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MARTIN TURNER'S WISHBONE ASH Argus Through The Looking Glass Mystic MYSCD201 (2008)

Martin Turner's Wishbone Ash

I've never quite figured the "split" between Martin Turner and Andy Powell, but essentially there are now two separate bands blazing the Wishbone Ash trail. You pays your money and you takes your choice so to speak.

In 2008 Martin Turner decided to revisit the hallowed ground that is 'Argus', arguably Wishbone Ash's finest hour in whatever configuration. Now sequenced as originally intended, and sounding much better for modern recording techniques, this is an authentic trip down memory lane.

All credit to Martin and his colleagues, the album keeps to the spirit of the original and therefore it highlights the folksy, typically very English, approach and of course retains the pristine guitar interplay.

The cynics might say that it is only Turner's presence that stops this being a tribute band but you can't really fault the musicianship. The major difference is that it has taken three guitarists to recreate the piece, perhaps another luxury of modern times. (In truth, Keith Buck left the band after most of the recording was done and Danny Wilson joined). But, as an unexpected bonus, we get John Wetton and Geoff Downes guesting on harmony vocals ('Throw Down The Sword').

An interview with Turner in the sleeve notes outlines the development of 'Argus' and the rationale behind the re-recording. Purists may waver, but it's a worthwhile project nevertheless.


Review by David Randall

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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