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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 3 February 2008
back in 1972 a college friend of mine said " theres a band called Wishbone Ash playing down at the uni.I think they are quite good,fancy going?".So off we went to see them.Well he was wrong, they were not quite good,they were fantastic and I have been a huge fan ever since. I guess I own pretty much everything recorded by Wishbone and there have been some real classics both before and after this album but this is undoubtedly their standout album.To my mind there is no weak track at all, it is all great with every track containing several real high points ranging from killer riffs,phrasing of notes that still gives me shivers and of course their famous twin lead guitar harmonies that no one else has cracked to the same level.How these guys never became bigger stars is beyond me,perhaps because they did not make singles ,perhaps they were ahead of their time ,who can say.What I do know is that this album still sounds as good today as it did over 30 yrs ago,the sign of a true classic.This is the fourth time I have bought this album,I wore out two vinyl copies and my CD was recently damaged.Knowing this album as well as I do the remastering is clear for all to hear and to my ears no bad thing.It sounds very fresh and detailed but not cold.The additional live tracks are a welcome bonus.So in summary do not hesitate in buying this album if you are remotely interested in guitar based rock . This is an album that everyone should own . It is a true classic in every way,turn it up loud get out your dancing shoes,your air guitar and a handerchief, you just might need all three
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on 29 July 2015
This is a review of the Argus 2015 re issue by Culture Factory (2cd).... Well this is a really beautiful re issue. It comes packaged as a replica of the original vinyl version, in a gatefold sleeve made from very high quality heavy glossy card stock. Inside sit both CDs within replica Decca inner sleeves. The CDs have been printed as if they were small 5 inch vinyl records and CD 1 is really unusual in that even the underside of the disc is jet black. I have not seen this before and I was even sceptical at first whether it would play on my CD player, but it did. As for the quality of the sound, well this is the best version of this album to be released to date on CD in my opinion and I own every CD version of this album which has been issued along with a mint first pressing of the original vinyl. As Wishbone Ash fans will know, this album is superb and is mostly considered to be their best, however the sound suffers from a muddiness . Up to this point the only version really worth having from the sound view point was the first edition vinyl pressing. This CD is now the next best thing. The sound oozes energy and the bass is the strongest on CD so far. I believe that there are only a very limited number of these available so I would get one quickly if you are a fan. The bonus disc contains some really great live recordings from1972. Again the sound quality is excellent. This is a very nice reissue of this top album.
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VINE VOICEon 3 November 2007
"Argus" was one of the first albums that set me on the road to a lifetime of the rawk. It was amongst the first ten albums I ever bought along with records by AC/DC, Hawkwind, Motorhead, Saxon and Thin Lizzy amongst others. They became the albums that set the standards for everything that was good about the power of the rawk.

In their very early days, Wishbone Ash managed to electrify folk and combine it with blues based soloing into rock that was new and different, something that few, if any, have managed since. Their self titled debut was a bit ramshackle but in the album centrepiece 'Phoenix' they had their first classic song, one that they've been playing live for most of their career. Come "Pilgrimage" they took a major step forward with Andy Powell and Ted Turner gelling as twin guitarists and bass player Martin Turner and drummer Steve Upton turning into one of the great rhythm sections. And of course, you get 'Jail Bait' live! But then came "Argus".

Quite simply one of the greatest rock albums ever made. Why it (and Ash) aren't constantly lauded is totally beyond me, when the likes of second rate blusterers like Zeppelin get praised way beyond their meagre talents. All that was good about their first two albums was distilled into a record that defies criticism. Well, sort of, I'll come to that later.

Seven tracks of nigh on musical perfection from 'Time Was' through to 'Throw Down The Sword', anyone who claims to appreciate rock music has to own a copy of "Argus". It's the law. But. We've already had "Argus: Remastered". It came out in 2002 with the three tracks from the "Live From Memphis" promo EP tacked on the end. So you would have figured that all the Wishbone Ash fans would have bought that. Never mind that the remastered tracks had already appeared on the "Distillation" and "Time Was" compilations.

So what you're really buying is the bonus CD which features the BBC Radio 1 In Concert show from 1972, which was the launch of the original "Argus" and comes complete with Whispering Bob Harris intros. It's all rather good, especially the mind blowing nineteen minute 'Phoenix' and I doubt there is a better sounding vintage recording of Wishbone Ash out there.

For some reason the second CD is padded out with mono versions of 'Blowin' Free' and 'Throw Down The Sword'. Which doesn't make a lot of sense, but I'm sure someone out there will value them. More confusingly, leaping back to the first CD, the original bonus tracks from "Live From Memphis" have had 'Jail Bait' shorn and 'No Easy Road' inserted in its place. Which is downright irritating.

So, should you buy it? Well now, that's a tricky one. Wishbone Ash fans will have to, just for the BBC material. People new to "Argus"? It's tricky, because there's just too much music, which actually detracts from the genius that is the original album. If you can control yourself and stop the album after Track 7 on CD 1, then of course you should. But you need to listen to the album in isolation first, before you step into the bonus material. Otherwise, the wonder may get diluted. But the original "Argus" was and is, a five star album.

Even with all my doubts and quibbles, the music still merits those five stars, even if this version is a little bit mixed up.
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on 25 January 2000
Argus - what can you say? The ultimate dual guitar album. Fleetwood Mac may have started the sound and Lizzy may have followed but neither band topped this album. I've been listening to it for over twenty years! Electric and accoustic guitars never sounded so good. Great harmony vocals and melodies too.
One major minus is the inclusion of "No Easy Road" from "Wishbone Four" on this re-issue. This a catchy 'commercial' song has NOTHING whatever to do with Argus, an album which from the opening "Time Was" to the closing "Throw Down the Sword" hangs together perfectly as a complete work. I always have to rush to switch off the CD player before "NER" destroys the magic created by "TDTS"
Who was the genius at MCA with the bright "bonus" track idea - the band must really be big fans of him/her!
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One of the sadnesses associated with being 48 is never again expecting to buy an album that changes my life. Like this one did. I'd been listening to black sabbath and led zep when I bought this purely on recommendation. After the two minute acoustic intro to Time Was I thought I'd wasted my money. I soon decided it was one of the most beautifully composed, played and assembled albums ever. So many of the tracks draw you in, tell a story, then take you along to a perfect ending.
This reissue is brilliant, the sound is great and for once the bonus tracks are really worth it, including a superb live "Phoenix". I've seen Wishbone Ash live nine times, seven in the seventies and twice in recent years at Wilbarston Village Hall. Last year at Wilbo they laid down another classic live Phoenix, I reckon Andy Powell keeps on doing it just because he loves to.
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on 14 October 2015
Absolutely magical! It goes without saying that Argus is probably the best album ever, a total masterpiece. I don't know whether they actually composed it or whether they found it at the top of a sacred mountain - fully formed! Certainly no other Wishbone Ash album comes close.

Now for the big question of whether if, like me, you already have various CD versions of it, is it worth buying this final one (the "Collectors Edition") at a premium price? The answer is a huge resounding "Yes". I closed my eyes and I swear the band were playing a few feet away from me! Every sound jumps out and is so clear. The roll of the drums, the shimmer of the cymbals, the twin lead guitars and the bass - they all come straight at you. I'm not sure if I have ever really heard the bass line before, but I have now.

In the wah wah guitar sections, it's almost as if the guitars have sprouted heads and are calling out directly to you. Almost quite eerie!

The vocals are also superb as are the occasional "strange other" sounds. The only problem for me was that after drifting in this amazing paradise of sound the album ends and goes straight on to "No Easy Road" which really is a bit of a rude awakening. I'm not saying it's not a fairly decent track, but it's a completely different style from Argus and shouldn't really be on the end of Argus. If something is perfect then leave it as it is!

All in all however, a wonderful, powerful, elevating experience. Now I just wish all my albums were of this quality!
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on 9 March 2002
Ever heard of Wishbone Ash ? I hadn't a few years back and someone suggested that this album was a classic. I bought a ropey vinyl copy of the album and there is stayed on my record player for weeks...

The album features the twin guitars of Ted Turner and Andy Powell and this is much in evidence on 'Time was' the albums opener which starts off quitely enough but then explodes. 'Sometime World' is probably my least favourite track but that doesn't mean it's bad ! 'Blowin free' is the track you'd probably recognise if you heard it on the radio; a touch of Status Quo here methinks but a great song.

What was side two on the album kicks off with 'The King will come' with more guitar duets much in evidence. 'Leaf and stream' is an acoustic calm before the storm leading to the albums closing tracks 'Warrior' and 'Throw down the sword', the latter being just superb.

There it is, can't wait to get the remastered cd version with some earlier live cuts and missing the previous bonus track 'No easy road' which really didn't fit on the album.

Subsequent albums never quite captured the magic although they had their moments.

Buy it...

S C Trump 2002
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on 21 April 2000
It hardly seems like almost thirty years have passed since I first heard this album as a sixteen-year old. This album has stood the test of time well, with Andy Powell's and Ted Turner's dual guitar still sounding as good as ever. Steve Upton's superb drumming and Martin Turner's solid bass/vocals completed the greatest Wishbone Ash line-up. For those that think Thin Lizzy invented the harmony lead guitars, this album pre-dates Jailbreak by three full years. This was a number-one album and deservedly so. A true classic from one hell of a good band!
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on 21 April 2002
Last summer my band and i were practicing at our guitarist's house, working on a new song i had written with a duel guitar riff, when his mother came in and commented on how much it sounded like Wishbone Ash. Who? Wishbone Ash. Being only 15 at the time i had not heard of them, and so she lent me Argus. Immediately after hearing it I got myself a copy and have since found it difficult to find an album that betters it. From the superb opening of 'Time Was' I was hooked. An album of consistency on every track; brilliant vocals, outstanding guitars, great drumming and some fantasic bass playing (check out 'Sometime World' to see what i mean).
This is Rock at it's best. BUT BUY BUY!!!
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on 13 January 2005
I remember hearing this over 30 years ago, (indeed, I remember listening to this on a recorder looking at endless sea whilst in the RN).
The magic of this album has never faded, and maybe is even more magical today, when there are so few truly unique sounds around. All of the tracks are awesome. The highest praise I can give is I can start the album and listen happily all the way through to all the tracks, each one having it's own special magic.
When I want to travel to that special place that has only the joy of true music, I put on my headphones and this album. Nobody else ever came close to this.
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