Wishbone Ash – Live Dates Live Review

Almost fifty years ago to the month, British rock band Wishbone Ash brought out “Live Dates,” their most commercially successful album. A milestone, not only for the band, but also in the history of rock music. “At the time, we had been on tour non-stop for three years, had released “Argus” – from today’s point of view our most important studio album – and were like a well-oiled machine,” remembers founder Andy Powell, who continues to helm the group. “We had made a name for ourselves as a dynamic live act, so it only made sense to capture the energy and vibrancy of our shows on a live album. Fortunately, the record company
funded the costly Rolling Stones Mobile Recording Truck, so we were able to record several shows during our UK tour and compile the most powerful moments on ‘Live Dates.’

Wishbone Ash are a legendary band. A band that has influenced many metallers around the years. Wishbone Ash are noted for their extensive use of harmony twin lead guitars, which had been attracting electric blues bands since Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page had played together in the Yardbirds in 1966. Their contributions helped Andy Powell and Ted Turner to be voted “Two of the Ten Most Important Guitarists in Rock History” (Traffic magazine 1989). Melody Maker (1972) described Powell and Turner as “the most interesting two-guitar team since the days when Beck and Page graced The Yardbirds”. Several notable bands have cited Wishbone Ash as an influence, including the Eagles, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Van Halen, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Thin Lizzy, Metallica, Dream Theater, Overkill and Opeth.

The grip here in “Live Dates Live” is a bit different from what a metalhead might be used. It’s a classic rock band with a strong Blues influence. One thing that makes the album so special: Wishbone Ash present the songs in exactly the same sequence as on their 1973 masterpiece, starting with the three “Argus” classics “The King Will Come,” “Warrior” and “Throw Down the Sword,” followed by “Rock ’n Roll Widow” and “Ballad of the Beacon,” both from “Wishbone Four.” It should come as no surprise to Wishbone Ash fans that the album cover artwork brings to mind the original sleeve design. After all, this is a band famous for its attention to detail.

This album is an album of finesse. A finesse which I guess doesn’t exist anymore. From the albums and bands I remember the nearest is Dire Straits “Alchemy” without the intensity and the guitar ingenious Mark Knopfler. Great for newcomers who wnat to get to now Metal music roots.

Wishbone Ash “Live Dates Live” will be released on September 22nd via Steamhammer / SPV.

Track Listing:

  1. The King Will Come
  2. Warrior
  3. Throw Down the Sword
  4. Rock’n’Roll Widow
  5. Ballad of the Beacon
  6. Baby What You Want Me to Do
  7. The Pilgrim
  8. Blowin’ Free
  9. Jailbait
  10. Lady Whiskey
  11. Phoenix

Watch official music video here: