Locked Out : A case of mistaken identity.
CU82 | Atlanta, GA | 01/27/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I recall being ecstatic back in 1976 when I found this new release in my local music store. But like so many other new releases by established artists at that time, this particular musical offering came across to me as being as a watered-down counterfeit of one of my all-time favorite groups. Where were the epic story songs and extended guitar jams? It had to be a case of mistaken identity.
Musical tastes were in transition in 1976. "Locked In" was a safe, respectable offering that was a product of the times. I quickly lost interest in "Locked In" and it soon disappeared from my collection. Fortunately, it never really disappeared from my musical conscience. Several tunes from "Locked In" remained in my memory banks over the years and I often found myself second guessing the decision to discard it. Thirty years later I decided to give it a second chance and I am glad that I did.
"Locked In" is actually a good album in spite of the circumstances it was recorded under. The universally appreciated "Rest In Peace" and the closing cut "Say Goodbye" stand alongside the best that WA has to offer. "She Was My Best Friend", "Half Past Lovin'", and "Trust In You" are all very solid efforts that I recall liking well enough the first time around but probably appreciate even more now than I did back in '76. The three remaining tunes: "No Water In The Well", "Moonshine", and "It Started In Heaven" are also good compositions but the vocals are ... different. As much as anything, those three cuts caused me to part company with my original copy of "Locked In". Strangely enough, those same three tunes haunted me over the years and were a major reason I gave "Locked In" another try.
I now recommend "Locked In" without reservation. It has a different feel to it that will probably grow on you if you don't dismiss it offhand. Keyboards and background singers are featured at times with mixed results and Andy Powell utilizes "the bag" (think Joe Walsh on "Rocky Mountain Way" or Peter Frampton on "Do You Feel Like We Do") on a couple of tunes taking Wishbone Ash into new territory that actually works quite well if you are willing to accept something different. When you stop to consider that Wishbone Ash didn't stay locked in to this formula long and released the stunning "New England" later that same year, "Locked In" becomes all the more interesting and essential.
Add it to your collection
RKL | Asheville, NC | 08/09/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This import cd on the Repertoire label(famous for their remastering talents)is well worth owning for the following tracks- Rest in peace, No water in the well, Moonshine and Trust in you. Despite what the other reviewers are saying, this is a good cd. Sure the other tracks fall flat, the band even admits this was not one of their better efforts- too dry a recording, wrong producer, female backing singers(groan)as well as some weak material. But I have it and I listen to it, what's that tell you? But of course I am also a big fan as well. Sound quality is good not great but as good as it will get without a high tech 2001 rebuild. This is the Mark 2 lineup with Laurie Wisefield."
Not their best, but very tasty in parts nonetheless
Patrick Gaudin | Lakeland, FL | 12/28/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Even the most ardent Wishbone Ash fan will admit that this effort was a bit uneven with the vocals and production, and possibly semi-weak songwriting.......BUT......there is some fantastic guitarwork on this album that is just downright brilliant. The first song, "Rest In Peace" is a masterpiece. Oddly, the very last song, "Say Goodbye" is extremely well done also. However, the middle of the album, although suffering from the above mentioned maladies, DOES deliver some frighteningly great solos and fills in just about every song. Yes, go ahead and skip over "She Was My Best Friend" altogether, and ignore the somewhat anemic vocals delivered by Wisefield on some others, while focusing on the brilliance in bits and pieces that The Ash always delivers no matter how dire the recording circumstances.
If I were a curious first-time Wishbone Ash CD buyer, I would not buy this one first. If you already have a few Ash albums under your belt and haven't heard this album, at least buy it for "Rest In Peace" and to laugh at the mischievious guitar solos delivered by Mr Powell and Mr Wisefield throughout the remainder of the album."