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01.03.2018

MARTIN TURNER Ex WISHBONE ASH

Argus Through the Looking Glass

Anmeldt av Jens Nepper
(Dirty Dog Discs, 2017)

Karakter: 5/6

Martin Turner Argus cover.jpgBack in 2008, former Wishbone Ash bassist/vocalist Martin Turner came up with the idea of re-recording the immortal "Argus" record with his then current band consisting of Ray Hatfield, Keith Buck, Rob Hewins, and Danny Willson. The legendary John Wetton (Asia, Uriah Heep, Wishbone Ash) and Yes keyboardist Geoff Downes also make an appearance on one track. However, the intention was to approach the aforementioned album from a slightly different angle with respect to the technology used to record it and each individual musician's contribution to the song material. To some the entire thing might sound like a sacrilege of sorts, but to the rest of us this is a most interesting and intriguing re-interpretation of the old Wishbone Ash classic and a most potent and vital one at that. Now, this 2017 reissue not only contains the splendid 2008 album in all its glory, but it boasts four excellent bonus cuts as well, one of which is an alternate mix of "Throw Down the Sword" and three live tracks.

It is hard to argue with the quality of the songwriting and the musicianship here. "Argus Through the Looking Glass" is both faithful to the original counterpart yet also different to it, which is to say that it adds another dimension and several new aspects to the compositions. "Time Was" and "Sometime World" are haunting and exquisite while the brilliantly conceived "Leaf and Stream", which sounds as emotionally charged and moving as ever, is truly one of the greatest songs ever written and this 2008 rendition of it is flawless. The same goes for the infinitely compelling and downright epic "The King Will Come", which has lost none of its power or evocative aura over the years. Having altered the tracklist slightly compared to the original album version and closing the album with the uplifting and charming "Blowin' Free" is a stroke of genius and totally works for this 2008 output. The alternate mix of "Throw Down the Sword" is somewhat forgettable and redundant, but the three live tracks sound quite crisp and are a treat to listen to. Turner and his cohorts definitely knew how to pull this material off in style in a live setting.

While one could be led into thinking that "Argus Through the Looking Glass" is not an essential or must-have release as such, the fact of the matter is that the songs that constitute the album are incredible and imaginative and that this 2017 reissue is simply awesome and compelling.
 


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