MCA-327 Wishbone Four
Produced by Wishbone Ash
Released on May 11, 1973
UK CHART POSITION #12 . . . US CHART POSITION #44
Find it at GEMM
MCA-327 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

I slipped the leash off the prärdvark for this one and let his long, spindly snout sniff it out. “A poor man’s Procol Harum,” he pronounced. “Not sure how it got into the prog pile.” So it’s filed these days under S for Schudenov. I understand the misunderstanding. Prog types are ambitious astronomers, widening the lens to let the light of peripheral stars shine in and labeling it a bigger galaxy for the discovery. But there is no planet in Progdom called Wishbone Four. This music stems from a different galaxy where The Who and Deep Purple reside. Sometimes the paths of those planets take them into Progdom, but they’re only visitors or foreign objects on holiday. That’s what happens on “Sorrel.” It intersects with prog and so (like Heep and Harum) we project their orbit around prog based on a single, erroneous track. But even here calling them prog is boneful thinking. Just take a look at the closing line: “Came he home to just a memory / For the lady she had died.” They may have thought it dropped like the last line of Richard Cory, but only Yoda weeps for Sorrel. I’ve listened to this album more than a half-dozen times, and I’ve had no luck building a mythology out of the band (unless I can do something with World’s Earliest Mullet). There’s no a-ha moment on here, no discovery that I’d want to share with the world, and so no place on which to grab hold and scale what some see as their towering achievement. Makes me wonder if the whole turkey isn’t an overrated anthill, and then I go and do something stupid like buy a second Wishbone Ash album (No Smoke Without Fire). The prärdvark just sighs and says “Be careful what you bone four.”

MCA-327 back cover MCA-327 lyric insert
MCA-327 back cover MCA-327 lyric insert

TRACK LISTING

  1. SO MANY THINGS TO SAY    5:00
  2. BALLAD OF THE BEACON    4:58
  3. NO EASY ROAD    3:40
  4. EVERYBODY NEEDS A FRIEND    8:27
  5. DOCTOR    5:48
  6. SORREL    5:02
  7. SING OUT THE SONG    4:21
  8. ROCK 'N ROLL WIDOW    (Lyrics by Steve Upton; Music by Wishbone Ash)    5:41

    All lyrics by Martin Turner, music by Wishbone Ash unless noted

CREDITS

ANDY POWELL -- acoustic and electric guitars, and vocals
MARTIN TURNER -- bass guitar and vocals
TED TURNER -- lap-steel, 12 string, acoustic and electric guitars, and vocals
STEVE UPTON -- drums and percussion
Jimmy Helms, Phil Kenzie, Dave Coxhill, Bud Parks -- brass (3)
Graham Maitland -- piano (3)
George Nash -- keyboards (4)
Keith Harwood -- engineer
Hipgnosis -- cover design and photography
Maurice Tate -- tinting

return to WISHBONE ASH discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK May 11, 1973 MCA LP MDKS 8011 gatefold w. poster
US/CAN May 1973 MCA LP MCA-327 lyric insert
GER/ITA 1973 MCA LP MAPS6673  
MEX 1973 MCA LP LPI-377 picture sleeve
NET   MCA LP 5C 062 94979  
UK February 1974 MCA LP MCG-3503 gatefold cover
NET 1990 MCA CD MCD 10350  
JPN September 30, 2002 MCA CD UICY-2383  

 

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