Wishbone Ash: The Best Albums – a buying guide

With over 120 different builds listed on Amazon, Wishbone Ash’s back catalog is both vast and convoluted – which is a deal breaker for newcomers. Given its richness and diversity, it’s really a shame. Ancestors of a two-guitar style that paved the way for Thin Lizzy and Iron Maiden, the band have created some of the most underrated rock music of the past four decades.

Formed in the sleepy seaside town of Torquay by bassist Martin Turner and drummer Steve Upton, the duo moved to London in 1969 and teamed up with guitarists Andy Powell and Ted Turner (no relation) via a melody maker a d. Their mystical blend of rock and folk was evident on their third album, Arguswho beat Deep Purple machine head and that of David Bowie Ziggy Stardust being voted Album Of 1972 by the readers of both Sounds and melody maker.

Wishbone Ash Mark 1 came to a screeching halt in 1974 when Ted Turner abruptly left the band and the entire music industry. the guitarist then traveled to South America, bought a donkey and set off in search of the lost city of Mu in Peru. His replacement, Laurie Wisefield, ushered in the Mk 2 range, and with it a broader approach that saw them aiming for the United States to the point of decamping to Connecticut in 1975.

There were more serious ructions to come when Martin Turner left the band after the turbulent 1980s. Just test, leaving Andy Powell as the sole original member and kicking off a series of line-up changes that continue to this day. The bassist rejoined the band twice – from 1987 to 1991 and again in 1995-96 – although he resurfaced with his own alternate lineup in 2004, much to Powell’s chagrin. As Martin Turner’s Wishbone Ash, they even re-recorded Argusthus ending a long-awaited reunion to mark Ash’s 40th birthday in 2009.

While everything here dates back to that glorious decade between 1970 and 1980, Turner and Powell continue to celebrate the band’s legacy. Release of Andy Powell’s Wishbone Ash Coat of arms in 2020, while Martin Turner’s version of the band – now playing as Martin Turner (Ex Wishbone Ash) after a court ruling – will hit the road next month to celebrate the classic’s 50th anniversary Argus.

In 2018, the two parties collaborated on The vintage years 1970-1991, a gigantic, limited-edition 30-CD box set containing all the Wishbone Ash you could ever need, and more.


And one to avoid…