Wishbone Ash formed in London in 1969 and released their self-titled debut album in 1970.
It was on 1973’s Argus, though, that the band achieved a form that would never be recaptured, its stand-out track Blowin’ Free melding breezy vocal harmonies and stylish lead guitar in a manner reminiscent of Steely Dan‘s Reelin’ In The Years.
It was not only the most commercially successful album of their career – reaching #3 in the UK – it was also their finest.
When Sounds voted Argus ‘Album Of The Year’ in its annual critics’ poll, it seemed like Wishbone Ash had it made. Sell-out tours of Britain and America followed. Cash flowed their way.
Deciding it would be a mistake to try and record a ‘son of Argus’, they made the fatal mistake of making an album that so deflated the expectations of an audience hoping for exactly that, that they would spend the rest of the decade trying to figure out where they went wrong.
Laurie Wisefield replaced Ted Turner on guitar in 1974 and the band recorded There’s The Rub in America, becoming US residents in the process.
Subsequent album releases were; Locked In (1976); New England (1976); Front Page News (1977); No Smoke Without Fire (1978); Just Testing (1980); Number The Brave (1981) and Hot Ash (1981).
Undertaking an exhaustive world tour in 1980, Martin Turner departed the band and was replaced by John Wetton (ex-Family) initially, and then by Trevor Bolder (ex-Uriah Heep). Bolder returned to Uriah Heep in 1983 and was replaced by Mervyn Spence (ex-Trapeze).
The original line-up reunited in 1987 for a couple of albums but Steve Upton quit in 1990, with Martin Turner following in 1991 and Ted Turner in 1993. Thereafter, Andy Powell (the only remaining founding member) decided to operate Wishbone Ash with session musicians as and when he desired.
Guitar, mandolin, vocals