This is an "official archive bootleg -album". It was first published by Dr. John of USASH and the proceeds go to Wishbone Ash not the bootleggers!
The USASH releases of Archives I, II and III are all sold out!
While waiting for the rest of the old Wishbone Ash albums to be re-released as CD's, here's a demo to reminisce "Number The Brave". The bass sound is softer and the verses are a little slower than on the LP version (at least when I compared it with my record player). Otherwise the arrangement is quite similar to the official album version.
Mervyn "Spam" Spence proving that his vocals are strong in a live environment too. A dramatic (crunching) finale compared to the fade out in the studio version. The recording quality isn't perfect (some noises in the left channel) but maybe it's a problem of the promo version that I had at hand while writing this. A song well worth publishing because it's part of the Ash history (and the Ash Heads or should we say BoneHeads like to hear he whole story, not just the "official" one).
Again the final version is a little faster than this demo (this time compared with the help of two CD players). Now there's some differences in the arrangement too. Some guitar overdubs "embellish" the final version and the "long live the night" shouts in the end have been reworked slightly too (not the lyrics but the melody). This time the demo has a fade out and the final version stops with a four-note guitar lick.
It's interesting to listen to a demo of a song that's been left out of the final album. What were the arguments when it was decided that this song shouldn't be on the record?
I've always had an appeal for songs concerning death (I've agreed that I'm weird). They're usually either morbid or touching. This one has at least a beautiful melody (Spam really can sing!) and the guitars are working more in the Wishbone Ash style than maybe on any song that did appear on the final album. Still, maybe this song would have been a little controversial in that "Raw To The Bone" environment, who can tell?
Big shoes to fill? Mervyn Spence is taking over "Martin's vocals" on this one. No problem, his vocal abilities are good enough, although his style is a little different (as an "English-is-not-my-mother-tongue-person" I'd even say "Spam" pronounces some of the lyrics more understandably).
The song is instrumentally quite similar to the studio version; even the massive finale is replicated.
A really rough surprise. Laurie singing with his "Twin Barrels Burning style". The style of the song is close to "Can't Fight Love" and maybe even tougher. This time my opinion is that the nine songs that did reach "Twin Barrels Burning" were all preferable to this. This song is in a perfect environment in the Archives project. It broadens up the history of Wishbone Ash.
Another Archives project song. As the recording quality of this live performance isn't the best and the song never reached the studio environment, the only way for a Finn to hear this (and maybe some other people too) is with the help of Dr.John of USASH. So a big thank you!
A demo by Ted Turner's early 80's group CHOICE. Although Ted's the only band member with a Wishbone Ash history, there's harmony guitars here and there. The song has a "Wishbone Ash" bookmark.
The first bluesy song on this CD, but there's more to come. The refrain seems to be built on the riff of "T-Bone Shuffle" from the "Here to Hear" era. If you have Archives II, then you've got "T-Bone Shuffle" and can easily make the comparison.
More blues with a lot of Ted's slide solos! This song and the one before this are once again songs that would never have been published if the Archives project hadn't started. Both songs are from the era when Ted Turner was again drifting away from Wishbone Ash. As the group was rebuilt with new musicians for the new Illuminations album these songs would have been just set aside and forgotten.
The new guitarist Roger Filgate playing all instruments on a demo. The title and the song itself proves that Andy made a perfect choice! Roger really can play guitar and he knows the tradition that he builds on (builds on is the right word, he's not just copying, but progressing from as the original idea was too...). Beautiful guitar work!
A very relaxed version with a few laughs during the performance. A little "blooper" with the lyrics doesn't hurt at all. At the end of the song everyone is smiling.
Previously released in an "Unplugged" cassette given as a gift for all the members of USASH in 1995. Here's the chance for buyers of the new Illuminations album to compare this version with the version recorded for Illuminations.
This was on the "Unplugged" cassette too. It's the most peaceful of the three songs on the cassette. Suitable for listening after a sauna bath (as "Candlelight" from the "New England" album was too).
Another from the "Unplugged" cassette. A bluesy boogie I'd say. The Andy & Roger twosome work together perfectly although there are some quite difficult parts to play even with an "air guitar".
The best gem of them all. I've always liked "Hard Times" as a Rock'n'Roll version too (I can relate to it easily!). This bluesy version has maybe a little more positive ambiance in it. That's maybe why it suits these times, when the worst time of the recession is hopefully behind us.
Yet another recording that could only be published as a part of the "Archives project". The recording is and sounds like a jam session. Andy's "humming" something, maybe searching for the melody...
This isn't a "hit", but a documentary of how the "hits" are/were built up. Interesting for a Wishbone Ash "freak" at least.
Written by: Rainer Frilund - Last update: Feb, 1999