even includes a drum solo, so don't say I didn't warn you. However it and all the other tracks are mere appetizers for the classic PHEONIX with its twin lead guitar salvoes. It starts off slow and moody, speeds up, has one or two stop-start moments, accelerates again etc. That's about as close towards progressive that the album leans, but PHEONIX is a mighty song... if, like me, you enjoy a bit of no-frills rock.
Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars A good debut for WISHBONE ASH from 1970. The twin lead guitars are melodic and the music is too.

I'm not a fan of the opener "Blind Eye" where they sound like a boogie band and even the vocals seem to annoy me. Lots of piano here. "Lady Whiskey" is a top two. Even the vocals are a big improvement.The guitar solo 2 1/2 minutes in is tasteful as it goes on and on until after 5 1/2 minutes when the vocals return. Excellent track. "Error Of My Way" is a laid back tune with vocals. "Queen Of Torture" opens with the guitar coming out firing before a full sound joins in. This is catchy and uptempo. It's an okay track.

"Handy" opens with intricate guitar as the bass joins in. It's fuller before 2 minutes as the drums and the second guitar arrive but it's still mellow. It kicks in at 5 1/2 minutes.This is much better. We get a drum solo 8 1/2 minutes in and vocals arrive a minute later. They aren't that great either. Vocal melodies after 11 minutes to end it. "Phoenix" is the other top two song. It opens with guitar,drums and bass. Vocals 1 1/2 minutes in and we get some psychedelic sounding guitar too which I like.The guitar is killer 3 1/2 minutes in as it solos. It picks up 5 minutes in then the vocals return.The guitar is soloing again 7 minutes in. Vocals return after 9 1/2 minutes.

This is a pretty good album and I like that there are some fairly long tracks on here too.

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars I was quite surprised to see that WA on PA to tell the truth. I had never considered them truly progressive? but this album is a solid and very good old rock testimony.

I f you except the lousy opening song "Blind Eye", every other song from the album has its own merit. Of course, it takes a little while to really lift off. As an example, I had to wait the superb guitar solo to be charmed while "Lady Whiskey" is being played.

This is what all is about with this work: fantastic twin guitars! How much I love this! Some of the longest songs from this self titled album do remind me the best of the electric side from CSN &Y (namely the superb "Southern Man" and "Carry On" available on the great live album "Four Way Street").

There are also quieter and more emotional songs recorded ("Errors Of My Way"), but from now on the main source of happiness while listening to it are the gorgeous guitar moments which are plenty. My liking goes without a doubt to the instrumental passages, but I admit that some vocals were necessary? here and there?

The two 10+ minutes song from this album are with no doubt two highlights as well. The long and quiet intro for "Handy" is such a pleasure to listen to! Great rock music for sure it is. The bass play is also set on the foreground: it is not a long solo, but long enough to appreciate the skills of Martin Turner.

Little by little, the band starts kicking while the twin lead guitar players become more nervous. What a great crescendo! This almost all instrumental long track (almost 12 minutes) ends up with a drum studio solo and is flirting with the jazz environment. This is of course a superb highlight.

The comparison with "Southern Man" (written by Young the same year) is truly amazing when you listen to "Phoenix". Both songs are so huge. Classic rock anthems I would say. This track builds up so nicely and ends up in a monster twin guitar solo. On par with the great names of the rock guitar history really (Alvin, Carlos, Jimi, Jimmy, Ritchie ?).

I recommend this album to any rock lover. Four stars.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars It's only rock and roll, but....

Honestly WA is not a band that I would mention when speaking of prog and they are too "young" for proto-prog, however there are some things that give them the rights to be on PA.

First of all the twin guitars which are a band's trademark. I don't know if they came before or after Lynyrd Skynyrd but they have brought some innovation to rock and blues. Then they have released a concept album like Argus that is enough to have them on PA.

Rock and Roll then, but after the boogie opener this debut album features a song like "Lady Whiskey" that has a non radio-freindly duration and a bluesy riff with more than a bit of acid psychedelia enhanced by the obsessive bass and drums. Is it prog? Who cares, it's good!

"Errors Of My Way" is more psychedelic. This kind of choir will be used several times during the first years of the band and is another trademark. This song is more psychedelic and it's where proggers can find more appeal. It sounds "flower power" but this is where most of the classics of prog are from. What is very remarkable is that they don't need keyboards. The sound is thick even without Hammonds or Mellotrons.

"Queen Of Torture" is a short song hard-rock oriented. The guitars sound just a bit heavier but in 1970 this was the ancestor of metal. This song has a sound like a bluesy version of Blue Oyster Cult, another band featuring two guitarists.

"Handy" is the first of the two "long" tracks. The last two songs are more than 10 minutes long and this one starts with the bass playing harmonics on a theme almost classical. This intro proceeds for a hundred of seconds then all the four members start one of the most psychedelic songs. Slow tempo and bluesy chords for the two guitars with bass and drums providing the base for a very cannabinoidic instrumental part. At about minute 5 there's a short low-volume bass solo, then the trip restarts. Only rock and roll? This sounds to me progressive enough, whit moments which could belong also to Uriah Heep or Camel. Only the drum solo appears misplaced. The had to place one in the album and have chosen this track. The boogie which follows the drum solo has a lot of swing and is very good but doesn't have any relationship with what they were playing before. A totally different song. They could have found a separate title for this part.

"Phoenix" is like a premonition. Pilgrimage and Argus will come soon and this song is made of ideas which will be exploited better in the next albums. What I find remarkable is the wah-wah guitar which acts in the background. When I write a review I'm used to relisten to the songs while I'm writing. This is one of the few cases in which I quit writing and just enjoy the music. This slow song catches the mind and all the attention so how could I write with all my mind lost in this musical trip. And when the rhythm increases and bass and drums start pumping it's not different. Of course I already know Argus and I recognize some passages that will later belong to "Sometimes World". However, respect to Handy this song has more continuity. Even if it ends very differently from how it starts as the final minutes are very hard and acid, there are no sudden or unexpected transition. The song grows smoothly, that's all.

Don't ask yourself if it's prog or not. Enjoy a well written, arranged and executed album coming from the golden age.

Review by Sinusoid
3 stars ARGUS has been widely celebrated as Wishbone Ash's triumph creatively and commercially, and it's a logical starting point for anyone interested in the band. For those curious enough to go for anything else in their discography as I did, their self-titled debut is a decent place to continue.

The content of the music here is rich in blues-rock soundscapes that utilize the twin guitar approach of Andy Powell and Ted Turner (not that other Ted Turner). The band sounds tamer than Led Zeppelin and not as evil sounding as Black Sabbath, so that may explain why Wishbone Ash may have been left behind in the rock world.

The first half of the album is more or less straight blues-rock song after blues-rock song with the opening cut ''Blind Eye'' having a noticeable shuffle rhythm to it (and an uncredited piano performance). They're all really good tracks with ''Queen of Torture'' being very fiery, and ''Errors of My Ways'' does well as a moving ballad type of song.

The second half is just two epics. The first, ''Handy'', sounds like a lack-of-structure blues jam centring around an uninteresting bass solo. There's a rub at the end when the band goes pure rock-n-roll for almost no reason. ''Phoenix'' does a much better job in the epic department in that it has this progressive climb effect to it. It doesn't hurt to lead the listener down different avenues of adventure in the instrumental sections.

Pure, simple blues based rock music. That is WISHBONE ASH the album in a nutshell.

Review by stefro
4 stars Still recording, releasing and touring after almost half-a-decade in existence, the lengthy and colourful Wishbone Ash story began all the way back in 1970 with this assured self-titled debut. Forty-four years and twenty-nine studio albums have followed, yet the simple fact of the matter is that Wishbone Ash peaked early on, issuing a fine opening trio of albums before venturing into a long, slow and sometimes painful artistic-and-commercial decline. However, despite those ill-judged late-career forays into NWOBHM-era heavy metal and, er...techno(!?) on the late-nineties albums 'Trance Visionary' and 'Psychic Terrorism', Wishbone Ash have actually enjoyed a pretty successful career, cracking North America during the late-seventies, issuing at least one stone-cold classic in the form of 1972's 'Argus' and somehow sustaining an audience throughout their many fluctuations in both style and popularity. Like many groups who started out during the heady days of the late- sixties/early-seventies, Wishbone Ash's best bits defintely came early on, during a short-but-scintillating three-year period that began with this debut album, continued on with 1971's 'Pilgrimage', and peaked with the all-conquering 'Argus'. All three albums, plus 1974's folksy 'Wishbone Four', feature the 'classic' Ash line-up of Andy Powell(guitar, vocals), Martin Turner(bass, vocals), Ted Turner(guitar) and Steve Upton(drums), and it this period which truly defines the group. These peak years effectively ended when, following 'Wishbone Four', the group's original twin-guitar attack was broken up, and Laurie Wisefield, formerly of progressive rock outfit Home, replaced the departing Ted Turner. From here on in, the distinctive Wishbone Ash sound would undergo a gradual Americanisation, with albums such on as 'Locked In' and 'New England' showcasing a slick and formulaic hard rock style aimed squarely at the North Ameican charts. Issued by MCA during the run-up to Christmas, 1970's 'Wishbone Ash' proved a surprise debut success and instantly found the group an audience in their homeland. The dual guitar attack offered up by Powell(who, as of summer 2014, is still leading the group) and Ted Turner both thrills and enthralls on the album's closing pair of epics, with both the ten-minute 'Handy' and the mystical opus 'The Phoenix' displaying the group's clever mix of hard rock pyrotechnics, soaring harmonies and atmospheric acoustic undertones. Despite a so-so opening with the frenetic, blues-stained opener 'Blind Eye', this remains a fine album from a youthful and energetic group. Echoes of 'Argus' can be heard in the album's carefully-layered grooves, whilst Martin Turner's ambivalent lyrics mesh cleverly with the album's lofty themes. STEFAN TURNER, TOULOUSE, 2014

Review by Warthur
4 stars Woolier and looser than the sound of their enduring breakthrough album, Argus, Wishbone Ash's debut album certainly doesn't offer crystal-clear and finely crafted compositions on the level of those offered on that album. It makes up for it, however, by delivering six tracks of bluesy hard rock with the occasional progressive inclination here and there, especially on the two long tracks on side two where the band allow themselves to spread out and jam a little. If you want more like Argus, then you're looking in the wrong place (and I'm not sure they ever quite recaptured the magic ingredients that went into that album), but if you are not averse to a bit of mildly psych-tinged jamming then this is a fun listen.
Review by siLLy puPPy
5 stars Once upon a time before the twin guitar effects of bands such as Iron Maiden and Thin Lizzy made the practice common place, a humble blues rock band named WISHBONE ASH gestated the technique in the nascent proto-prog days of the early 70s and in the process became one of the most successful bands in all of the 70s UK and has only become more so worldwide as time goes by. Despite a rather bizarre moniker, this band that was blues rock based found a way to incorporate a nice mix of blues, jazz, progressive rock and psychedelic improvisation into their sound without anything sounding forced.

This Torquay (city) band from England copped the perfect blues rock attitude in 1970 with the eponymously titled debut that took a clue from the American scene a la The Allman Brothers, Johnny Winter and The Yardbirds and created a bona fide pillar of transitional glory between the blues rock oriented 60s and the more progressive rock 70s. Formed as the quartet of Andy Powell (lead guitar, vocals), Ted Turner (lead guitar, vocals), Martine Turner (bass, vocals) and Steve Upton (drums), this band found success opening for Deep Purple in early 1970 when Andy Powell dared to jam with Ritchie Blackmore whom he impressed and scored a record contract from the get go.

While many worship the altar of the more sophisticated "Argus," i have to admit i much more admire this extremely adventurous debut which finds six tracks that are blues rock based taking extreme liberties. While each is imbued with the status quo blues rock elements of bluesy developments, beautifully constructed melodies and typical 60s zeitgeist constructs, i have to admire the band's ability to transcend into the next level of sophistication without eschewing the paradigms of the era. Basically this album takes a fairly typical blues rock style that was common in the era and ramps up the energy until the final climaxes of the closing lengthy "Phoenix" takes the listener on a voyage of blues rock / jazz / progressive possibilities of the given era.

While steeped in the blues rock of the era, WISHBONE ASH deviated from the pack by creating a dual harmonic approach with two guitars creating a tapestry of melody instead of merely one guitarist picking up the slack. The results were quite successful and became a staple in much of 80s metal music with Iron Maiden and Judas Priest becoming the most successful successors of the technique. With a firm grasp of boogie rock with more than a touch of radio friendly riffage, WISHBONE ASH skirted the fine line between commercially acceptable and progressively challenging. While the tracks are rooted in in a graspable blues rock easy to grasp sensibility, they equally challenge the listener with lengthy jamming instrumental prowess as well as unwarranted sophistication unexpected from typical commercial bands of the era.

WISHBONE ASH eschewed a predictable formula, yet every track is easily accessible and easy to get one's hooks within its essence yet still the tracks take you to places unexpected and even now several decades later, this still sounds interesting and innovative without any sense of where things will lead. The dual twin guitar attack of Andy Powell and Ted Turner provide the main impotence of this then-fresh approach to blues rock but it was done so extraordinarily well that i find this debut album extraordinary exciting even several decades after its release. While not as complex as other blues rock bands like Led Zeppelin or Deep Purple, WISHBONE ASH took a different route and one that worked quite well. Think of this band as the Grateful Dead that didn't require drugs to appreciate!

This album is roughly broken up into two parts. The tracks are for the most part vocally based blues rock track but there are equal amounts of instrumental jamming sessions. Perhaps the most diverse is in "Handy" that not only provides a lengthy guitar jamming session but also displays a major drumming session that doesn't sound too show-offy for one's sensibilities. I dunno why i luv this one so much but it definitely registers high on my blues rock with prog touches. A major accomplishment for WISHBONE ASH at an early stage and although they would find success all through the 70s, this one remains my absolute favorite of their entire discography. Cheers, mates!

4.5 but i''ll round up since it's not gettint nuff luv round theez parts

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nš 370

In 1966, brothers Glenn and Martin Turner met Steve Upton and decided to form a band named Empty Vessels. The name didn't last too long and soon became Tanglewood. Then the trio left his hometown, Exeter, in England, and decided depart to London. The group was almost giving up when they were surprisingly invited to opening a show of The Yardbirds. Meanwhile, the guitarist Glenn Turner decided to return to Exeter. However, the remaining pair continued in London. To continue with their project, the group needed to recruit another new guitarist and than, they decided to hear some candidates. During the hearings, the two remaining musicians liked of two of them, David Ted Turner and Andy Powell. They decided not to hire a keyboardist and stayed with the two guitarists. At that moment they felt the necessity of changing the name, one that needed not the labels. So, in 1970 began the career of Wishbone Ash.

'Wishbone Ash' is the debut studio album of Wishbone Ash and was released in 1970. This is a solid debut album from a great English band that covers a wide variety of music from blues to a hint of English country even hard rock. Their debut is solid hard rock with both blues and boogie mixed in it. It's hard to think that this album came out in 1970, especially when you look at how influential it was. If you listen to this and then put on an Iron Maiden's album, it's clear that Iron Maiden took a lot of influences from these guys. Wishbone Ash was probably the first band to both twin-guitar riffs, although Judas Priest was also a contemporary that did the same thing. Even with only six songs here, the album is generally flawless, and a brilliant combination of hard rock, blues-rock, folk and progressive rock too. Amazing musicianship throughout, everything from the guitar, bass and drums is always exciting and interesting. The vocals are also top-notch here, with the band singing about such mystical things that were common amongst the 70's metal/rock.

The line up on 'Wishbone Ash' is Andy Powell (vocals and guitar), Ted Turner (vocals and guitar), Martin Turner (vocals and bass) and Steve Upton (drums).

'Wishbone Ash' has six tracks. All songs were composed by Andy Powell, Martin Turner, Ted Turner and Steve Upton. The first track 'Blind Eye' is the first song we can hear on a Wishbone Ash's album. For a band based on guitar sound and without keyboards the least I can say is that is absolutely unexpected the nice piano sound on this song. It's a song with a blues approach and where the twin guitars sound great. This is a very interesting song. The second track 'Lady Whisky' is a rock'n'roll song with a very heavy sound. This song sounds more to the classic Wishbone Ash's sound with great twin guitar solos and also with a very interesting percussion section by Steve Upton. This is a very good song too. The third track 'Errors Of My Ways' is a very emotional and beautiful song. This is a song in the style of an electric ballad very well performed and, once more, it has fantastic guitar works. We may say that the songs on the album appear in a kind of growing and this is, without any doubt, the best, the most complex and the more progressive song of the album, until now. The fourth track 'Queen Of Torture' is another rock song with a heavy sound. It's a little repetitive, and at my taste, it's probably one of the less attractives on the album, despite has nice guitar works too. This is a good track but with nothing special. The fifth track 'Handy' is one of the lengthiest songs on the album, with the last track 'Phoenix'. It's also one of the best, complex and more progressive songs on the album with 'Phoenix' and 'Errors Of My Ways'. The song starts with good guitar works and bass guitar works in a very calm and peaceful begin on the song. We can also hear on the song a very good drum solo, so typical of the albums of the 70's, especially in live albums. Definitely, this is a very good progressive song. The sixth and last track 'Phoenix' is my favourite song on the album. It opens with guitars, bass and drums. This is the most creative and progressive song on the album with some absolutely fantastic solo guitar sections, which would be the band's trademark. This song reminds to us their great masterpiece 'Argus'. This is really a fantastic and brilliant piece of music, one of the best ever recorded by the group.

Conclusion: 'Wishbone Ash' is with 'Argus' the only two albums I have from the group, until now, and they're also the only musical works that I know of them until today. 'Wishbone Ash' is, in my humble opinion, a great album and a fantastic debut album of the group. Of course it isn't 'Argus' but it's, nevertheless, a fantastic album to any rock lover and also for those who like great guitar sounds. I know that some prog heads don't like to consider Wishbone Ash as a truly progressive band. That is mainly due to their style of music and also because they don't use any keyboards on their music. I respect their point of view but I don't agree totally with them. It's true that Wishbone Ash isn't totally a progressive rock band but it's also true that they have some songs very progressive, such as 'Phoenix' on this album, and 'The King Will Come' and 'Warrior' on 'Argus'. So, I think it's totally fair to consider them as a prog related band.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

4 stars One of the ups about these trying times is that there is plenty of it in which to reflect, assess and re-assess. Back in my day when afghans an flares ruled a goodish part of the Earth WA was part of the musical cannon . But while we were music rich we were cash poor, so I had Argus and Pilgrim ... (read more)

Report this review (#2437215) | Posted by Spacehead | Thursday, August 13, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A truly great debut by the band that invented double lead guitars! I'll do a song by song review for this one. Blind Eye: One of their biggest hits ever, a very joyful blues-rock song Lady Whiskey: Lengthy blues-rock song, with an essence of Jimi Hendrix. A lot of jamming, pretty good song ov ... (read more)

Report this review (#1378701) | Posted by BigDaddyAEL1964 | Friday, March 6, 2015 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Wishbone Ash's debut is an often underrated gem of early progressive rock. I consider it to be one of the best WA album, only slightly inferior to the band's finest "Argus" from 1972. This was extraordinary music when it was produced, especially the two long tracks on side two. They are very p ... (read more)

Report this review (#692424) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Tuesday, March 27, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I already knew of this band before I came to this website. It seems that my tastes usually line up with everyone else's, but this album is an exception. This album is one of my favorites, and I feel it is their best (nudging out Argus) even though it's pretty raw. There isn't a bad song or a s ... (read more)

Report this review (#661579) | Posted by threethousandgt | Friday, March 16, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album is one of the greatest debuts ever made. It was this album that made me a musician. That's why I rate him above all other (including Argus). The music is great. Perfect drummer (one of the best - at least for Wishbone Ash's first three albums), great bass, extraordinary and unique ... (read more)

Report this review (#105001) | Posted by Hejkal | Sunday, December 31, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 4.5 Stars While I can't really add anything else important not described by the last two reviews, I feel a deep respect for this album and I'm upset by the low amount of users apparently aware of this. Argus is fine and dandy, but this album here, is just raw, amazing instrumental work, inc ... (read more)

Report this review (#101487) | Posted by OGTL | Sunday, December 3, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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