WISHBONE ASH (1969–PRESENT). Andy Powell (guitar/vocals), Ted Turner (guitar/vocals, replaced by Laurie Wisefield, Jamie Crompton, Phil Palmer), Martin Turner (bass/vocals, replaced by John Wetton, Trevor Bolder, Mervyn Spence, Andy Pyle, many others), Steve Upton (drums, replaced by Ray Weston, Mike Sturgis, others).
Wishbone Ash are on the periphery of metal, along with bands such as Uria Heep who seemed to fall more in the art rock camp at times. The band started as a project of guitarists Turner and Powell. Soon, the band was creating beautiful, atmospheric long songs with dueling guitar leads from Powell and Turner. After several classic records, including the medieval-themed Argus, the band began to go through internal turmoil, and various members began to come and go until the band was down to only two long-lasting members. An offer by IRS records founder Miles Copeland to re-form the original lineup led to the instrumental album Nouveau Calls, leading to a brief but effective reunion, until original drummer Upton retired from the band in 1990, followed in short order by Martin turner and Ted Turner a few years later.
In 1993, Powell formed a new version of the band with a revolving cast of session musicians, much like those touring fifties bands “featuring” one original member; to further confuse things, there is also a touring “Martin Turner’s Wishbone Ash.” Although there are many classics, fans of artistic metal are urged to seek out the early periods of the band, particularly their finest moment, Argus, although Twin Barrels Burning may be the most classically “metal” album the band has released.
Discography: Wishbone Ash (MCA, 1970); Pilgrimage (MCA, 1971) Argus (MCA, 1972); Twin Barrels Burning (Castle, 1982); Nouveau Calls (IRS, 1989).