MCA-3060 No Smoke Without Fire
Produced by Derek Lawrence
Released on October 1978
UK CHART POSITION #43
Find it at GEMM
MCA-3060 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

N ow this is a nice piece of Ash: English rock carved out with twin steel axes somewhere between prog’s last hurrah and the second wave of heavy metal. If memory serves, Four was a bore, but Laurie and the lads catch fire on this one. In defense of the prärdvark, it still isn’t prog. This is the English rock informed by Arthurian Legend but grounded in the mythology of ‘70s rock guitar heroes, which would include Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and bled over to bands like BOC. At times, this music suggests Camel (“Like A Child”) and latter-day Gentle Giant (“The Way of the World Part 2”), but in the ‘70s especially a band could be dreamy and dexterous without being labelled a progressive band. Wishbone Ash is in that misty middle world between hard rock and soft prog, one foot grounded in rock reality, the other alighting on airy possibilities. The unique element in all of this is the seductive power of the twin guitars, tangling and untangling, meeting in midflight for a synchronization of senses and returning to separate aerial routes again. The image of two piercing guitars joined in a single voice is fundamental to the Wishbone mythology; so much so that you wonder if every song isn’t just an arriving to that moment. Of course, No Smoke is more than the sum of its solos. Produced by Derek Lawrence, the album signaled a return (some say) to their classic sound. Certainly, epic tracks like “The Way of the World” and “Stand and Deliver” belong to a bygone time. In these, the waning days of prog’s first phase, the absence of mighty oaks like EL&P and King Crimson made the cool shade afforded by a “Winter Tree” or Wishbone Ash an unexpected pleasure.

TRACK LISTING

  1. YOU SEE RED    (Laurie Wisefield)    6:05
  2. BABY THE ANGELS ARE HERE    (Martin Turner)    4:49
  3. SHIPS IN THE SKY    (Laurie Wisefield)    3:04
  4. STAND AND DELIVER    (Laurie Wisefield)    7:26
  5. ANGER IN HARMONY    (Andy Powell/Martin Turner/Laurie Wisefield)    5:06
  6. LIKE A CHILD    (Martin Turner)    5:02
  7. THE WAY OF THE WORLD (PART 1)    (Laurie Wisefield)    4:22
  8. THE WAY OF THE WORLD (PART 2)    (Laurie Wisefield)    5:35

    Bonus 7-inch single
  9. LORELEI (LIVE)
  10. COME IN FROM THE RAIN (LIVE)

    CD bonus tracks
  11. FIRESIGN
  12. TIME AND SPACE (REMIX)
  13. LORELEI (LIVE)
  14. COME IN FROM THE RAIN (LIVE)
  15. BAD WEATHER BLUES (LIVE)

CREDITS

ANDY POWELL -- guitar & vocals
MARTIN TURNER -- bass guitar & vocals
STEVE UPTON -- drums
LAURIE WISEFIELD -- guitar & vocals
Rafe McKenna -- engineer
Hipgnosis -- cover design & photography
Colin Elgie -- graphics

return to WISHBONE ASH discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK October 1978 MCA LP MCG-3528 lyric sleeve, available w. free 7-inch single
US October 1978 MCA LP MCA-3060  
FRA 1978 MCA LP 511005  
GER 1978 MCA LP 0062.115  
JPN 1978 MCA LP VIM-6165  
JPN 2001 Universal CD UICY-9088  
UK September 25, 2006 MCA CDX 19374 digital remaster w. bonus tracks

 

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