Tag Archives: Wishbone Ash

Two Wishbone Ash Album Sets Remastered and Expanded For 2018

Wishbone Ash had enjoyed a strong UK following all the way through their Twin Barrels Burning album, which was issued in 1982. It was followed up by 1985’s  Raw To The Bone. Both albums were released on independent labels as MCA had finished with the band after their Number The Brave album from 1981. For many, the band was still hitting on all cylinders even though they had adopted a familiar and saving ’80s metal sound to stay relevant for Raw To The Bone. Twin Barrels Burning still carried the evolved sounds from Number The Brave and is more reminiscent of the earlier band than Raw To The Bone is. Regardless, Wishbone Ash, admirably helmed by Andy Powell, eventually struggled to maintain an existence with multiple lineups that included the original four for IRS Records (Nouveau Calls – 1987, Hear To Hear – 1989).

Twin Barrels Burning, and Raw To The Bone both disappeared to relative obscurity, forgotten to time, if not for devoted fans, then to the changing times.

On the 19th of December, PledgeMusic will release in limited numbers both classic Wishbone Ash albums in newly remastered and amply expanded editions. After this, Cherry Red Records will be releasing these to the marketplace on wider release, planned for February 2 of 2018. All issues are from the UK and will need importation to the US.

Twin Barrels Burning will be issued in a 2CD package. Not only is the original music remastered, there will be inclusion of three sessions outtakes (“Cat And Dog Fight”, “Go For The Gold”, “Night Hawker”), and the desired American remixes of the original UK album in re-sequenced manner.

Raw To The Bone will also be issued in a 2CD package. The original CD will include the original ten-track album, with the add of five bonus tracks, one from the original 1985 sessions (“She’s Still Alive”), and four from a subsequent 1986 recording session (“Apocalypso”, “Valley of Tears”, “Nkomo”, “Talk To Me”). The added CD will include eight live performance tracks, four from The Friday Rock Show (“Long Live The Night”, “Cell of Fame”, “Love In Blue”, “People In Motion”), and four Live At Hammersmith broadcast from BBC radio (“Living Proof”, “Cell of Fame”, “The King Will Come”, “Blowin’ Free”).

Both titles will also be made available on picture disc vinyl, and two 2CD set bundles via Pledge Music (here).

30CD Wishbone Ash Box, The Vintage Years 1970-1991 Planned For 2018

Earlier this year, it was announced that Wishbone Ash has a massive Box set arriving “at some distant point”. Well, although that point is still not precisely known, we have been given the satisfactory ‘April of 2018’ date. And that works well enough for me.

The newly assembled box has a wealth of music from the band during their first sixteen albums including a lot of live music. As a fan of Live Dates, I have extreme hope that many of the unused songs collected from the shows will find themselves here. (I STILL advocate for the assembly and reissue of an EXPANDED and REMASTERED Live Dates album with ALL songs from ALL four shows, plus a rich booklet of bonuses, remembrances and memorabilia. It’s a project I’d crowdfund!)

The new Box – being released by Madfish (a division of Snapper Music) –  will be called The Vintage Years 1970-1991. It will house 30 CDs of classic Wishbone Ash including sixteen studio efforts through (I assume) Strange Affair, three live albums (both Live Dates and Live Dates II, and perhaps Live in Memphis), and 11 (!) CDs of previously unreleased live sets dating from 1973 through 1980. Also included will be a hard-bound 154 page book, a poster book, four reproduction posters, a “facsimilie MCA debut album promo pack”, a Japanese replica 7″ flexidisc, and signed photos of each band member. The BAD news is that there will ONLY be 2500 copies available for purchase worldwide.

According to Martin Turner, the pricing is yet to be announced, but the set will be available for pre-order on November 30 (2017). It won’t be cheap but then again, what definitive Boxed set is. It depends on your love for the band. For me, this is a must have. Unfortunately, there is also not an available track list of the bonus inclusions and the live sets. I assume these will materialize on November 30 along with the order link.



Martin Turner’s Argus Through The Looking Glass To Be Reissued With Bonus Tracks

Wishbone Ash has had a pretty amazing lifespan, with the usual courses of direction changes, flirtation with superstardom, line-up changes and re-visitations, and new directions after finalized breakups. Andy Powell has maintained the continuing saga of Wishbone Ash with a good series of excellent albums. On the other hand, Martin Turner has stayed with the music of Wishbone Ash from its past. He has released an excellent album of new music with his recent, Written In The Stars album. But it is the legacy of Wishbone Ash that Martin Turner is most interested in.

On November 3, Cherry Red Records (as The Right Honourable Recording Company) will reissue a complete re-record of the classic Wishbone Ash album, Argus. And while nothing will replace the great playing on the original, sometimes a re-record provides a great new perspective on aged music. That’s what Martin Turner’s upcoming Argus Through The Looking Glass hopes to attain.

Argus Through The Looking Glass will offer all of the classic songs on Argus as a fresh set with the current Turner band. In addition, there is some involvement with John Wetton (harmony vocals), and Geoff Downes (Hammond organ) as  guests appearances.  To further add nice touches, the new studio set will deliver four bonus cuts that include an alternate mix (recent)of “Throw Down The Sword”, and three live performance tracks from the 2008 Cambridge Rock Festival (“Throw Down The Sword”, “Time Was”, “Sometime World”).

Argus Through The Looking Glass was originally released in 2008, and re-released in 2010. The new Cherry Red reissue gets a brilliant new cover as an extra bonus.


New Snakecharmer Album, Second Skin, Planned For May

Snakecharmer is a current supergroup of recognizable names from bands that were ascendant during the Golden years of Rock. Those include Micky Moody, and Neil Murray (bass), both from Whitesnake and the David Coverdale band (with Murray having logged time with Black Sabbath). There’s also Harry James (drums) from Magnum, and Thunder, Adam Wakeman (keyboards), who played with Ozzy Osbourne, Chris Ousey (vocals), previously with Heartland, and Laurie Wisefield, who played guitar for Home, and Wishbone Ash. Micky Moody is no longer with the band was replaced Simon McBride (guitar).

Their first release was their self-titled set, originally issued in 2013. The music is easily reminiscent of the early periods that these musicians played in so there’s a bonus for the older audiences looking for some authenticity. Snakecharmer earned a strong showing in the charts and in the live settings that they’ve played in. They have a strong Foreigner sound. Laurie Wisefield has also introduced his twin lead guitars effect learned from his years with Wishbone Ash to great effect.

On May 12, Frontiers Music will release the band’s second album, Second Skin. The new album contains eleven new tracks. Snakecharmer will be supporting the new album with a series of live shows in the UK beginning in May. Some shows are already near sell-out.


In Memoriam: John Wetton

Recently, we had another musical classic performer pass from us. While I hate being morbid, I believe 2016 has really opened the gates of mortality for those of us who have walked along the fence. We remember the bands and performers in our youth that gave us something special to hold on to. People that we’ll never, ever forget. One of those legends was John Wetton.

John Wetton has been in several bands. He began his journey with Mogul Thrash, a band that admittedly I still know nothing about. From there, he moved on to Family, King Crimson, a touring Roxy Music, Renaissance, Uriah Heep, Wishbone Ash, UK, and Asia. His contributions to all of these bands are unforgettable. And for his stretch across the borders of Progressive Rock, we the fans have been the lucky ones.

But, as time will have it, John Wetton went from life as we know it to a massive band gathering. He passed on January 31.

Let’s remember the great music he left behind.

John Wetton

(With few exceptions, I will cease to write or post In Memoriam columns. I choose to be ignorant and feel as if they’re sill here. Without columns such as these, it can feel just a bit better. To me, anyway. I did not forget Butch Trucks, either! May he Rest In Peace, also!)

For K Kline, M Nichols, both who inspired this writing.


Steven Wilson Remix Updates (Yes, Jethro Tull, Roxy Music, Tears For Fears, XTC)

Yes Tales From Topographic OceansThere has been a slight date change for the upcoming Steven Wilson remix of YESTales From Topographic Oceans that was originally scheduled for September 26. The new date is now October 6. If you were anxiously awaiting this bliss, you’ll have to wait a week longer. His other project works in release planning are King Crimson 40th Anniversary of the Adrian Belew-era titles (Discipline, Beat, Three Of A Perfect Pair) are still scheduled for October 20, XTC‘s Skylarking, which is on the calendar for October 13, and the upcoming Jethro Tull remix of Stand Up, planned for November 18.

Of interest are the finished but unreleased remixes of the Roxy Music debut, and Tears For FearsSeeds Of Love. It’s crazy that the Roxy Music debut has been finished since 2012!

Of even more interest is the discovery of another set of XTC tapes from the Virgin era. Speculation of which title it is is anyone’s game.

Steven Wilson has also stated in a post that he intends to continue work on he extensive Jethro Tull library, and mentioned This Was, Songs From The Wood, Heavy Horses, and Stormwatch in particular. ‘he also states that he’s not interested in ’80s Tull output so it looks like Stormwatch may be the end.

Finally, he obviously is very interested in doing up Kate Bush titles. Keep your fingers crossed.

Personally, I DARE him to consider (then do) Wishbone Ash‘s Argus. OF course, I’d like to see others but if anyone of these might get his attention, it will be Argus.


32CD Career Wishbone Ash Box Coming

If you are a dedicated fan of Wishbone Ash, then the following news will put you in a tizzy. It;s not new news, but new enough that some of you are unaware as of yet. Worse, the pertinent details are missing. It may even be until some later point in 2017 before we’re comprised of the fullness of the box. BUT…

Possibly in September of 2017, Snapper Records will release a new remastered 32CD Box called Wishbone Ash – The Vintage Years (I’m hoping for a better title than that!). It is being said that “ancient 24-track masters” have been located (Wishbone Four? There’s The Rub?), which gives me massive hope for a proper remaster of Wishbone Four (if that is what is meant).The box will deal exclusively with Wishbone Ash music from 1969 to 1990.

In addition to the massive serving of WA music, there will be a coffee-table book with “photos, artifacts, and historical material” included!

That’s all of the news available on this set for now. But rest assured, I WILL update as new information becomes available. I already have emails out the door to those that can help.

This is the BEST news I’ve heard all of 2016! (Thanks to Steve Talia, and to John Fell for the heads up!)

Wishbone Ash

Review: Culture Factory Reissues Of Wishbone Four and Argus

Wishbone Ash Wishbone Four CFSadly, the original tapes of Wishbone Four, the fourth studio set by Wishbone Ash, have been lost (or so I’ve been told). With a murky production, the album could have been better presented. Nevertheless, when Wishbone Four was released in 1973  and since then, it has seen more than a fair share of maligning reviews that have sought to demean the set. But if you were to ask me and other fans f the band, you’d be surprised to discover that Wishbone Four has its plane of supporting fans, of which I’m proudly one.

Having to follow in the footsteps of the defining Argus album, the band opted to go into another direction. In that forward step, they intended to create a series of Rock songs that could stand on their own. The hope was that those songs could identify the band in a stronger Rock manner rather than immerse them into the realm of Prog, which Argus had done. And that’s not belittling Argus, which is a great album on its own. But so is Wishbone Four.

Recently, Culture Factory has reissued several Wishbone Ash classics in their usual style. All reissues are mini-LP fashioned with CDs that replicate the vinyl appearance of an LP (with faux grooves, original label appearance, and black coating). The allure is the remastering at “High Definition – 96KHz/24-bit”. And although I’m told that the Wishbone Four tapes are lost, the attempt to revitalize the sound of the original album is an admirable one. If the label succeeded in a superior sound is largely up to the listener with whatever level of equipment it’s played back on. For me, the sound is acceptable and produces an easily enjoyable experience.

The Culture Factory edition of Wishbone Four is a delightful visual experience with its LP appearance, all the way done to the sleeve art, with lyrics provided and the poster art on one side. The music experience puts me in a good mood.

Their reissue of Argus is also a fun experience. The 2CD set really increases the experience with the add of a second CD that supplies eight live BBC Sessions tracks from 1972. Those tracks include: “Time Was”, “Blowin’ Free”, “Warrior”, “Throw Down The Sword”, “The King Will Come”, “Phoenix”, and two BBC repeats of “Blowin’ Free”, and “Throw Down The Sword”. This set replicates the Universal Deluxe Edition. If you don’t have that, then this is a good pick-up.

Wishbone Ash Argus CF


Martin Turner Repackages The Life Begins Tour As All-Inclusive 2CD/DVD Set

Martin Turner Life Begins Tour 2CDDVDDespite the unsettled differences between the Andy Powell and Martin Turner,  (note: I love both musicians and their current directions), both make a solid stand to be where they are. Wishbone Ash, led by Andy Powell, continues a forward evolution of the band, while Martin Turner does a nostalgia-based celebration of the music of Wishbone Ash past. Neither should be vilified for their directions. The remaining members are content to be on the outside enjoying well-deserved retirements (in the cases of Ted Turner, and Steve Upton), or continuing on as a musical contributor (as with Laurie Wisefield). And now that that’s out of the way, I have this piece of music news related to the music of Wishbone Ash past.

In 2010, Martin Turner celebrated the 40th Anniversary of Wishbone Ash by doing an extended tour of nostalgia with the entirety of Argus being played, as well as a generous helping of classic Wishbone Ash songs. Martin Turner allowed the release of their March 13, 2010 show at the Y Theatre in Leicester, England. The concert was filmed in its entirety for the DVD, which released in 2011. The CDs and the DVD have since sold at shows primarily.

On April 8, the 2CDs and DVD of The Life Begins Tour will be repackaged as a combined set for the first time. The package will give fans a chance to hear and to see the 2010 show in its entirety. Fans of Martin Turner will feel a wave of nostalgia as his band runs through familiar classics (see track list below).

(Note: I am a non-combative fan of Wishbone Ash who rightly sees the situation as it should be viewed. Andy Powell has kept Wishbone Ash going throughout these many decades with new music. That is rightfully his right. Martin Turner, until recently, has performed from a nostalgic angle. I LOVE both of these guys and the creativity they have provided collectively to fans in the past. I continue to enjoy what BOTH do without ill will to either party. I RESPECT what both do and the directions they travel.)



DVD (NTSC – Region 0)


2CD Deluxe Edition Of Argus by Wishbone Ash Planned For July (UK Report)

Argus 2CD Wishbone AshMany of you who know me, know that I’m a fan of Wishbone Ash. While I have a tendency to favor Wishbone Four (1973) – which was their highest-charting US album – , I do have great love for Argus (1972). So, you might ask? Well, it appears that the UK market will be reissuing Argus in a 2CD Deluxe Edition (why not 180g vinyl LP?) with bonus tracks (see track-list below).

The releasing company is Culture Factory, which is touting a 96k/24-bit remaster.  I believe the last time it was remastered was for the SHM-SACD (which I was unimpressed with), and before that, the Martin Turner remaster from 2002.

On July 27, Argus Deluxe Edition will be released in the UK. One of the bonus tracks is the single edit of “No Easy Road”, which is from Wishbone Four (so what’s it doing here, or all of the other editions?). Also, the famed Live In Memphis promo only set is halfway represented here with “The Pilgrim”, and “Phoenix”. The bonus CD adds in eight BBC In Concert session tracks.

Wishbone Ash Argus CD Shot

Just give me a remastered Argus 180g vinyl LP. I’ll be quite happy for it.

01. Time Was
02. Sometime World
03. Blowin’ Free
04. The King Will Come
05. Leaf and Stream
06. Warrior
07. Throw Down The Sword
08. No Easy Road (Bonus Track)
09. The Pilgrim – Live (Bonus Track)
10. Phoenix – Live (Bonus Track)

01. Time Was (1972 BBC in Concert Session)
02. Blowin’ Free (1972 BBC in Concert Session)
03. Warrior (1972 BBC in Concert Session)
04. Throw Down The Sword (1972 BBC In Concert Session)
05. The King Will Come (1972 BBC in Concert Session)
06. Phoenix (1972 BBC in Concert Session)
07. Blowin’ Free (1972 BBC Session)
08. Throw Down The Sword (1972 BBC Session)