Andy Powell - guitar, vocals; Martin Turner - bass, vocals; Steve Upton - drums; Ted Turner - guitar, vocals; Peter Haycock - guest guitarist, track 10; Colin Cooper - guest saxophonist, track 10
Recorded while the band was promoting its first album of live material (Live Dates), this recording captures the dual guitar rock quartet at its rockin' best, when the band was full of fire. It would be the last tour with the original lineup, as second guitarist Ted Turner would leave at the conclusion of the tour. It is anyone's guess if the band would have eventually broken through to be a legendary Brit band had this version stayed together.
Featured here are songs from the first three albums and a couple of remakes, including "Vas Dis," "Sometime World," "Warrior," "Rock 'n Roll Widow," and "Time Was." There are two highlights in particular, "Pilgrim" and "Phoenix," both of which showcase the band with its progressive edge.
Wishbone Ash began as a blues-based guitar band and eventually became a progressive rock force with a dual guitar format. They formed in the late 1960s with guitarist Andy Powell, bassist Martin Turner, second guitarist Ted Turner, and drummer Steve Upton. They were quickly scooped up by rock manager Miles Copeland, years before he would spearhead the careers of Sting, his brother Stuart Copeland, and Andy Summers as the Police. Copeland got them an opening slot with Deep Purple, and one day when guitarist Andy Powell was jamming with Purple's Ritchie Blackmore at a sound check, they were offered a record deal with Decca Records in the U.K.
The group released four studio albums in four years, growing in popularity with each record. They were faves of the British press, and in many ways offered as a sort of U.K. counterpart to what the Allman Brothers Band were doing with dual guitars in the United States. After the tour for Wishbone 4 in 1974, Ted Turner left the band and was replaced by Laurie Wisefield, who remained with Wishbone Ash through the late 1980s. Bassist and founder Martin Turner would also leave for a time and was replaced by former King Crimson and future Asia bassist John Wetton.
Wishbone Ash has essentially remained a cult favorite, never really achieving widespread commercial success. The original lineup did reunite for one LP and tour in 1992, and today Powell lives in Connecticut and Turner remains in the U.K. There have been two different versions of Wishbone Ash touring since the mid-1990s, with both musicians fighting over the right to the name.