Wishbone Ash: The Making Of Argus | Louder
Wishbone Ash - Live Dates > thebluetones.info?v= 3Uh9j3j0ZcI&index=84&list=PLMg8-JhTJNEowTpLkmrTku7GQ7FGp. Dating. US Edition. UK Edition · US Edition. Please wait. Log in using your social Wishbone Ash performing for the BBC in (YouTube/BBC) rock group Wishbone Ash, which is famed for the track “Blowin' Free”, has . Wishbone Ash first rose to fame in with their eponymous debut album. Wishbone Ash first emerged on the cusp of the s, a time when it )— the band's most successful to date and, for many, its early.
But there was more change in the air. For the group's first album with Wisefield, 's There's the Rub, it was set to fly to Miami, FL, where the album was to be recorded and produced by Michigan native Bill Szymczyk, who, in addition to producing B.
From the opening seconds of There's the Rub's buoyant opener, "Silver Shoes," it's clear that significant change is in the air. Sonically, it's certainly the best-sounding Wishbone Ash album to date and, if it lacked the specific personality that defined the group with Argus, its bigger, more high octane sound was no less compelling. And with both Powell and Wisefield bringing, in addition to acoustic and electric guitars, a variety of other stringed instruments to the session Powell on mandolin, with Wisefield contributing banjo and steel guitarthe album is an even more multilayered affair than what came before.
The group had occasionally used other players to flesh out its sound in the studio, with John Tout adding organ to Argus' "Throw Down the Sword" and a number of guests adding keyboards and brass to three tracks on Wishbone Four. So it was no particular surprise to hear some added keys to the reggae-tinged power ballad "Persephone," and additional percussion to the album's longest track, "F. Like Ted Turner, Wisefield often differentiated himself from Powell's predilection for thicker-toned Gibson guitars by being more disposed though not entirely towards Fender guitars and their tendency towards both a bit of "twang" and greater chordal clarity and delineation.
He was also more of a rock guitarist, albeit one capable of some serious country-informed chicken-picking, as opposed to Turner's bluesier leanings. The other track to make it into live sets was the album-closing instrumental "F. A surprisingly funky track driven by Upton's firm groove and Martin Turner's bright-toned Rickenbacker bass lines, this was Wishbone Ash in modal jam mode, as Powell and Wisefield move from sophisticated chord voicings to attention-grabbing linear harmonies, whammy bar injections and tones ranging from clean to gritty and, ultimately, heavily overdriven.
Despite this being largely a jam turned into song, "F.
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Instead there's plenty of form in both the guitar parts and the song's gradual addition of unexpected changes. The tune even turns to double time in its final three minutes, referencing the opening chords, but over a more energetic groove, before a series of rapid-fire guitar harmonies lead to a particularly impressive and uncommonly virtuosic solo spot for Wisefield. Clearly, if there's any single track on There's the Rub that proves Wisefield's mettle as the band's new guitarist, it's "F.
Even the vocals sound good on the record, rather than simply adequate. It may not have hit the charts as well as Four, but it still managed a respectable 16 on the UK charts and, for a band whose American presence was still yet to be fully felt, a decent enough 88 in the US. He couldn't believe that we would spend so much time tracking the guitar parts; that we would play one half of a solo on one guitar and then swap over for another.
We learned a lot from Bill and he took in a lot from us, too. Now Assume the Foetal Position! Still, relocating to the USA had the potential for being a bad idea, and certainly Martin Turner's stated concerns about the band losing "its musical identity" were not only valid, but would prove to be absolutely true with some of the albums that followed.
From forward, Wishbone Ash would continue to make some great albums The liners include a quote from Powell's autobiography, Eyes Wide Open: Why this pairing did not work is hard to understand, but an equal challenge was that Miles Copeland, the band's aggressive manager from the very start, was no longer working with the band due to a large-scale, multi-group tour called Startruckin' that almost bankrupt him.
Before he left, however, he helped negotiate the move to Atlantic Records, which was based in New York, the band's new home. That said, Wishbone Ash's two albums recorded for Atlantic were co-released with MCA, which still remained the group's primary label for another few years.
Perhaps it was because Locked In was such an understandable failure, dropping to 36 in the UK charts and an especially weak in the USA, that Atlantic was quickly out of the picture.Manfred Mann's Earth Band - Father Of Day, Father Of Night (1973)
As ever, the group's decision to use, or not use, material from its albums in performance is a good reflection of its own opinion about a record. Not one song from Locked In appears in performance in The Vintage Yearsbox; it remains, at best, a forgettable album where any vocal gains made on There's the Rub have now disappeared, with the writing about as generic as a hard rock album could be.
Rebound and Reunion Still, the band rebounded in a significant way with its second album ofNew England. Recorded "live off the floor" in the basement of Martin Turner's home, with only overdubs added later in the same Miami studio where There's the Rub was recorded, it fully captures Wishbone Ash's potential for energy, spontaneity and immediacy in performance.
As Wisefield's third album with Wishbone Ash, it also displays an increased chemistry with the band in general and Powell in particular. It's a shame, in fact, that the group didn't take this sizeable hint and continue making records in a similar fashion.
A full five of its nine tracks would enter the band's live set lists, including the near-southern rock of "Lorelei," the hard-rocking "Mother of Pearl" and dark-hued ballad " In All of My Dreams You Rescue Me," to the pedal-to-the-metal of "Runaway" and, with Wisefield's overdriven picking a perfect foil for Powell's sweet-toned lines and stratospheric dual-guitar harmonies, the similarly southern-tinged "Outward Bound.
New England may have fared even more poorly than Locked In on the American charts, managing onlybut it did do better in the UK, reaching a far healthier There wasn't a weak song to be found either, with non-live tracks like "When You Know Love" featuring strong vocal harmonies and some particularly fine soloing from Wisefield. Once again produced by the Albert brothers i. Fat Albert Productions's Front Page News is another post-Argus success at least, artistically speakingwith a set of ten new Wishbone Ash tunes that continue the band's ongoing growth as a stadium-oriented band, with an emphasis on more straightforward song form and, with only the title track crossing the five-minute mark, greater attention to brevity.
Recorded at Miami's Criteria Studios, where There's the Rub was also made, Front Page News definitely lacked the in-the-moment energy and spontaneity of New England, being a more laidback collection of tunes that nevertheless featured solid vocal harmonies and, beyond Martin Turner's steadily improving vocals, a surprising lead vocal from Wisefield on the guitarist's soft-rock "Goodbye Baby, Hello Friend," which was released as the b-side to the title track single, with both tracks making it into Wishbone Ash live sets along with Turner's rocking "Come in From the Rain.
Reflecting an increasingly American complexion, it also featured fewer compositional collaborations than ever before, with only four songs co-credited to the group, two contributed by Wisefield alone including the string-heavy instrumental ballad, "" and a full four from Turner. It was a trend and direction that continued with the band's next two studio albums, 's No Smoke Without Fire and 's Just Testing the former representing the group's first time not charting in the USA and only 43 in the UK, and the latter making and 41, respectively.
They were the final two albums to include songs that appeared on Wishbone Ash commercial live recordings or in the eight additional shows included in The Vintage Years box set. That said, change also defined these albums as the entire group, with the exception of Powell, returned to the UK, where they reunited with Derek Lawrence, who'd last produced the band's career high point, Argus and was suggested by the group's new manager John Sherry, who'd assumed representation after Miles Copeland.
But if the intention was to try and recapture some of that old magic, nobody took into the account the experiences of the years in between.
Powell recounts, in the liners: Still, there were some high points as well.
For the first time in years, despite an ongoing attention to writing more concise, radio-friendly tunes, Wishbone Ash returned to a slightly more progressive disposition, in particular on the two-part, ten-minute album closer, "The Way of the World," which joined earlier largely or entirely instrumental excursions like "Phoenix," "The Pilgrim," "Time Was" and "F. The second part of "The Way of the World" begins, in fact, with some of Powell and Wisefield's most oblique harmony guitar lines, and is all the better for it.
There are even some hints of Gentle Giant in the instrumental passages, making at least some of No Smoke Without Fire Wishbone Ash's most progressive and, yes, British album in some years. That the majority of No Smoke Without Fire five of its eight tracks was written solely by Wisefield also defines the album's character.
Powell writes, at one point in the liners, about Wisefield never really "getting" the band's direction with Argus and, with the guitarist as the album's dominant writing force, it could not have been clearer. Still, plenty of tasteful guitar harmonies abound, as do some great guitar trade-offs, like Wisefield and Powell's work toward the end of "Anger in Harmony," driven by Wisefield's more countrified rhythm guitar and the only song co-written by Powell, Turner and Wisefield.
Turner contributes two fine tunes in the mid-tempo rocker, "Baby the Angels are Here," and ambling "Like a Child. And so, Just Testing was Wishbone Ash's most radio-ready record yet, with most songs in the three to-five-minute range barring the sole group compositional collaboration: The initially bluesy, acoustic guitar-driven "Master of Disguise," from Powell's pen, turns into something far greater as the song harkens back, despite its short length, to the band's past episodic writing.
Largely recorded at Surrey Sound Studios clearly a much better room than De Lane Lea and production credits shared by Turner, John Sherry and the rest of the band, it also possesses significantly more live energy I had suggested getting a huge photograph of the front row of an audience and placing it at the end of the room.
John [Sherry] brought her [Claire Hammill] along one day and she was in the control room hopping around, and immediately this huge grunt of sound started coming out of the guitarists [guffaws]. All of a sudden they were playing like they were at Madison Square Garden. So John brought her down again the following day, and the next day And so, with six studio albums released since Live Dates, it was time for a second live record, Live Dates Volume Two.
And for good reason. With a song list that largely covers the material from There's the Rub forward, it dovetails nicely with Live in Tokyo, originally released only in Japan until Enigmatic Records issued it elsewhere in Released inLive in Tokyo was recorded during the band's No Smoke Without Fire tour, though it only includes one song from that album, a slightly harder-edged version of its opening track, "You See Red," along with a version of "F.
A reading of "The Way of the World" also demonstrates that, stadium act Wishbone Ash may now have been, but its control over dynamics had, in fact, improved over time. An even grittier "Helpless" not only demonstrates the band's attention to dynamics, even with more aggressive songs, but that vocally, as is also true of Live in Tokyo, the group has, indeed, come a long way, with Turner sounding more committed and potent than on the corresponding studio versions, with the two-and three-part harmonies also as close to impeccable as the band ever was.
But, most importantly, whether it's on "The Way of the World," a slightly shorter version of "F. And if the group was heading in a different direction that would soon become clear, these two live sets with Live in Tokyo also including three bonus tracks that stretch it from forty minutes to nearly an hour are fine, well-recorded and remastered encapsulations of mid-to-late '70s Wishbone Ash.
Another Live Album, Another Departure Sadly, however, just as was the case with Live Dates, Live Dates Volume Two also announced another departure, this time an even more significant one than the not insignificant loss of Ted Turner in Equally documented was Martin Turner's view that he himself was quite capable of said task.
And so it came to pass that in two unmovable forces clashed, with regrettable consequences. That's when the shit hit the fan. Did Turner's role as Just Testing's primary producer have anything to do with it? Would cooler heads have prevailed, resulting in a different outcome had, as Wisefield suggests, everyone just taken a breath? We'll never really know. But as immediately identifiable a force as the singer, bassist and songwriter had increasingly become as the '70s progressed, Wetton's role on Number the Brave seems intentionally minimized.
Eight out of ten of the albums brief tracks most in the three-to-four minute range, with just one track barely cracking five were co-credited to Powell, Wisefield and Upton, with just one song, "That's That," contributed by the bassist.
The band also made a major mistake in including a cover of Smokey Robinson's hit, "Get Ready," a plodding version that does nothing but demonstrate just how far the group was prepared to go to accommodate MCA's demand for a more commercial approach. Had the band included Wetton's "Now or Never," written and sung by the bassist and included here as a bonus trackit might have made the album slightly less the failure it is. Wetton, after all, was, himself, looking for greater commercial success, which would come shortly with the AOR-oriented, mega-successful Asia.
It's not that Number the Braveis all bad; it's that the group's commercial aspirations and how many rock bands can not admit to having aspirations of commercial success, albeit usually on their own terms?
Sure, there's some great guitar work, in particular from Wisefield, who shines with some serious chicken-picking and slide guitar work on the opening "Loaded," while Powell positively soars on the power ballad "Underground.
Wishbone Ash: The Vintage Years -
And if recruiting Wetton as a bassist was a very good thing, his sound nowhere near the massive force of nature that it was with Crimson and U. But if he'd been led to believe he'd be the band's lead singer, circumstances proved otherwise, and so his one album with Wishbone Ash was not only a commercial failure, hitting only 61 in the UK and barely scraping into the US charts atbut an artistic failure as well.
It was the beginning, in fact, of a losing streak that the group would not find its way out of until its reunion with Copeland on his nascent I. Wishbone Ash's Dark Period: But, perhaps most importantly, the band changed gears once again, this time responding to two seemingly conflicting factors. Wishbone Ash had been touring, first as headliners with ZZ Top opening but, by the time of the '80s and ZZ Top's ascension to mega-stardom, flipping the script and finding themselves opening for the Texas trio.
These two factors resulted in one of Wishbone Ash's absolute heaviest and simplest albums. It's not that Twin Barrels Burningis intrinsically bad; none of he albums that Wishbone Ash released could be considered so, as no matter what the direction, they were generally well-crafted and well-played. Largely gone were the twin-guitar harmonies, replaced by crunchy power chords and, replacing their sweet tones, Powell and Wisefield leaned more towards the kind of heavily overdriven shredding guitar tone endemic of so many bands at the time.
So, not a bad album for those whose tastes lean towards the heavier, more metal side of hard rock, but an album that sounds almost entirely not like Wishbone Ash, with little in the way of extended songs and none of the episodic writing that defined even their less creatively successful albums of the past decade. The music wasn't much better. With Spence providing most of the lead vocals some from Powell, none from Wisefieldthis was another album of generic '80s hard rock with metal leanings that, once again, completely deserts Wishbone Ash's identity.
It's true that most successful bands are in a precarious "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation: Upton, a terrific drummer in his own space, was no Richie Hayward; Spence's Glenn Hughes-like wailing may have had range, but it had none of George's grit, grease and soul; and if Powell and, in this case Wisefield on slide guitar, were both undeniably accomplished, they didn't have the kind of feel required to take on a band with such a distinctive vibe as Little Feat.
There has to be something to delineate a band from the others around it and, just as with Twin Barrels Burning, Raw to the Bone has absolutely nothing to make it stand out. And with Spence's wailing vibrato virtually indistinguishable from the other heavy hair band singers of the time, when it comes to the history of Wishbone Ash, the less said about these two albums the better.
It was also the final straw for Wisefield, who says, in the liners, that he was: Which they sometimes did.
Wishbone Ash - Argus
The quartet opted to remain at De Lane Lea studios in Wembley [North West London], on the grounds that it had just been ffited with what was then a state-of-the-art track desk.
With their first two albums, Wishbone Ash adopted a democratic approach to making music. But blessed with three singers in the band, everybody except Upton got an opportunity at the microphone. The vibe within the band was beautiful, which is why everybody received equal writing credits — even Steve, who was busy doing a lot of the backroom stuff.
I burst into tears the first time I listened to it. The craft is visible on the rear of the original vinyl edition, but seemed to have been airbrushed out when Argus was reissued in But for all the effort that was expended upon the sleeve design, as with the first two records actual photographs of the musicians were conspicuous by their absence. Having seen what sometimes happened to those that sought the limelight they wanted private lives. Leaving Derek Lawrence and De Lane Lea Studios behind, they decamped to the Welsh countryside to write, something that was becoming de rigeur at the time, then self-produced the album.
However, Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden and various others went on to mine the Wishbone Ash twin-guitar sound, usually with far bigger sales. Until then, the Eagles had never done harmony guitar tracks. Our schedule was so demanding; we worked for three years without a break. But when the suffix started to be added, the situation got messy. From the outside, there would appear to be room for everyone. Besides the all-new studio output, a cottage industry of Ash catalogue has sprung up.
Though he was out of the band at the time, Martin Turner remastered the re-release of Argus, then exhumed various missing tracks from the 70s for the Lost Pearls album.