Just Testing - Comments

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Just Testing - Personal View

Andy Powell in The Illustrated Collectors Guide Book To Wishbone Ash: "'Just Testing' was the usual excuse from any member of the band when he made a mistake." The phrase was first used during the Thereís The Rub sessions in 1974.

The picture of the band members shows them as "tough guys". Maybe itís the punk era that "forced" the rough look. A lot later Michael Jackson used similar views for his video "Bad". Well, if someone bought this album because of the attitude the picture reflects, he or she might have been surprised. This is not a "simple" hard rock album but something much more complex. The production and many of the songs included in the album are "heavy" for Wishbone Ash, but itís never a straight line with them.

Living Proof

Laurie Wisefield and Claire Hamill made a song that made a long-lasting mark in the live repertoire. The melody has that something that stays in one's subconscious. Sure enough this song was released as a single in several countries (according to the Collectors Guide Book).

Haunting me

The first of two songs with strange guitar sounds. This one is more tough because of its thumping rhythm. Always shadowed by the following song in my mind, 'though this is not a bad one either.

Insomnia

A more driving bass line and melody. The "creepy" story has left an everlasting mark in me. Whenever I have trouble falling asleep, this song starts to come to my mind. The guitar sound is really spooky, very close to an effect made with a synthesizer. The ghost-like voices near the end makes my hair rise. This is a permanent Top Ten song for me. Itís released as a single at least in US.

Helpless

Now the persons that bought the album expecting something more "heavy" get their reward. One of the few cover songs Wishbone Ash has recorded and not a bad choice. Another song that was released as a single in several countries.

Pay The Price

A good riff with a "squeak" near the end. This could have been a crowdpleaser with its steady rhythm, but according to the Collectors Guide Book itís never been in the live set. Strange.

New Rising Star

The pace is slowed down. Martin has time to play "third lead guitar" with his melodic bass playing.

Master Of Disguise

Back to adding some acoustic guitar in the arrangement! I think it had a rest after Living Proof. The solos are quite tasty and Martinís "growling" bass is the icing.

Lifeline

A strange start with "out of tune guitars" building up the atmosphere. The more the song advances the more it speeds up. One of the sequences that "elevates" me is the "double lead rally" thatís repeated now and then during the second part. This is one of those historical two part songs Wishbone Ash has made. And not a bad one either.

 

Written by: Rainer Frilund - Last update: Sep, 1998