Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wishbone Ash -Twin Barrels Burning

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
band, with a sound that eschewed the classic Wishbone allmarks of harmony and melody in favour of a more direct, heavy-rock sound (the album coincided with the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement which was sweeping the UK at the time and had spawned the likes of Iron Maiden, Saxon and Def Leppard).  As Trevor Bolder says, “At the time Laurie was edging the band towards heavier rock along the lines of AC/DC or ZZ Top.  He was very much into ZZ Top and I think you can hear that influence on the album.”

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.

The Tracks

1) Engine Overheat 
2) Can't Fight Love 
3) No More Lonely Nights 
4) Wind Up 
5) Streets Of Shame 
6) My Guitar 
7) Hold On 
8) Genevieve 
9) Angels Have Mercy

The Band

Line-up: Andy Powell (guitar/vocals)
Laurie Wisefield (guitar/vocals)
Steve Upton (drums)
Trevor Bolder (bass/vocals)

Produced by: Ashley Howe, Stuart Epps 
(except My Guitar produced by, Nigel Gray)
Guess what i am sat here in Edinburgh with What was my best man and he has given me access to a pc so here is my first holiday post


1 comment:

  1. Yes, although Laurie Wisefield & Andy Powell are limited singers, they put heart and guts in their rendition of their songs and I've been appreciating this album since a long time. Wisefield did excellent solos in the concert version of "No More Lonely Nights" you can hear on the DVD "25th Anniversary of the Marquee".


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