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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Wishbone Ash

The Best Of Wishbone Ash

Review by Gary Hill

This compilation chronicles the career of Wishbone Ash. The band has really touched on many styles. Always guitar dominated, the Ash have presented their own version of progressive rock, perhaps a bit sparse at times, but certainly prog. The material presented here runs the gamut of Flashish prog to psychedelia rather in a Grateful Dead mode to metallic tones. The disc certainly presents a solid cross section of the band`s long career.

Musicians on this album are Ted Turner, Andy Powell, Martin Turner, Steve Upton, Laurie Wisefield, and Roger Filgate.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2001 Year Book Volume 1 at  garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2001-and-2002.

Track by Track Review
Blind Eye
A blues-based rock jam in a `60`s mode, this is much in the vein of The Grateful Dead, H.P. Lovecraft, Love and other such bands.
Phoenix
Again in the mode of `60`s psychedelic rock, Phoenix is an emotional piece with solid elements of such progressive bands as Nektar. The piece also contains very definite Flash leanings. The number covers a lot of musical ground in a loose (somewhat stripped down) prog fashion.
The Pilgrim
Starting in a slow prog groove, the piece eventually breaks loose into a fast-paced, guitar-oriented progressive rock instrumental. The song really moves and calls to mind early Steve Howe era Yes. After a time, the tempo slows to a very quirky jam somewhat reminiscent of very early Hawkwind.
Lorelei (Live)
Coming across as progressive rock meets The Grateful Dead and Santana. This is an intriguing piece featuring some solid guitar soloing. As time goes on, the track breaks into a nice instrumental jam.

Sometime World
This is another piece with solid `60`s rock influences somewhat in the vein of The Grateful Dead and others. A jam, much in the style of Flash, eventually breaks out. This is a strong progressive piece, once it falls into that mode.
Warrior
Featuring bare-bones prog elements, this is a solid rocker and a strong tune.
Throw Down the Sword
Throw Down the Sword is folk oriented, guitar based prog with an electric edge. Again, fans of Flash should like this track.
Persephone
This piece is quite melodic and has a wonderful texture. Although based on a somewhat static arrangement, this piece is quite entertaining.
F. U. B. B.
A fuzz bass sound reminiscent of Grand Funk creates the intro to this track. The song is a groove oriented instrumental built on fusion stylings, and contains a very appealing textural break.
Blowin` Free (Acoustic)
This is a solid classic rock number featuring pretty guitar work and a creative arrangement. The Grateful Dead leanings show up again on this track.
Living Proof
Feeling just a bit like Kiss` Sure Know Something, this features a more modern vocal sound and a good rock arrangement. Living Proof is much less progressive than some of the other material on the album, but is a potent entry and does feature a short instrumental break with solid prog sensibilities.
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