Review: "Illuminations" - Wishbone Ash

by Paul Chapinal,

With all the writs flying around regarding Wishbone Ash one gets the feeling that a lot of care needs to be taken when mentioning their name. Suffice to say that Illuminations was released in 1996 and in 2014 is the earliest of a set of albums currently being re-released with bonus material.

This is an odd period for Wishbone Ash which saw the band in something of the commercial doldrums and with personnel problems. Having said that quality control was not an issue as demonstrated by opener Mountainside, and tracks like Top of the World, and the 10 minute plus Tales of the Wise each of which features some of band’s finest guitar work. Overall the twin guitars are as you’d expect, and there’s a quasi progressive ambience that runs throughout the album. No Joke’s good-time transatlantic vibe is so laid back its horizontal, maybe due to the fact that Andy Powell was living in the US at the time. What is abundantly clear is that this band, on this album, clicked, and are really enjoying themselves.

The reissue has an extra disc of live material and a long, and shall we say, illuminating interview with Andy Powell.

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