Wishbone Ash: Wishbone Four

ON THIS DATE (39 YEARS AGO)
May 11, 1973 – Wishbone Ash: Wishbone Four is released.
# ALL THINGS MUSIC PLUS+ 4.5/5
# allmusic 4.5/5
Wishbone Four is the fourth studio album by Wishbone Ash, released on this date in May, 1973. It was a radical departure from their previous album, Argus, containing almost none of the twin-lead guitar harmonies and folk elements that featured in the previous album. Though Wishbone Four was popular among fans upon its release, sales paled in comparison to Argus, and founding member Ted Turner would leave the band after the subsequent tour.
Operating on the eminently sensible theory that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, Wishbone Ash doesn’t mess with its commercially proven formula here. As before, it purveys a mix of blues, folk, and Yes- style riffs mated to endearingly cosmic lyrics.
The band’s prog-rock side, however, is a tad downplayed here, with its folk and rock influences more to the fore. It even takes a detour into faux country on the mostly acoustic “Sing Out the Song.” As always, Wishbone’s foundation is the powerful tag team of guitarists Andy Powell and Ted Turner, although there are fewer of their trademark harmony licks here than usual, with the notable exception of “Doctor,” probably the band’s hardest-rocking song ever.
REVIEW
by Bruce Eder, allmusic
The progressive aspirations were put aside for Wishbone Four, the group’s most solid-rocking album, though the folk-based element is still there, more solid than ever. “Ballad of the Beacon” is a genuinely beautiful song, and might have come from any number of electric folk-rock bands — the fact that it came from Wishbone Ash indicates just how serious they were in wanting to explore some of these sounds. Their most mature and successful album.
TRACKS:
All songs composed by Wishbone Ash.
“So Many Things to Say” – 5:06
“Ballad of the Beacon” – 5:04
“No Easy Road” – 3:48
“Everybody Needs a Friend” – 8:24
“Doctor” – 5:53
“Sorrel” – 5:03
“Sing Out the Song” – 4:24
“Rock ‘n Roll Widow” – 5:50
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