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Articles Home » 1977 Articles » Wishbone Ash - 1977 Front Page News
Wishbone Ash - 1977 Front Page News

ARTIST: Wishbone Ash
ALBUM: Front Page News
YEAR: 1977
CD REISSUE: 1994, MCA, MCAD 11027


LINEUP: Martin Turner - bass, lead vocals * Andy Powell - lead & rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, mandolin, vocals * Laurie Wisefield - lead & rhythm guitar, lead vocals * Steve Upton - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Front Page News * 02 Midnight Dancer * 03 Goodbye Baby Hello Friend * 04 Surface To Air * 05 714 * 06 Come In From The Rain * 07 Right Or Wrong * 08 Heart Beat * 09 The Day I Found Your Love * 10 Diamond Jack


From an American standpoint, Wishbone Ash were never all that 'heavy' and their move to the U.S. softened them up like kneaded bread. They spent a lot of time and cash in the lower 48 and up and comers like Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen, Electric Light Orchestra, Kansas, Styx and Journey all found themselves in support roles to Wishbone Ash in some of the country's biggest arenas yet they never had a hit or even minor hit single with airplay found only on FM rock stations back in the days when playlists were much broader and open minded. Coupled with their legendary live status somehow they pulled it off which is a credit to both their management and label I suppose.

The Songs
'Front Page News' was the last of their American albums and follows the misguided soft rock pastiche of their previous LP 'New England'. With its not-so-great Hipgnosis front cover and band photos looking very Pablo Cruise; Wishbone Ash at this point were the epitome of 'Yacht Rock' with nary a trace of what they once were. While this is definitely not 'Argus' the vocal harmonies are still present and gorgeous in spots I might add, but they are steeped in the west coast tradition of Crosby, Stills & Nash and The Eagles instead of British folk and in fact the title track could have easily slid into the 'CSN' album released the same year and you'd be none the wiser. 'Goodbye Baby Hello Friend' has a nice Loggins & Messina vibe although released as a single it predictably went nowhere. I really like the orchestration on the Pink Floyd-ish instrumental '714' which has a strong cinematic feel and more of this would have made for a very cool record but unfortunately even when the band kick it up a notch as on the blues rocker 'Right Or Wrong', the material is weak and quite frankly sleep inducing.

In Summary
Another U.S tour followed but the band closed up shop at their Connecticut base and moved back to the UK in early 1978. Their next release 'No Smoke Without Fire' was a return to their harder edged British sound and did relatively well. 1980's 'Just Testing' was a little more pop thanks to label meddling but still a decent album while 'Number The Brave' with John Wetton released the following year I believe is one of their best albums. 'Front Page News' is not.

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#1 | gdazegod on June 28 2015 22:02:12
Wishbone Ash - 1977 Front Page News
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