Nasty dueling twin guitar rockers with a buttery bluesy core
rsub8a | Philadelphia area | 01/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There's enough happening here to satisfy just about any rock aficionado... and audiophile! A well-recorded album, with plenty of ambience and wide-open space in the mix - that's but one of its many strong points; which, even, incredibly, survive those lossy compressed transcriptions. Listen on, you mellomanes... and now let's get on with the incredible songwriting and playing.
The album shifts gears to and from rocker to atmospheric ballad many times. And does it perfectly. And every song has gold nuggets to be mined within.
One unforgettable moment is the segue from "(In All Of My Dreams) You Rescue Me" to "Runaway." Listening at a respectably loud volume level, if anything ever made someone jump... lulled by ambient chirping crickets; then suddenly SLAMMED with the opening chords of Runaway! WOW! The sonic equivalent of the horror movie "cheap scare" - when the monster pops from the bushes. On vinyl, a careful listener hears a faint "bump" an instant before the onslaught... and even that's not enough preparation; even when you know what's coming, still not quite ready for it.
The songwriting is mostly haunting, mostly making you question: are these really Brits, rocking away in a "Southern" tradition? Can it be?
"Blue" overtones pervade the writing. The album ends with the eerie "candlelight," a solo electric guitar moaning to the moon; the perfect dessert after this musical feast.
I've listened to this album, in its entirety, easily over a hundred times. Probably more than any other. (The band, "Ash" with the album `77' might have been obliquely inspired by this, but not sure.) It is a standout, and remains a treasured part of my music collection. It should be part of yours."
As a diehard Mark I fan......
Martin W Smith | Pearl, MS United States | 05/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was a diehard Mark I fan, totally inflexible when it came to my Wishbone Ash....i loved all 3 albums....tolerated Wishbone IV....i saw them twice, in 1972 and 1973, both times at The warehouse in New Orleans...what SHOWS !!!! Magical Music at its best....but...when Ted turner quit, so did I...i never even bought or listened to ANY of the Mark II with laurie...which , as it turns out ,was my loss....
HOWEVER, last year,I went to see the new lineup in Memphis, with the wonderfully laidback yet soulful Muddy from Finland on guitar with andy, and i SWEAR they were better than in 1972. SO , I ve been scarfing up everything Ash i could, to make up for lost time....I've found a BUNCH of gems, and New England is the crown jewel.This is ALMOST, and maybe, AS GOOD as Argus. Sacrilege, you may say???? I say, buy it and see. Hats off to Andy Powell for keeping the fire burning after all these years, never stagnating, or getting stale."