‘SOMETIME WORLD – An MCA Travelogue’
***40TH ANNIVERSARY 2-DISC, 26 TRACK ‘BEST OF’ COLLECTION SPANNING THE MCA YEARS FROM 1970 -1981, RELEASED MAY 31ST ON UNIVERSAL***
Fascinating fans now for exactly four decades and yielding a vast catalogue of studio albums along with a dozen-odd live releases, Wishbone Ash may have had their share of line-up changes (a fact synonymous with most band’s with a similar longevity), but throughout all their incarnations, one facet has remained constant – the creation of exciting, challenging and evocative rock music.
Wishbone Ash formed late in 1969 when bassist Martin Turner and drummer friend Steve Upton re-located to London from their native Devon, and, after a well-placed advert in Melody Maker, attracted not one, but two very talented guitarists, Andy Powell and the youngest member, Ted Turner, to the line-up.
With Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Genesis and Yes all favouring single-guitar line-ups, the Powell-Turner axis was a unique development, and one that would eventually rub off on a whole host of other artists, including Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and many more.
Under the management of precocious American go-getter Miles Copeland, (who later emerged as the brains behind his brother Stuart’s band The Police), a worldwide record deal was inked with MCA in 1970, after none other than Ritchie Blackmore recommended them to producer-cum-A&R man Derek Lawrence.
What followed was a series of stunning albums chock-full of unforgettable songs all characterised by the band’s instinctive ability to intertwine harmonic guitar parts with a wash of harmony vocals.
‘Sometime World – An MCA Travelogue’ is a 26 track collection that focuses on the years Wishbone Ash spent living beneath the roof of MCA Records; from 1970’s self-titled debut, to ‘Number The Brave’ in 1981 - these recordings are the building blocks upon which the group’s golden era soundly rests and are considered cornerstones to the wider rock genre in general.
The breakthrough album, ‘Argus’ released in 1972, remains a shining beacon in their extensive catalogue and the likes of ‘Blowin’ Free’, ‘The Warrior’, ‘Sometime World’ and ‘Throw Down The Sword’ are naturally present and represent the band’s unique ability to capture the ‘lightning in the bottle’ that power the original members on-stage to this day.
With the seemingly devastating departure of Ted Turner following their fourth album, Wishbone Ash continued to endure and with the addition of ex - Home guitarist Laurie Wisefield on-board, a more lineal musical approach was enjoyed, and tracks such as ‘Goodbye Baby Hello Friend’ and ‘You See Red’ on Disc Two showcases Wisefield’s song-writing ability with aplomb.
Today, the Wishbone Ash legacy is up-held by the talents of two, albeit separately operating, original members. Andy Powell continues to push the boundaries with new and individual album releases which explore his personal muse whilst remaining essentially, Wishbone Ash, whilst Martin Turner’s Wishbone Ash curates the extensive Wishbone Ash heritage upon which he was an integral writer and performer.
Compiled and produced with assistance and/or approval from all the key band members, ‘Sometime World: An MCA Travelogue’ purports to leave no port left unchecked as it chronologically glides through the gems of the Ash canon with tracks representing all those classic MCA studio releases.
Travellin’ man – Roland Hyams on 020 8677 8466
April 7th 2010.