ARTIST:

WISHBONE ASH

(UNITED KINGDOM)
TITLE:

WISHBONE ASH

(1970)
LABEL:

MCA

GENRE:

ROCK

TAGS:
Bluesy
""Wishbone Ash" allows us to discover the band that will give us two years later the magical "Argus"."
PETER HACKETT (14.11.2008)  
4/5
(0) opinions from our readers (0) comment(s)

At the end of the 60's, it's hard for a rock band to become famous compared to the super-stars who are already on the scene. So it's confidentially that Wishbone Ash released his album in 1970. You have to be open to listen to this rock music which is not progressive, not hard, not metal, and not even pop!

Wishbone Ash is a quartet made up of the usual rhythmic duo, bassist and drummer, and two guitarists. The distinctive sound of this band comes from the two guitars that don't play lead and rhythm, but always sound in unison or in chorus. The short opening track Blind Eye is a perfect illustration of this. This very boogie track is characterised by the two guitars intertwining, chasing and responding to each other against a piano background. Interestingly enough, the piano player is not given any credit on the original vinyl, even though he is Matthew Fisher, a founding member of Procol Harum (he was to give way to Gary Brooker in 1970). In those days, stars didn't show off !

The next track, Lady Whiskey, explores this very groovy blues-rock vein, highlighting even more the complicity of the two guitarists, even on those flights of fancy that are usually called " solis ". The third song (Errors Of My Way) highlights another particularity of the band: the multi-voice vocals. Indeed, it is not uncommon to hear Andy Powell and the two Turners (who are in no way related!) mixing their voices on the sung parts. They will exploit this sound even more in their second album "Pilgrimage".

But this first album has particularly become a cult album thanks to its last two long tracks (almost 22 minutes each) which shared the B versus the good old 30cm from 1970. Handy and Phoenix were the must-haves of every W A concert in the 70's and are still the must-haves today. The first one starts with a melody played by the bass for 1'30 on a slow rhythm, the guitars gradually coming to rest on this line. At around 5'30 the tempo quickens and the track gets into high gear until the eighth minute when a drum solo marks a break, leaving the song to end on a very jazzy note! Phoenix follows a similar pattern of a slow start and a fiery climax, but the guitars are more bluesy with a wahwah-like passage. The last five minutes allow Andy and Ted to have a last melodic guitar duel, full of winks.

The CD edition offers as a bonus a live version of Jailbait, which is an excellent track from Wishbone Ash's second album, but which has the weakness, in this case, of not leaving the listener hanging on that splendid Phoenix ending. You are free to stop listening to this album before the end, but above all listen to it and discover the band that will give us the magical "Argus" two years later.


More informations on http://wishboneash.com/





TRACK LISTING:
01. Blind Eye - 03:42
02. Lady Whiskey - 06:11
03. Errors Of My Way - 06:56
04. Queen Of Torture - 03:21
05. Handy - 11:36
06. Phoenix - 10:27

LINEUP:
Andy Powell: Chant / Guitares
Martin Turner: Chant / Basse
Matthew Fisher: Piano sur "Blind Eye"
Steve Upton: Batterie
Ted Turner: Chant / Guitares
   
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