Cherry Red has re-released two out of print albums by former Wishbone Ash vocalist and bass player Martin Turner this year. First of all New Live Dates, the complete set that was previously published as two separate albums and the other one is Life Begins, that holds two CDs and an accompanying DVD of the show.
New Live Dates:
New Live Dates refers to Wishbone Ash's legendary first live album, one I still cherish and had played a million times when I was in high school. At that time the twin guitars and fine compositions totally balanced my musical preferences alongside albums from Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. The New Live Dates album sees the recordings of Martin Turner; with the indication of being ex-Wishbone Ash somewhere during their tour in 2006. The focus on this double album lays on compositions that were written after the illustrious name giver, but highlighting some of the best songs from that time, like F.U.B.B., Persephone and Front Page News. As a special guest on vocals, guitar and lap steel former Wishbone Ash member Ted Turner joins on the last couple of songs. Listening to this album I have to conclude that both guitarists Ray Hatfield and Keith Buck are capable musicians that respect the original compositions without being copycats of Andy Powell and Ted Turner.
Life Begins celebrates the 40th anniversary of the 1972 album Argus, an album that is featured in its entirely on this package. In contrary with the New Live Dates album, this one is focussed on the period before the legendary Live Dates LP, a period I personally prefer. Songs like the amazing Phoenix, Ballad Of The Bacon, Rock 'n'Roll Widow and Vas Dis sound like the time has taken a stop, the vocal combination of Martin Turner and guitarists Danny Wilson and Ray Hatfield bring back memories of the early seventies and on this album the guitars also pay respect, but also add something to the original. This double CD set is accompanied by a DVD of the entire show that is nicely filmed and a pleasure to watch. It's always nice to look at a show where, besides the musical quality, you witness the fun and bonding of the band members onstage. Therefore the DVD is preferred over the double disc set.
I think the re-release of these two albums will absolutely please the aficionados that love and cherish the period before Wishbone Ash became mainstream and started to emphasis the more bluesy element in their music. Personally I have good memories of listening to the Wishbone Ash albums of the early period, therefore both of these albums are a beautiful trip down memory lane and to music I haven't listened to for way too long.
New Live Dates ***+
Life Begins ****
Pedro Bekkers (edited by Robert James Pashman)
Where to buy?
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