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Wishbone Ash

During the early- and mid-'70s, Wishbone Ash were among England's most popular hard rock acts. The group's roots dated to the summer of 1966, when drummer Steve Upton formed a band called Empty Vessels with bassist/vocalist Martin Turner and guitarist Glen Turner. Empty Vessels soon changed their name to Tanglewood and moved to London; during a gig at the Country Club in Hampstead, they were seen by would-be rock manager Miles Copeland, who was impressed with the jazz and progressive rock influences within the band and offered to be their manager.

Glen Turner left the band at that point, and an advertisement for a guitarist resulted in the addition of both David Alan "Ted" Turner and Andy Powell, who provided the basis for the sound of the new lineup with intertwining riffs and phrases drawn from both soul and blues, coupled with Martin Turner's melodic bass sound and Upton's jazz-influenced drumming. A new name was called for, and after several suggestions by Copeland that proved unacceptable, "Wishbone Ash" was chosen from two lists of words. The group rehearsed for weeks at Copeland's home, working out an entirely new repertoire, and played their first gig opening for the Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation. It wasn't too long before they were opening for Deep Purple, where a sound check jam between Powell and Ritchie Blackmore led to a recording contract with the American Decca label.

Their self-titled first album appeared in 1970; Pilgrimage and Argus followed over the next two years, and each showed a major advance in the band's sound. The release of 1973's Wishbone Four reflected a greater maturity to the group, and was their first fully developed album, with songwriting that didn't hide behind a progressive pose but luxuriated in the members' folk music inclinations, without compromising the harder edge of their music. The album also saw the departure of Ted Turner, who was replaced by Laurie Wisefield.

Locked In and New England followed; Martin Turner departed after 1979's Just Testing, to be replaced by ex-King Crimson bassist/singer John Wetton. Wishbone Ash soldiered on through the 1980s, and in 1986 even got back with Copeland, by now a major player in the recording industry by virtue of his management of the Police and his founding of I.R.S. Records. Wishbone Ash's history came full circle with the reunion of Powell, Upton, Ted Turner, and Martin Turner, and the recording of three albums for I.R.S.. They remained a working band into the 1990s, led by Andy Powell and Ted Turner and touring and recording regularly. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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Throw Down Thé Sword Argos Rocks
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swordsinghaw k
this is a band that was done a huge disservice by the general public's short attention span. After all, if you're gonna have a hit, you gotta make it fit, so they cut it down to 3:05.
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Dual guitars, some great songs, lyrics and passages, enjoyed them in the 70's 9 (saw them live twice) and still enjoy them today!
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carl_herling
Hey Pandora! No "There's The Rub" ?!?!?
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Twin guitar Pilgrim really rocks wishbone HOF
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This band is awesome great guitar sound solid bass and drums Argos
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Check out latest release Blue Horizon. Great!
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The most underrated rock band of all time so many great albums this why I never listen to classic rock radio anymore besides W A so many other bands like them u never hear trapeze Mott the Hopple etc . rock on W A
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Original Band-very undererated- great in concert- King Will Come/ Throw down the Sword/ Blowin; Free/ Nothing like it- A Favorite!!
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Saw them in Fayetteville , Arkansas, in 1972 and became an instant fan!
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Throw down the sword
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Still sounds great to me 99 wtf.
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xhidden99
British blues rock has NOT aged well
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Remember seeing them with the Andy - Laurie twin guitar and Trevor on Bass! What a line up. Was top notch. Love me some Ash!!!
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Yea you got that right love this song
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Still sending chills on the road now catch it.
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Great band. Great guitar sound! The King Will Come !!!
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Please do not ever compare Ash to the Grateful Dead, Turner and Powell are great-great guitarist, Liked Jerry as Guitar player but he could never play what these 2 did...saw Ash with Steppenwolf Wildwood Convention Hall in '72' seen lots of great live bands in my day, Zepplin, Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Tull etc...none, I mean none were better....gr e a t guitar work to learn by
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Am I the only guy who remembers Blowin' Free/Blowin' in the Wind, ???? Thanks to Peggy for turning me on to WA 40 years ago. Still listening to them.
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Saw them in Kentucky et freedom hall ,Ithink or was it the moody Blues,(storm e d dorman.(back in 72-73
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73' I think
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what about their Live in Memphis at Ardent Studios on FM 100. just freekin awesome especially Jailbait. peace, scrap
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carl_herling
No "there's the rub" ??? Come on pandora!
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Wish I had seen them n the 70's right after they cut Argos n 72 one of the best lp of that time such wonderful guitar work still rocking
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moyerwj62
Do not see their like today. Damn shame. Youngster's, listen and learn
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joewillingha m 3
Saw there first concert in 1969. Opened for the guess who at the state fair music hall in dallas. The next day I bought my first album, wishbone ash.
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saw them in Germany 1976 at a festival ike and tina turner where there also ,great band
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indysaint
Live Dates is the best Rock Album ever.
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Growin up in the 70's had a great rock radio stn. but they never played Wishbone Ash. Hearing it for first time 40 years later I feel cheated yet happy to find something classic thats fresh and new to me....Its like some kind of missing link
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shantteyman
C'mon, Pandora ; get the first LIVE DATES album up; some of their best work !
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carl.shaw15
Saw WA in the Baltimore area in mid-late 1970s and our band immediately started covering them and reveling in the harmonies. Much better live than studio!!
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There midnighters
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Hey if WA is playing in your area, go see them. Great show.
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Such an under rated group in the US. Personally I believe the best lead phrasing and integration of any band.
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george46074
These guys influenced many , the 70's was great !
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And i thought i was the only fan, rock on my brothers and sisters
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I know this band since 1972 and I've all Albums of them! Very great music
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No this is great music that holds up.
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This is painful!
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They have a new album out that's Killer hope they add it to the Discography. Attend Ashfest, best time of my life.
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How come no one talks about Distillation ? That 97 compilation on 4 discs just about defines their career. Disc 3 has Witness to Wonder Why Don't We and Standing in the Rain Just outstanding work. Agree with the live music. Saw the Argus tour, Powell and Turner were terrific.
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What's up with the Twin Barrels Burning 1982 Disc?
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one of the loudest best vocals and the double lead guitar....gr e a t music in early 70s....bough t their albums and seen them at Grande and Eastown in the Motorcity of Detroit everytime they came....
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love this band, first heard them in 72 and have seen them so many times i`ve lost count. there isn`t a day that i don`t listen to at least one song by them....glad andy has kept it going and martin has it too...
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Saw WA last two summers and these guys ROCK ON. If you get a chance, GO see them!
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mziemba12
I remember first hearing WA on an AM radio station in Laurel, MD in the early 1970's. I believe it was The King Will Come. I had never heard anything like that before - it set an interesting mood. I immediately went to the local record shop and mistakenly purchased Pilgrimage. Finances being what they were, it took me a while before I bought Argus. I had started playing guitar a couple of years earlier and these albums really helped me develope my playing. I learned every part of every son
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sixxtring
I saw these guys back in like 73 in a collage gym. Argus just came out and was rated best in England. They been my favorite band ever since. I saw them a few times after that also.
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I agree. Wish I had been able to see them live back then.
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cowniew
Sorry, I meant to say a much better live band than studio band. Many bands are great both live and in studio. Wishbone Ash is just a bit different.
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cowniew
After rereading all the great comments about Wishbone Ash and having seen them live in the early 70s I can understand the frustration about Live Dates not being listed in the discography because as much as their studio work is so good they have the curious distinction of being a much better live band than many other bands. Many would say this about almost all bands but it's a huge difference with them.
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