Wishbone Ash

Pilgrimage/Locked In

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An odd pairing of albums for the Pilgrimage/Locked In two-fer release, Pilgrimage demonstrated a band bordering on brilliance, on the cusp of greatness, while Locked In signified a band in utter collapse. A mere four years separates the release of these two albums, but they sound like completely different bands. Every track on Pilgrimage is superior to even the finest selection on Locked In, which is probably "Rest in Peace," although none is a clear-cut victor. In retrospect the submerged image of Wishbone Ash on the cover photo of Locked In is symbolic of the "plummeting like a rock" the band experienced after that album's release. The comparisons are few and the contrasts are aplenty despite the turnover of only one group member. Guitarist Ted Turner left the band in 1973 after Wishbone Four and Live Dates to be replaced by Laurie Wisefield. There appears to be a distinct correlation between the band's downfall and that particular personnel move. Regardless, it is certainly curious how drastically and quickly a band can fall into disarray when label changes, personnel upheaval, and inappropriate producers are involved in the equation.