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Wishbone Ash Pilgrimage album cover
3.62 | 319 ratings | 21 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Vas Dis (4:41)
2. The Pilgrim (8:30)
3. Jail Bait (4:41)
4. Alone (2:20)
5. Lullaby (2:59)
6. Valediction (6:17)
7. Where Were You Tomorrow (Live) (10:23)

Total time 39:51

Bonus track on 1991 CD reissue:
8. Jail Bait (Live) (4:54)

Track 7 recorded live at De Montfort Hall, Leicester on June 14, 1971
Track 8 recorded live on August, 1972, Memphis, Tennessee

Line-up / Musicians

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

Releases information

Artwork: Hipgnosis

LP MCA Records ‎- MAPS 5060 (1971, UK)

CD MCA Records ‎- DMCL 1762 (1987, UK)
CD MCA Records ‎- MCAD 10233 (1991, Europe) With a bonus Live track

Thanks to alucard for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy WISHBONE ASH Pilgrimage Music

WISHBONE ASH Pilgrimage ratings distribution

(319 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

WISHBONE ASH Pilgrimage reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by mystic fred
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars One of the top classic Wishbone Ash albums which reached no. 14 in 1971, "Pilgrimage" (their second lp) contains the classic favourite tracks "Vas Dis", a jazzy, diddle-iddle scat-style instrumental, "Jailbait" and "Pilgrim", two of their all time classic stage favourites. engineered by Martin Birch at De Lane Lea, the sound quality is absolutely excellent. "Vas Dis" can only be described as amazing, blistering guitar and drum solos, love it or hate it, it's a brilliant way to start an album! The next track "the pilgrim" drifts in - soft, echoey guitars, building up to extremely catchy riffs and layers of the aforementioned scat-style "la-de-dah" vocals. Some brilliant lead guitar soloing and time changes, marching beats give clues to how far the band have progressed since their first album. "Jail Bait" boogies in and full use of the signature twin lead guitars are brought into the jam. Sounds very close to another boogie-style band we all know and love! "Alone" fades in, a short atmospheric instrumental piece adding to the varied mixture of moods on this album, followed by a genesis-style instrumental "Lullaby" (to me this would not sound out of place on an early genesis album), so the traditional prog "elements" are present here, again elegantly displayed on the beautiful "Valediction", sounding similar to "Errors of my Ways" on the first album, some nice solos, here and there i swear i can hear some Peter Green style influences on the guitar work. the last track "Where Were You Tomorrow" sounds raw and was recorded live, another out and out boogie/blues style rocker with a great guitar solo. Like i said there is a real mixture of moods on this album! One of my all time faves and gives many clues to the shape of things to come in the ultra classic "Argus", another essential prog masterpiece!
Review by Tony Fisher
4 stars This, their second album, contains a mixture of interesting and diverse styles; they were clearly experimenting to find their true direction. They found this on their next album, the incomparable Argus, but this disc was important preparation and also gave them the considerable commercial success needed to enable them to take time to get the next album completely prepared. Pilgrimage sounds slightly rushed out, evidence being the inclusion of a live track to fill up the album.

Vas Dis is one of the strangest tracks ever recorded by a band. Martin Turner's bass line and Steve Upton's drums drive the track along at a relentless pace with the twin guitars elaborating over the top and the "vocals" are scat style. Sounds weird but it works brilliantly. The excellent Pilgrim alternates quiet acoustic passages with harder rock and is a precursor of the Argus style. Jail Bait is a great conventional rock track with VERY dodgy subject matter.

Alone and Lullaby are pleasant atmospheric instrumentals, but the gem of the whole album is Valediction, a song about the ending of a relationship. Anyone who's been through a divorce will empathise! A fairly gentle number, it features some fine choral vocals, some neat rhythm changes and some of the finest melodic guitar playing ever recorded. Sadly, the final track, recorded live, is not quite up to scratch. A solid enough rock song, it shows that the prowess of the band extends beyond the studio, but the recording quality and rawness of the production are at odds with what went before.

Wishbone Ash have occasionally been criticised (in my view wrongly) by some for their vocal performance, but Martin Turner does an excellent job here and the rest of the band provide sound backing and choral support where needed. And through all the tracks, their instrumental virtuosity shines through.

Overall, this is definitely an album worth having. It is well worth 4* but doesn't quite make masterpiece standard due to some rough edges. They got that next time out. And how!

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3,5 stars really!!!

With such brilliant debut, WA had their hands full to live-up to their burgeoning reputation, and if Pilgrimage is not quite as brilliant as the two albums around their chronological discography, it certainly still full of merits with some real superb moments. Again a gatefold artwork, they missed out on an astounding idea, with not using the image on the front cover over the full spread of the cardboard. One of the more noticeable things about the album are the shorter tracks and the longer one The Pilgrim (8 min+) has a rather overlong and a rather uneventful intro.

With the impressive opener Quo Vadis, WA shows that they have become even tighter than before and they use some of the best scatting I was given to hear on a hard-driving beat: this will become a trademark of theirs for a few years to come. Once the lenghty intro over with, the (sort of) title track actually swings into a typical WA swing that they were becoming so famous for, and once the three vocalist get into their scatting, the track is really take you places that all progheads love: paradise. Jailbait is clearly a return to the rockier (and macho) tracks of the first album, while two short instrumental tracks hold not much interest outside of the fact that they exist and are correct; but that's about as much as can be said of Alone and Lullaby!! Another highlight of the album is the enjoyable Valediction, but once again, you feel that came close (but no cigar) to perfection, but never quite reached it. The usual great drumming, complementary dual guitars and incredible bass works are still among the major asset of the album.

Even if less impressive than the superb self-titled debut and the Argus magnum opus, Pilgrimage is a must for anyone investigating the early stages of this group. So if this album failed to answer expectations from the fans, ecstasy was around the bend with their following album, which is still unanimously recognized as their masterpiece in four decades of music.

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
3 stars Not the last pilgrimage ...

The first album which I bought in the 70s from the band. The songs are referring to the Blues and Rock n' Roll roots but are also consisting of some new elements. Vas Dis must be the first song I heard from WISHBONE ASH. I was very impressed by the highspeed happiness of the song - something really unique. Somewhat jazzy with unbelievable running bass lines, an extraordinary drive by Steve Upton and crazy vocals (which never have been a preference of the band).

The Pilgrim is nearly in the same way but at this time with a long intro. Jail bait is a boggie where Powell and Turner are demonstrating their excellent and typical twin guitar playing. The following tracks Alone and Lullaby seem to be cuts from longer jam sessions they made for the recordings. Very nice indeed and again dominated by the guitars. Valediction is a ballad with nice bass playing again by Martin Turner but with vocals like they were on a funeral.

The original album ends here but I also bought the CD version in the 90s with two live boogie bonus tracks. Where Were You Tomorrow is somewhat convincing because the band plays very relaxed and concentrated. Live version of Jail bait is needless - differing from the original only with some feedbacks.

A release which begins great but gets weaker to the end because the Prog relation decreases.

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I love Pilgrimmage, great album, great evolution from the debut and consistently strong throughout. It is also worth mentioning that perhaps Pilgrimage is the least spoken about album from the first five or so years since WA commenced. ' Vas Dis' is a clever rendition of rock and roll/confused melody but great vocal interlay. When you want a comparison when the vocal is an instrument then ' Vas Dis' is your song.' The Piligrim' follows and has a slow build to melodic completion, risk taking, maybe not, but well struck chords, creative formula and a strong theme which basically sets the tone for the album.

' Jail Bait' is good old rock and blues showing yet again their abilities as a band to play numerous styles. ' Lullaby' is a 2 minute beauty before the second half of the album reaches it's climax with the epic tracks ' Valedicition' and ' Where Were You Tomorrow'. I have the vinyl version and ' Jail Bait' live is on here too. Great quality album from a great progressive 70's outfit.

Review by ClemofNazareth
2 stars Once again Wishbone Ash delivered an excellent guitar album with their sophomore effort ‘Pilgrimage’, but once again this is more of a well-constructed rock album than it is a progressive work. That’s not to say there aren’t some pretty creative moments though.

The opening track “Vas Dis” is an unusual blend of scat, fat-bottomed guitar, and a much-improved performance over their first album by drummer Steve Upton. Andy Powell takes trading guitar licks with Ted Turner, and alternating these with a scat-like vocal interpretation of the same licks, which is oddly intriguing in a strange way. Like many of the tracks on this album, this one seems to have been tailor-made for live performances.

“The Pilgrim” is quite a bit more subdued at first, but eventually gives way to the trademark twin-guitar flights that have endeared these guys to their fans for so long. The bass line reminds me a bit of a number of early fusion bands, but overall this is an exercise is guitar interplay and persistent drumming. I don’t really get the ‘pilgrim’ aspect of the tune, but I suppose it’s there somewhere in the mix.

The lyrics on “Jail Bait” are pretty trite, but the guitar work is powerful and engaging. This sounds more like the first side of the band’s debut album than anything else on this one, and I get the same vibe from this as I do from many early Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd songs. Another live song just waiting for a stage to be performed on.

The band shows some early indications of the more ranging and artistic sound that would fully emerge on ‘Argus’ with “Alone”, which is full of beautiful guitar interplay and subtle bass. “Lullaby” on the other hand is just that – a slow, peaceful and languid number that just plods along like a slow, shallow stream.

“Valediction” is another mellow tune, but the moody vocals and poetic lyrics distinguish this song from the more blues-powered front side of the album. Not really a very strong composition, but here again the band shows some of the mood-intensive sensibilities they would perfect on ‘Argus’.

“Where were you Tomorrow” is a full-blown honky-tonk rant, complete with thudding bass, throwback vocal tones, one-two basic beat, and plenty of fat guitar chords to spice things up. Grab a Bud and swing your partner boys – it’s time to two-step! The extended live noises and clapping sections serve to draw this out much longer than it needs to be though, and weaken the overall power of the song.

The CD includes a live version of “Jail Bait” that is pretty true to the original, but doesn’t add much to the offering.

This is a good example of the twin-guitar attack that made Wishbone Ash famous, but it is unlikely to appeal much to hardcore progressive music fans. I would venture to say this is an album that fans and collectors would consider a good buy, not too many other people probably would. Two stars.


Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars A pilgrimage. . . to the pub!

"Pilgrimage" is a something of a transitional album for Wishbone Ash, sitting between the raw excitement of their superb first album, and the majestic excellence of "Argus".

The indications are that the band had struggled to come up with sufficient material for the album, including as it does a cover version, a lengthy live workout, and a some fairly prosaic compositions. This may have been due to time pressures to come up with a follow up to their successful debut.

The album opens with a rare non-band composition "Vas-Dis", which features scat vocals and intrusive drumming. The song was written and originally performed by legendary jazz organist Jack McDuff (at least the band paid him due credit, Led Zeppelin take note!). The track is altogether a bit too jazzy for my tastes. Quickly however, we are into the more orthodox "The pilgrim", the feature track of the album. This finely crafted piece opens with relaxed drifting guitar before moving steadily into a faster twin guitar work out with vocalised passages. There are no lyrics as such, but the track is along the lines of "Time was".

"Jail bait" is written around a standard blues structure, the superb band performance preventing it from otherwise being rather ordinary. "Alone" gives the best indication of the route the band would take with "Argus", the twin guitar sound being developed far more successfully here. It sounds a bit like the introduction to "The king will come".

The second side of the album consists of just three tracks. "Lullaby" is a suitable title for the brief lilting guitar instrumental which opens the side pleasantly but unobtrusively. The studio album effectively ends with "Valediction", a fine reflective piece which develops through an excellent guitar section.

The closing track, "Where were you tomorrow" is for no apparent reason a live recording. It seems the song was recorded in the studio as part of the "Pilgrimage" sessions, the studio version eventually seeing the light of day on a 1993 compilation. I can only assume the band felt that the live version captured the energy of the track better. Unfortunately, in retrospect all they did was to highlight the weakness of the song, which is little more than a blues based excuse for a protracted guitar jam. The rendition is enjoyable, but could be by any of the thousands of bands who play in pubs all over the UK week in week out. Think of TEN YEARS AFTER's (great) performance at Woodstock and you have a good idea of the song.

In all, a decent second album by the band, but very much a stopgap between two of their major releases.

Review by arcer
3 stars Pretty enjoyable album of passable boogie rock and more ambitious largely instrumental workouts and it's on the latter that the band score highest. The opener Vas Dis is great fun, relying on some fiery drumming and scat vocals to drive it along. The following track is, for me, the highlight, however. The Pilgrim starts with a mellow, almost ambient opening section before giving way to a driving, almost krautrock, guitar-driven riff-fest. It's metronomic, seemingly repetitive but constantly evolving figures are utterly involving and played with verve, elan and determination. It's a stunning track and the best is brought out of it by Martin Birch. Indeed, the prioduction throughout it great. The following Jailbait is a pleasant enough slice of bar-room boogie but it fails to match the ambition of the previous two songs. Alone, Lullaby and Valediction again suggest that the band were absorbing influences well beyond the blues boom jams that characterise Jailbait and the album's final live track but whilst those are fun in an obvious way, they can't compare with more illustrious rivals in that field (Wishbone Ash versus The Allman Brothers = no contest), so it's hard to understand why they didn't relentlessly pursue the kind of inventiveness and signature sound of material like The Pilgrim. They did so on Argus but often slipped back to old formulae which let them down in the end. Buy it for the almost title track alone. It's awesome.
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The second album reconfirmed their existence in rock music scene with some experimental nature of the composition, more towards progressive music as you can find it even from the opening track "Vas Dis" (4:41). The band really pushed the envelope further through putting a quite significant element of jazz especially on the way the vocals are handled. It's really great vocal work supported dynamically with tight bass lines, dazzling drumwork and solid guitar work. From this opening track you can judge how crispy their composition is. I also enjoy the drum solo at the end of the track accompanied with nice contribution by other instruments. "The Pilgrim" (8:30) is another favorite of mine - not because of its long duration which might refer to progressive music. It starts with double guitar work in ambient mode. The music truly takes off at approx minute 3 with the entrance of drums and bass in relatively fast tempo while guitar still plays as dominant player in the music. It's a stunning double guitar work with one guitar takes care melody line while the other provides rhythm section with repeated notes. In some parts I find there are similarities with later King Crimson music (Discipline album onwards). Vocal enters at approximately minute 5:20 with no lyrical verse. The guitar plays in crescendo with higher register notes as the music progresses. This track will satisfy those of you who love long guitar solo work. The drumming style at the end of the track is also interesting.

"Lullaby" (2:59) is a mellow instrumental track with ambient guitar work augmented with bass guitar. "Where Were You Tomorrow" (10:23) is an upbeat track with some flavor of rock'n'roll music. It flows nicely with excellent vocal work, tight basslines, stunning guitar solo in vintage style. Again, I enjoy the guitar solo that starts nicely at approx minute 1:21 in blues rock style. And I am sure, for those of you who love guitar, this is a great track to enjoy, especially because the track duration is quite long.

Overall, this is an excellent album with similar vein as the band's debut album. Keywords of the music are: blues rock tinge, powerful and stunning double guitar work and tight composition in almost each individual track. Keep on proggin' ..!

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

Review by Certif1ed
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Journey Continues

Wishbone Ash are one of those bands who are just fantastic to research;

They supported a number of greats, including Rory Gallagher's Taste, Mott The Hoople, Slade, T-Rex, Smile (who would go on to become Queen) and, naturally, Deep Purple.

After their debut and confirmed record deal (thanks to their connections with Purple), they went on to support even bigger names, such as The Who, Black Sabbath, and the band whose influence most strongly stands out in their music - Ten Years After.

The reason they ended up with the dual-lead format that was to become their trademark was that when Martin Turner and Steve Upton auditioned David (Ted) Turner and Andy Powell, they simply could not choose between them.

Whilst recording Pilgrimage, Ted stepped out for sessions with John Lennon on his Imagine album.

Which brings us nicely to the album in question - an album in which the classic Wishbone Ash sound is more or less consolidated, and which I prefer to its more famous successor, Argus. No sophomore jinx here, this album still wears its influences on its sleeve, but the band had matured their style nicely - another year and it would be perfect.

Vas Dis is a cover of Jack McDuff's piece, that puts me in mind of a heavier version of Ten Years After - mainly because of the slightly wacky but rather wonderful lead/vocal doubling that opens it. A blistering drum roll tumbles into a jazz-flavoured 2-chord pattern that builds intensity towards something that sounds like heavy jazz rock - in a kind of Krautrock vein, but much more tightly constructed and delivered at a quite frenetic tempo.

While the individual ideas here are simple, the whole is greater than its parts, and the band work together like a single unit producing a tour-de-force that will have you reaching for the record sleeve and double checking the year of release. The input from all band members here is absolutely superb, impressing with details without becoming over indulgent.

The Pilgrim has flavours of early Fleetwood Mac - perhaps paraphrasing Albatross once or twice, but in no way attempting to copy the song, more creating an impression. And that's what this introduction feels like - an impression. The song proper follows - although it's a bit of a crowbar job, as the segue is not seamless. Remember this is 1971.

A riff in 7/4 will delight proggers of all types who are fascinated by such things - it gets a little repetitive, but there are some really nice changes of texture and key, and some cool harmony vocal lines, while UPton keeps the percussion side fresh. The riff reminds me a little of Gong's Great Om Riff, to be found on their You album 3 years later.

Jail Bait has all the hallmarks of a classic rock track - catchy melody, strong rhythms and hooks a-plenty, all finished with the classic sound. In a way, it reminds me of The Doors, as I keep expecting jim Morrison to explode with Let it roll, baby roll... Little technical nuggets and experimentations spring out at you, in the use of feedback over a steady chugging backdrop, and alternating lead licks, hard panned so there is no doubt that this is a duel between two guitarists. My favourite nugget of all is right at the end, where both guitars descend briefly into feedback.

As with all classic Ash, the main interest is in the well crafted and almost orchestrated instrumental sections and band interplay, more than the chord progressions and standard blues licks themselves. This is music to lose yourself in and wallow in - for thrill junkies seeking hit after hit, the hits are here in the details, but you do have to look beyond the blues-rock veneer.

Alone sounds almost like it's by a different band - the mix is notably different to earlier tracks, the bass sound rounder, the drums more background, and the guitars more twangy. The same principles apply, though - it's a bit like 4 soloists who just happen to be playing the same song. It feels cut short, because it is. According to Martin Turner's site, the record company hated it - and even he came to agree with them eventually.

Lullaby begins sounding like an early Genesis number - Entangled! That's the one! Check it out. Post Gabriel-Genesis clearly borrowed from this Wishbone Ash number, and I didn't really notice until now. This is about as Prog as Wishbone Ash get - and although it's a straight 4/4 number heavily steeped in the blues, it has a very strong Prog flavour to it, with sumptuous textures being the order of the day - and this listener finds himself bouyed along on almost imaginary melodic strands that intertwine the existing lines.

Valediction is the second of only 3 songs longer than 5 minutes on this album and, as a song, is rather plain, but embellished with the hallmark Wishbone Ash fluid melody lines in the instrumental sections. I can't help but think of Camel as I relisten to this number - or maybe Barclay James Harvest. Strange how you hear all these extra things when you're in review mode that you don't when you're simply listening for pleasure... not that reveiwing isn't a pleasure, of course /g

If, like me, you have an irrational hatred of white man reggae, then be prepared to hit the skip button around 4:29, as the music skips between this most unnatural and ugly of styles and back into halftime rock for most of the rest of the piece. Actually, W.A.s attempt isn't half as bad as most - but I'll just say it's not even close to Bob Marley.

The album closer Where Were You Tomorrow was recorded live, and is also the longest song on the album - but sadly, it is not even remotely proggy: It sounds like a Ten Years After number, with an uptempo 12-bar boogie topped with Clapton like licks and absolutely no surprises - although it does break down superbly, and builds to a fitting climax for a live gig.

Pilgrimage (final track aside) is an absolute masterpiece of Classic Rock that flirts playfully with Prog Rock, and should be checked out by anyone who calls themselves a fan of Prog. It would make an excellent addition to any Prog music collection.

4 solid stars.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Pilgrimage is the 2nd full-length studio album by UK hard rock act Wishbone Ash. The album originally contained 7 tracks but the 1991 CD re-release adds the bonus track Jail Bait ( live). Thereīs also a gatefold sleeve double vinyl version available where Pilgrimage is paired with Wishbone Ash 3rd full-length studio album Argus (1972), which is the version that I have.

The music on Pilgrimage is for the most part, blues based hard rock with extensive guitar soloing. There are some progressive/ folky and jazzy elements on the album but actually not many. Itīs not the most consistent album in history ( the last track Where Were You Tomorrow is even recorded live, which gives it an out of context feel) but if you take any song out of the album context they are all good quality compositions wether itīs the more structured tracks or the jamming ones. The thing I enjoy the most about he album is the musicianship though. Already this early on in their career, Wishbone Ash had a special warm touch to their playing thatīs admirable. Loads of blistering guitar solos, powerful drumming and great bass playing. The vocals were always the weak spot in Wishbone Ash music but they are not a distraction as such. They are just kind of there.

Pilgrimage is a notch better than the debut album to my ears, because the band now started to incorporate elements from other genres into their blues based hard rock foundation, but as noted above the album is not very consistent and a 3.5 star rating will have to do. If Iīm in the right mood itīs a very enjoyable album though.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars It is often difficult for a band to confirm a great debut album. In the music history, a debut was scarcely one of the best albums from a band ("Genesis", "Yes", Floyd, VDGG, Tull etc. etc.). But "Wishbone Ash" scored rather high with their eponymous work.

This "Pilgrimage" opens on a cover song which is much too jazzy to my taste and I very much prefer the rocking "Pilgrim" which is closer to their good rocking style. This track is almost instrumental; but the band has been using this feature already. And frankly, I can't complain.

The structure of this song is quite traditional for a WA tune: it starts on the smooth edge and ends into a wild frenzy of dual electric guitars. Almost eclectic and wild my prog friends!

This album is not so well achieved than their first one though. Even if their music was definitely leaning towards classic rock, some US influenced music is the key here: jazz as I have already said or straight boogie with "Jail Bait": these were less interesting than what I was expecting after their very good debut.

Some short songs are not helping either ("Alone" or "Lullaby"). And the childish and mellowish "Valediction" is only worth thanks to some good guitar break. This is quite a letdown so far.

The closing "Where Were You Tomorrow" is more in line with what is expected from the band. It is a long boogie that seriously reminds me of "Canned Heat". Not too much prog as you can imagine?

I was quite disappointed with this album. Basic rock as there is a lot available. Two stars.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Pilgrimage has been my first WA vinyl. I remember that my attention was caught by the sleeve design and how somrtimes happened in the vinyl days, it was enough to buy the album without knowing anything of what I would have found inside.

"Vas Dis" was unexpected. Very jazzy, with a strange signature and that choir at the unison with the guitars. The term "acid jazz" was not invented yet, I think, but this is how I would call this song that was actually different from everything I had listened before. I was immediately captured by this band even if I don't think that they have ever made anything similar to this.

"The Pilgrim" was another surprise. After the jazzy and uptime start a repetitive and calm piece of guitars and bass, without any drum. A dreamy environment that I compared to the Pink Floyd of the Meddle period, but interrupted by the coming of the guitars. What comes is a prog-rock instrumental made of an unusual signature on which one of th guitars and the bass provide the soundscape for the solo guitar while the drums make the dirty work. The choir is jazzy again.It's a pity that the band hasn't continued with this kind of things in the following albums. There's also time for a psychedelic interlude before the coda.

Time to rock and roll now. "Jail Bait" will become one of the most famous song of the band, with a lot of live and alternate studio versions, but is just a rock-blues son of its times.

The Side A is closed by "Alone", another short guitar based instrumental. Nice but short. It could have been exploited more. I think of it as of an incomplete thing and its fading out confirm s this impression.

"Lullaby" is short as well. But the B side opener is very good and its duration is the right one. It makes me think to the Caravan even if one of the two guitars sometimes (Something) sounds Beatlesian. Now my favorite track and still one of the Wishbone Ash songs that I like more. "Valediction" is a good reason to have this album. The song is divided in two. The first half has a choir which gives it a sort of weird "church" feeling and after the guitar solo in the middle it becomes unexpectedly "reggae". After a song like this the live closer is superfluous. Just a long rock-blues session.

But enough to rate this album with 4 stars

Review by stefro
3 stars 1971's 'Pilgrimage' picks up pretty much where it's impressive predecessor, 1970's eponymous debut, left off. This time round, however, the classic Ash line-up of Andy Powell(guitar, vocals), Martin Turner(bass, vocals), Ted Turner(guitar) and Steve Upton(drums) opt for a slightly mellowier vibe, dipping into their reserves of folk influences in order to embellish 'Pilgrimage' with it's own distinct sound and thus separate it from the rockier 'Wishbone Ash'. Indeed, it has been a feature of Wishbone Ash's lengthy career to bravely juxtapose styles from album-to-album, often to the very real disappointment of even some their own fans, yet what this truly illustrates is a group more concerned with seeking creatively satisfaction than commercial benefits, an honourable trait. In the end, they received both, with 'Pilgrimage' proving an important stepping stone on the road to international success. Of course, you can't really write a review of early Wishbone Ash material without mentioning 'Argus', the group's awesome magnus opus that overshadows everything else they did, in particular 'Pilgrimage' which it closely follows. 'Argus' would expand the group's sound into progressive rock territory, concentrating on the impressive dual guitar attack of Powell and Ted Turner, yet 'Pilgrimage' would ultimately hold back from this kind of grandstanding, instead featuring a deep, glowing, almost amber sound brushed with the rustic hues of acoustic strums, slow-burning melodies and topped off by two jokers in the pack in the jazzy opening number 'Vas Dis' and the slow-burning epic 'Valediction', which still ranks as an out-and-out Ash classic. Although 'Pilgrimage' doesn't quite hit the same satisfying mystic-rock mark as the two classic albums that immediately surround it, this is still top-notch Ash product and one of only four albums to feature the group's pioneering original line-up. STEFAN TURNER, TOULOUSE, 2014
Review by Prog Leviathan
3 stars Pilgrimage is a subtle and interesting collection of early '70's art-rock that doesn't have the ambition to jump fully into the prog circle, but has plenty of nuanced artistry and instrumental work to make it something more than old- fashioned classic rock.

The album opens with the quirky "Vas Dis," an upbeat and complex song that ties the listener up in tempo and instrumental knots. The song shows off strong musicianship and tight playing. It's fairly aggressive, jazzy, and certainly a bold move to start the album off with.

"The Pilgrim" is probably the standout track, featuring exceptionally restrained guitar textures that weave around the melodic bass playing of Turner. It's a dreamy track that transitions into an upbeat and powerful rock instrumental with complex playing by all members. A great track.

This sort of song, which we hear again in the two instrumental interludes of "Alone" and "Lullaby" are the clear winners of the album. "Jailbait," a slice of good-old-fashioned-boogie-woogie classic rock works as a tongue-in-cheek diversion but doesn't leave much impression. The band doesn't feel as comfortable playing this kind of music, like they don't have the hooks or energy to grab hold of the listener.

"Valediction" is another thoughtful song, and is the most lyrically heavily track on the record. It's a true ballad that builds nicely to an engaging finale, but shows one of the weaknesses of the band: the lead vocals, which are tepid and without much emotion. Luckily for us there are instrumental highlights throughout for it not to matter much. We close with two live samples, included the extended "Where Were You Tomorrow," showing Wishbone Ash indulge their boogie-woogie stylings in an enjoyable closer.

A good, but not great album that is best when the band indulges their skills as writers and instrumentalists and not as rock stars.

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 4 - Lyrics/Vocals: 2 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

Latest members reviews

3 stars WISHBONE ASH "Pilgrimage", although in majority of his total time (45:13) don't present a really prog music , With the exception of the two initial Tracks "Vas Dis" and title track "Pilgrimage"( two great musical ideas) the rest of the album is much more a hard- rock album with some soft pass ... (read more)

Report this review (#1587480) | Posted by maryes | Thursday, July 14, 2016 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The second album of the Holy Trilogy for Wishbone Ash. A fantastic album, that I'll review track-by-track. Vas Dis: Brilliant! A jazzy instrumental with playful yodel by the band, written by Jack McDuff. Essential for their live performances and a very good exercise for Martin Turner, who has th ... (read more)

Report this review (#1378702) | Posted by BigDaddyAEL1964 | Friday, March 6, 2015 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Pilgrimage is an excellent album. I still can't get over how underrated this band are generally! This was their second album. It feels a little more focused on folk and acoustic music as a whole as opposed to the blues-rock sound that dominated the first album. But again there is a great variet ... (read more)

Report this review (#694901) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Wednesday, March 28, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Not the greatest Wishbone Ash record but one of the few that is undeniably Progressive Rock. This album starts on a Jazz Fusion note with the jam track Vas Dis with some fantastic instrumental work from Martin Turner who's fantastic bass playing and scat vocal drives the track along with the twi ... (read more)

Report this review (#394717) | Posted by topographicbroadways | Saturday, February 5, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Pilgrimage is one of the best Wishbone Ash albums and for me contains their best track The Pilgrim. The slow build up and then the driven sound provides a unique feel, in fact the whole album is something different. Vas Dis is a little odd, but becomes more listenable over time; Valediction, Alo ... (read more)

Report this review (#162620) | Posted by malcra | Monday, February 25, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A true masterpiece of rock, Pilgrimage shows what Wishbone Ash are capable of, from the jazzy Vas Dis to the groovy Jail Bait both of which are still performed today as a staple of the Wishbone Ash live experience. Highlights are Vas Dis, Jail Bait and Where Were You Tomorrow. Brilliant album. ... (read more)

Report this review (#149625) | Posted by Hjemland | Thursday, November 8, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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