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Martin Turner: Written In The Stars

As it says under his name on the front of Written In The Stars, Martin Turner is a "founding member of Wishbone Ash". And if you needed any confirmation of that, settle down, relax and soak up the unmistakably Wishbone like sounds this album serves up (there's also a cheeky wee Argus sentinel cleverly placed in the logo!).

Amazingly this is Turner's first studio outing in some eighteen years – all the more surprising when you take into account just how active he's been on the live circuit during all of that time. However with the supremely confident introduction this album is blessed with, you'd never know, "The Big Bang (Overture)" segueing into "The Beauty Of Chaos". The first is a short instrumental, the latter a lengthy one. Together they make a grand statement and one that is rammed home marvellously through the album's magnificent title track; the harmony twin vocals and twin guitars offering the album's most obvious nod to Turner's past. With long term guitarist Ray Hatfield leaving the band towards the end of the creation of Written…, both he and his replacement feature across the album, Misha Nikola making a mighty statement during the title cut, "Pretty Little Girls" and "Interstellar Rock Star". Hatfield however was no slouch, hence alongside the ever present six string of Danny Wilson, the almost Roy Orbison (with a distortion peddle) meets ELO (without their strings) of "Lovers" packs an unexpected punch, while "The Lonely Star" offers a beautiful, balanced track where the only vocals are a lone solitary whisper of the song's name provided by Austin Wilson. The guitar trade offs, while subtle here, are blissful and when combined with the poised, yet powerful bass from Turner himself, really something to behold. Vocally Turner is in top form, easily handling the jostling "Pretty Little Girls", thriving on the easier vibe of "Falling Sands" and adding a dreamy, otherworldly quality to the 60s Space Rock explosion of "Interstellar Rock Star".

There really isn't a downside to this album, each and every track crafted, yet passionate, while the performances are of the highest order. For fans of Wishbone Ash, or in fact any sort of classy, poised rock with an eye on the full rich sound of the 70s, this album is a must. After all, it's Written In The Stars

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!

Track Listing
1. The Big Bang (Overture)
2. The Beauty of Chaos
3. Written in the Stars
4. Lovers
5. Vapour Trail
6. The Lonely Star
7. For My Lady
8. Pretty Little Girls
9. Falling Sands
10. Mystify Me
11. Interstellar Rockstar

Added: November 30th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Martin Turner online
Hits: 3358
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Martin Turner: Written In The Stars
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2015-11-30 10:00:48
My Score:

Wishbone Ash have long been one of the most intriguing, influential, and underrated bands from the glory days of progressive rock/classic rock. Though the original line-up splintered many years ago, founder Andy Powell has carried on the torch, still delivering solid, classic sounding Ash material to this day. Though he lost the battle to Powell to retain the Wishbone Ash name, bassist/vocalist Martin Turner has released here his first solo album in many years, which will easily appeal to fans of the classic material of his former band. Turner is in fine vocal form, and his bass work is booming as always, but it's the magnificent lead guitar work of Ray Hatfield (who left the band near the end of the recording) , Misha Nikola, and Danny Wilson who provide the albums many fireworks. The title track smolders with mighty licks, "Vapour Trail" has that majestic Wishbone Ash flavor, and "The Lonely Star" features plenty of silky soloing in the grand Andy Powell/Martin Turner tradition. The guitarists trade some splendid lines on the instrumental "The Beauty of Chaos", and rock out with some searing blues on the upbeat & groove laden "Pretty Little Girls". The more laid back vibe of "Mystify Me" and "Lovers" isn't far removed from Powell's version of the Ash, as Turner & Co. mix in blues, jazz, pop, and classic rock elements for an engaging sound.

With all that's happened between them from a legal standpoint, it's probably safe to assume that Powell and Turner won't be working together again anytime soon, or perhaps ever, but both are doing their share, separately as it is, to keep the spirit of Wishbone Ash alive and well.

» Reader Comments:

Martin Turner: Written In The Stars
Posted by terry mason on 2015-11-09 18:50:46
My Score:

Excellent album, love all the songs, great production, lovely harmony vox, great guitar harmonies, great guitar tones, great growling bass lines and great softer bass tones on some of the songs, great playing and sound from Tim on drums. My Favorite song for me is Interstellar Rockstar and love the rest of the songs to.., all in all a splendid album..,

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