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Argus (Remastered)

Wishbone Ash

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Album Review

If Wishbone Ash can be considered a group who dabbled in the main strains of early-'70s British rock without ever settling on one (were they a prog rock outfit like Yes, a space rock unit like Pink Floyd, a heavy metal ensemble like Led Zeppelin, or just a boogie band like Ten Years After?), the confusion compounded by their relative facelessness and the generic nature of their compositions, Argus, their third album, was the one on which they looked like they finally were going to forge their own unique amalgamation of all those styles into a sound of their own. The album boasted extended compositions, some of them ("Time Was," "Sometime World") actually medleys of different tunes, played with assurance and developing into imaginative explorations of new musical territory and group interaction. The lyrics touched on medieval themes ("The King Will Come," "Warrior") always popular with British rock bands, adding a majestic tone to the music, but it was the arrangements, with their twin lead guitar parts and open spaces for jamming, that made the songs work so well. Argus was a bigger hit in the U.K., where it reached the Top Five, than in the U.S., where it set up the commercial breakthrough enjoyed by the band's next album, Wishbone Four, but over the years it came to be seen as the quintessential Wishbone Ash recording, the one that best realized the group's complex vision. [The 2002 "Remastered & Revisited" reissue was remixed by bassist Martin Turner, who expanded the sound picture without isolating the instruments too much, retaining the sense of interplay yet making the sound bigger. The reissue was improved by the addition of the 1972 promotional EP Live from Memphis. It consisted of three songs from earlier albums — "Jail Bait," "The Pilgrim," and "Phoenix" — performed at length.]

Biography

Formed: 1966 in Devon, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

During the early- and mid-'70s, Wishbone Ash were among England's most popular hard rock acts. The group's roots dated to the summer of 1966, when drummer Steve Upton formed a band called Empty Vessels with bassist/vocalist Martin Turner and guitarist Glen Turner. Empty Vessels soon changed their name to Tanglewood and moved to London; during a gig at the Country Club in Hampstead, they were seen by would-be rock...
Full bio
Argus (Remastered), Wishbone Ash
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