“The Long Play with Al Neff" is a continuing Sunday evening Feature on
The GOAT. This year, Every Sunday Evening, Album Rock WXYG, The GOAT will
feature a full album at 8:00 PM from the halcyon musical days of 1973.
was Possibly the Greatest Year in Album Rock history. Another year of
tough choices every week. So many great ones to choose from.
We hope you’ll tune in on the Evening of March 26th, for “Wishbone Four”,
the fourth studio album by Wishbone Ash, released in 1973. It was a
departure from their previous album, Argus.
Wishbone Four's stylistic variety found its footing in acoustic folk
elements in half of the eight-song set ("Ballad of the Beacon", "Everybody
Needs a Friend", "Sorrel" and "Sing Out the Song"), two aggressive and
melodic starters on each side of the vinyl release (Side 1: So Many Things
to Say" and Side 2: "Doctor"), and the band's first use of horns on the
semi-autobiographical "rave-up" touring song "No Easy Road".
Although the sombre, sensitive and rather more fragile acoustic songs
contained the wistful intro elements that were featured on the previous
album, the lead guitars lacked the slow climb of the band's trademark
duelling crescendos and energetic fretwork expected from the band at the
time, tending to a more subtle and subdued interplay on the longer tracks.
Wishbone Four was popular among fans upon its release as it implied
musical growth and a willingness to experiment in the band's divergence of
a successful formula (similar at the time to the effect of Led Zeppelin
III's contrast to that band's previous efforts).
Wishbone Four was also the first release not produced by Derek Lawrence
but by the band themselves. There's the Rub, the band's next and fifth
studio album' was the first album to feature guitarist-vocalist Laurie
Wisefield, who would be a major part of the band's creative direction for
the next 11 years, as founding member Ted Turner left the band after the
subsequent Wishbone Four tour.
The album peaked at No. 12 in the UK Albums Chart.
The progressive aspirations were put aside for Wishbone Four, the group's
most solid-rocking album, though the folk-based element is still there,
more solid than ever. "Ballad of the Beacon" is a genuinely beautiful
song, and might have come from any number of electric folk-rock bands --
the fact that it came from Wishbone Ash indicates just how serious they
were in wanting to explore some of these sounds. Their most mature and
Tune In and Turn On next Sunday, March 26th, and every Sunday evening at
8:00 PM for The GOAT'S "The Long Play with Al Neff.”
Don’t forget, right after the “Long Play”, we do a “Replay” of this week’s
GOAT GUEST DJ SHOW.