Hard rock that pleases me time and time again
B. E Jackson | Pennsylvania | 02/29/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The very first Wishbone Ash album is much different from Argus (their biggest-selling album to date). In the beginning stages the band probably wasn't sure what kind of rock music they wanted to create (or which style would make them a big success) so they focused on lengthy blues/hard rock jams for their very first record.
Upon hearing the first track I immediately recognized that sound and style... the very first song that appears on Nazareth's debut sounds a LOT like the song on this Wishbone Ash album- a short guitar riff, a piano solo, and a bluesy vocal melody. Do I like it? Yes! I think it's great in fact.
"Lady Whiskey" is where you'll *really* get to find out where Wishbone Ash is going with their style for the rest of the album- lengthy guitar playing inspired by the blues and Jimi Hendrix probably. In this case, the band was very good at jamming away and making it exciting, so most of the time it's quite melodic and pleasant. The drumming is pretty good as well, and the bass guitar is noticeable quite often. With a song like this, you might be reminded of Black Sabbath's debut.
Again, that's a good thing- because hard rock in the early 70's was experimental, creative, and just all-around GOOD stuff. Bands were free to develop their music anyway they wanted. Also, I could have sworn I heard some Judas Priest-like guitar playing in this particular song. Judas Priest must have been big fans. They would go on to release stuff like "Sad Wings of Destiny" that would make that guitar sound an influence on future generations of guitar players, but let's not forget Wishbone Ash did the same thing before they did.
"Errors of my Ways" shows signs of the Argus album with that vocal melody. It totally fits in with the style of the Argus album. Very pleasant vocals. I'd say it sounds like the song "Warrior" a little bit. "Queen of Tortune" has a speedy vocal melody obviously influenced by the blues, and would easily fit in with Uriah Heep's debut album.
"Handy" is over 11 minutes long, and most of the time is devoted to building up some emotional guitar playing. The jazzy style of singing doesn't even begin until the song is almost over. I'd say the vocals remind me of jazz mixed with blues. "Phoenix" is basically part two, and continues the same exact theme for over 10 minutes. I could have sworn I heard a sample of Deep Purple's "Child in Time" among all that guitar playing.
Overall, yes, hard rock perfection. Well, close to it anyway. While Wishbone Ash would go on to write better songs, their inspiration and influence on the debut is very interesting and worth owning. Melodic guitar soloing at its very best. If you like this album, I HIGHLY recommend you check out the UFO album called "UFO 2: Flying" released in the early 70's (a year after this album).
There's a reason everyone is giving this album a high rating- Wishbone Ash is a very talented, melodic, and exciting band. Even to this day I enjoy their new stuff. They seemed determined to make great music while making people happy at the same time, and you know, that's how it SHOULD be.
Sure, the sound of the album is raw and muddy, which is totally different from the light and fluffy production of Argus. But if you like Deep Purple (particularly a song such as "Black Night") I think you'll like this album a lot."
Wow! A Stunning album
Roger Berlind | NY, USA | 06/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I recently got this album along with several other debut albums from the period including those from Uriah Heep, King Crimson, and Captain Beyond. I was extremely impressed by this album. It is simply stunning! (I was also very impressed by the first Captain Beyond album.)
Josh H. provided an excellent analysis of the tunes, so I won't describe them. I was glad that Josh pointed out the lovely bass playing of Martin Turner at the beginning of "Handy". While he is over-shadowed by the guitarists, Steve Upton gives excellent support on drums. The only thing I would add is that the harmonized singing on "Errors of My Way" are equal to anything done by Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young.
This is a fantastic rock album. I eagerly look forward to getting more albums from Wishbone Ash."