Wishbone Ash was never a band that achieved “superstar”
status. Nevertheless, these musicians deserve an important
place in the annals of Rock history for their pioneering efforts
using twin lead guitars. Formed in late 1969, and releasing
their first album during 1970, Wishbone Ash can lay fair claim
to being the first British band to adopt the dual lead guitar
format. At that time, it was an original and novel practice.
While never a particularly “heavy” band, Wishbone Ash could
still rock hard, especially when performing “live,” and the
harmonies by the original guitarists, Andy Powell and Ted
Turner, often had a progressive flavor and folk elements
without being “jazzy.” When combined with founding member
Martin Turner’s (no relation to Ted) melodic and often
contrapuntal bass lines, their music gave the band a
distinctive sound. It’s not difficult to detect the influence of
Wishbone Ash upon the much heavier Iron Maiden.
“Inside Wishbone Ash: A Critical Review 1970-2004″ is an
informative, 2004 DVD release by Classic Rock Productions
Limited. It was invaluable for me, as I had no idea of this
band’s ongoing history, particularly since the mid 1970’s.
Apart from die-hard fans, I’m sure that most Rock enthusiasts
are equally unaware of them, since Wishbone Ash never
achieved what could be called “mainstream” success.
From their self-titled debut album in 1970 to “Bonafide,”
released in 2002, each Wishbone Ash album is discussed
and assessed by noted personalities, as well as by the band
members themselves. A five-star rating system is used
throughout this 70-minute disc, with performance footage
featuring the various incarnations of the band, changes in
the lineup and musical styles.
Perhaps they never achieved true “greatness,” but this DVD
is an important document of a band that deserves to be more
than a footnote in Rock history. I’m really glad that I viewed
this film, and recommend it highly.