Wishbone Ash – “Phoenix” Track’s Video on “YouTube”
Category/Music Genres :
Classic Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Blues Rock, Heavy Progressive Rock, U.K. 1970s (Tracks)
Wishbone Ash (Torquay, Devon, U.K.)
Wishbone Ash Band’s photo, 1970
Related Artists :
Asia, Blast Room, Blue Meanies, Diamond Head, The Empty Vessels, Gringos Locos, Mistakes, Phenomena, Uriah Heep
“Phoenix” (written by Wishbone Ash) B2 track (closing track) included on the album “Wishbone Ash”
“Wishbone Ash” released on MCA Records ( MKPS 2014) on 4th December 1970 (recorded in September 1970, De Lane Lea Studios, London)
Wishbone Ash is the first studio album by Wishbone Ash. It peaked at No. 29 in the UK Albums Chart in January 1971.
Andy Powell – lead guitar, vocals
Ted Turner – lead guitar, vocals
Martin Turner – bass, vocals
Steve Upton – drums
Art Direction, Design – John C. LePrevost
Engineer – Martin Birch
Executive-Producer [Executive Production For The U.S.A.] – Don Shain
Photography By – Gene Brownell
Producer – Derek Lawrence
Written-By – Powell, Turner, Upton, Turner
Published By – Miles Music (2)
Recorded At – De Lane Lea Studios
Copyright (c) – MCA Records International
Licensed From – MCA Records International
Manufactured By – The Decca Record Company Limited
Printed By – Moore & Matthes Ltd.
This version comes in a gatefold sleeve and has pink and red labels.
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: 42:23
Bird rise high from the cinders
Leave it all far behind
All the ruins and the fire
Bird raise your head from the ashes
Many men lay dead
You can see them like I
Raise your head to the sky
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For a band that quickly evolved into a radio-friendly prog-leaning outfit, it’s a wonder that Wishbone Ashstarted out as the boogie and blues-based group that this debut reveals. If the term “jam band” existed in 1970, Wishbone Ash surely would have been a major player in that genre. As it was, this album stacked up nicely when compared with other British hard rock releases that year. Not as complex or calculated as Led Zeppelin’s Led Zeppelin III but definitely more focused than Mott the Hoople’s Mad Shadows, Wishbone Ash more closely resembled Benefit by Jethro Tull, a group that hadn’t yet adopted its own progressive elements. The dual lead guitar attack of Andy Powell and Ted Turner was a component that none of the above bands possessed, but unfortunately their (shared) lead vocals lacked the punch and authority necessary for hard rock bands to be taken seriously. So while they could rock as loudly and convincingly as virtually anyone, their lead singers, perhaps, held them back from being the force they should have been. The follow-up, Pilgrimage, took steps to rectify Wishbone Ash’s odd position, but this album nevertheless opened eyes and ears and revealed to the rock & roll community a band with incredible potential and talent.
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Founded in Torquay, UK in 1969 – Still active as of 2017
The history of WISHBONE ASH goes back to 1966, when drummer Steve Upton of the ‘Scimitars’ joined bassist Martin Turner and Martin’s brother Glen in the band ‘The Empty Vessels’. The trio named themselves ‘Tanglewood’ and moved to London. Glen Turner quit soon and was replaced by Ted Turner of Birmingham band ‘King Biscuit’. The line-up was finalised by guitarist Andy Powell (Ex-‘Sugarband’). The two guitarists developed a melodic twin guitar lead style that would become the trademark of ‘Wishbone Ash’.
In 1970 WISHBONE ASH released their self titled first record, establishing a mixture of Blues-Rock, Jazz and English Folk, that the band would elaborate on in their following records. The production work by Martin Birch was excellent and the record contains the masterpiece ‘Phoenix’, that would become a ‘Wishbone Ash’ live classic and give way to elaborate improvisations on stage. At the same time the band would start to use lyrics and imagery drawn from mythology and fantasy. like ‘The King will come’, ‘Throw down the sword’, ‘Persephone’ & ‘Argus’.
In 1971 ‘Wishbone Ash’ released ‘Pilgrimage’ and a year later ‘Argus’, both records bringing the WISHBONE ASH sound to perfection by introducing elaborate vocal arrangements and sophisticated instrumental passages. Both records are masterpieces. In 1973 the band released their fourth LP, ‘Wishbone Four’, and toured Europe, documented by their live release ‘Live Dates’ (1973) and followed by an extended America Tour. In 1974 Ted Turner left and was replaced by Laurie Wisefield (Ex-Home) who added steel guitar and banjo to the ‘Wishbone Ash’ sound on their 1974 release ‘There’s The Rub’. During the rest of the seventies the new line-up recorded a series of good but less interesting records.
In 1987 the original line-up re-united for a series of records, including the all instrumental ‘Nouveau Calls’ (1988), before going again though a series of line-up changes. At the end of the 90’s the band found a new stability with founding guitarist Andy Powell, bass player Bob Skeat and drummer Ray Weston, joined in 2004 by Finnish guitarist Muddy Manninen.
‘Pilgrimage’ and ‘Argus’ are highly recommended.
During the early and mid-’70s, Wishbone Ash were among England’s most popular hard rock acts. The group’s roots dated to the summer of 1966, when drummer Steve Upton formed a band called Empty Vessels with bassist/vocalist Martin Turner and guitarist Glen Turner. Empty Vessels soon changed their name to Tanglewood and moved to London; during a gig at the Country Club in Hampstead, they were seen by would-be rock manager Miles Copeland, who was impressed with the jazz and progressive rock influences within the band and offered to be their manager.
Glen Turner left the band at that point, and an advertisement for a guitarist resulted in the addition of both David Alan “Ted” Turner and Andy Powell, who provided the basis for the sound of the new lineup with intertwining riffs and phrases drawn from both soul and blues, coupled with Martin Turner’s melodic bass sound and Upton’s jazz-influenced drumming. A new name was called for, and after several suggestions by Copeland that proved unacceptable, “Wishbone Ash” was chosen from two lists of words. The group rehearsed for weeks at Copeland’s home, working out an entirely new repertoire, and played their first gig opening for the Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation. It wasn’t too long before they were opening for Deep Purple, where a soundcheck jam between Powell and Ritchie Blackmore led to a recording contract with the American Decca label.
Their self-titled first album appeared in 1970; Pilgrimage and Argus followed over the next two years, and each showed a major advance in the band’s sound. The release of 1973’s Wishbone Four reflected a greater maturity to the group, and was their first fully developed album, with songwriting that didn’t hide behind a progressive pose but luxuriated in the members’ folk music inclinations, without compromising the harder edge of their music. The album also saw the departure of Ted Turner, who was replaced by Laurie Wisefield.
Locked In and New England followed; Martin Turner departed after 1979’s Just Testing, to be replaced by ex-King Crimson bassist/singer John Wetton. Wishbone Ash soldiered on through the ’80s, and in 1986 even got back with Copeland, by then a major player in the recording industry by virtue of his management of the Police and his founding of I.R.S. Records. Wishbone Ash’s history came full circle with the reunion of Powell, Upton, Ted Turner, and Martin Turner, who recorded three albums for I.R.S. They remained a working band into the ’90s, led by Andy Powell and Ted Turner and touring and recording regularly, though Upton quit the band.
Martin Turner was replaced in 1993 after the band recorded The Ash Live in Chicago. He was replaced by returnee Andy Pyle, who remained only until 1994. Powell, the lone original member of the band, enlisted guitarist/songwriter Roger Filgate, bassist/vocalist Tony Kishman, and drummer Mike Sturgis for a European tour in 1995. When Kishman, weary from touring with Ash while working with other musicians in the United States, took a breather, Martin Turner finished the tour for him. Kishman returned to resume vocal duties on Wishbone Ash’s 1996 studio effort Illuminations. In the aftermath, everyone but Powell quit again. He utilized a revolving-door approach to musicians and took the unusual step — at the end of the first wave of rave culture — of releasing two electronic dance albums on Invisible Hands Music that grafted synthetic beats onto Wishbone Ash guitar riffs. Trance Visionary was first, spawning a four-mix 12″ that was a dancefloor smash and reached 38 on the U.K. dance chart, followed by the less successful yet critically acclaimed Psychic Terrorism.
In 2000, for the band’s 30th anniversary, the acoustic collection Bare Bones was issued just before they hit the road to celebrate. While the personnel continued to shift and change, it didn’t prevent Powell and company from recording Bona Fide, a back-to-basics studio date issued in 2002 before the band toured America with Savoy Brown. In 2004, Finnish guitarist Muddy Manninen joined the band, replacing guitarist Ben Granfelt who had been a member since 2001. In 2006, the band issued Clan Destiny before the departure of longtime drummer Ray Weston. He was replaced by Joe Crabtree, who made his recorded debut with the group on 2007’s Power of Eternity. Other than touring, the band was inactive until 2011 when they issued their 23rd album, Elegant Stealth, with the same lineup. Since 2004, Turner has taken to touring with a band called Martin Turner’s Wishbone Ash. Powell sued and won the sole right to the name in 2013. When the acclaimed Blue Horizon appeared in 2014, it marked the third straight studio recording to feature the same lineup — the longest-standing roster in Wishbone Ash’s history. Manninen left after the tour and was replaced by guitarist Mark Abrahams. In 2018, the band’s 12th album, Twin Barrels Burning, was remastered and reissued by Cherry Red.
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Wishbone Ash – “Wishbone Ash” Album’s cover photo (front)
Wishbone Ash – “Wishbone Ash” Album’s photo (A’ Side)
Wishbone Ash – “Wishbone Ash” Album’s photo (B’ Side)
Wishbone Ash – “Wishbone Ash” Album’s Artwork photo
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