Title - 'Life Begins: Expanded Edition'
Artist - Martin Turner
As I'm sure you already know, the great legend that is Martin Turner is the founding member of Wishbone Ash, who in turn were a British rock band who achieved success in the early and mid-1970s. But did you also know that they are considered to be one of the major innovators of the harmony twin lead guitar format. Their contributions helped Andy Powell and Ted Turner to be voted "Two of the Ten Most Important Guitarists in Rock History."
Having recently released Garden Party: A Celebration of Wishbone Ash Music, a recording of a very private session from co-founder Turner and his various friends, and followed that with Written in the Stars, a long-awaited studio collection of new compositions, we can all now bask in the glory of his brand new LIVE album, Life Begins.
The re-issue of Life Begins as a 2 CD / 1 DVD follows a critically acclaimed period of worldwide live activity. The concert was to celebrate for 40th Anniversary of Wishbone Ash and the band played the Argus album in its entirety.
Disc: 1 - 1. Time and Space
2. Vas Dis
3. Ballad of the Beacon
4. Rock 'N' Roll Widow
6. Everybody Needs a Friend
8. Lost Cause in Paradise
9. Errors of My Way
10. Ships in the Sky
11. You See Red
Disc: 2 - 1. Time Was
2. Sometime World
3. The King Will Come
4. Leaf and Stream
6. Throw Down the Sword
7. Blowin' Free
8. Living Proof
Turner himself described his last album, Written in the Stars as "a guitar-based set of songs which represents an extension of the Wishbone Ash legacy, with an emphasis on the melodic qualities that the classic line-ups of the band were known for," which actually sums up this incredible, truly stunning live set.
Recorded live at the Y Theatre, Leicester, England on March 13th, 2010, as the 40th Anniversary renditions open up before, us, soon 'Time and Space' is producing Turner's unmistakable bass lines from his days fronting Wishbone Ash. The first CD is a hits parade, and features (alongside Turner) Danny Wilson on guitars and vocals, Ray Hatfield on guitars and vocals, and Dave Wagstaffe on drums.
Saving the best, IMHO for the second CD, we get Argus in full. Basically put, in the early to mid 70's guitar rock was blues based and if there were two good guitarists in a band chances are that band sounded like The Allman Brothers or some variation therein. Wishbone Ash started in blues based songs, but had a penchant for English folk and jazz. By this third album they had a loyal following that appreciated their ability to boogie but to be able to play pretty songs.
To Wishbone Ash's credit much of this had to do with their stellar playing which was more based in minor key work than traditional blues. On Argus, the boys made their progressive album. Several songs were in the six minute plus range and featured multi sectioned arrangements; as they do here live also, of course. In particular is the opener, 'Time Was', the brilliant 'Sometime World', 'Throw Down The Sword' and even 'Warrior' all brought a mixture of progressive rock and some complex and engaging harmonized guitar work to the fore.
From a historical standpoint Wishbone Ash was making music that influenced other bands, but never got the kind of reception their followers had. Here, well, it's still a classic sound on Life Begins, as well it should be, and I, for one, am so glad that Turner is still creating such incredible instrumentals and soundscapes.