Twin Barrels Burning saw Wishbone Ash parting company with long time record company MCA Records, with the album being released on AVM Records, a label set up by the band’s manager John Sherry. It also saw the introduction of bassist Trevor Bolder (ex-David Bowie, Uriah Heep), who had toured with the band in support of the Number The Brave album following John Wetton’s departure.
Recording sessions for the album took place at Jimmy Page’s Sol Studio, Cookham between June and August 1982, Berkshire and were produced by Ashley Howe (a colleague of Trevor Bolder’s from his Uriah Heep days) with engineer Stuart Epps. The sessions marked a drastic change in musical direction for the
All four members of the band contributed to the songwriting (although Trevor Bolder’s name was, at his insistence, left off the album credits due to a dispute he had with his publisher). As with Number The Brave, Andy Powell and Laurie Wisefield handled the bulk of the lead vocals (except for "Hold On", which was sung by Trevor Bolder). American Cover
The guitar playing on Twin Barrels Burning was, as always, admirable and Trevor Bolder proved to be a worthy successor to Turner and Wetton in the bass department. Vocally, however, there were real deficiencies, with Powell and Wisefield’s vocal ranges being unsuited to the heavier musical style, both sounding strained and uncomfortable at times. Lyrically, every heavy metal cliché in the book was dragged out with references aplenty to fast cars and chicks on tracks such as "Can’t Fight Love", "Engine Overheat" and "Genevieve". The album’s cover, depicting a fast car accelerating, was designed by Ian Harris, a friend of Andy Powell.
The change of musical direction did not stop the album from achieving Wishbone’s highest chart position since New England, peaking at number 22 on the UK chart. Certain elements of the music press gave the album rave reviews, in particular UK heavy metal magazine Kerrang. However, while the album may initially have seemed a success, the band’s new direction alienated many long-time supporters and would be the band’s final album chart placing.
1) Engine Overheat
Line-up: Andy Powell (guitar/vocals)
Produced by: Ashley Howe, Stuart Epps