January 18th 1980
Just Testing - Wishbone Ash's tenth studio album is released, including the single "Living Proof" as well as other highlights such as "Lifeline", "Insomnia" and "Master of Disguise". The album spends four weeks on the UK chart, peaking at number 41. On the same day as Just Testing was released, Wishbone Ash commence a 30 date UK/Eire tour, commemorating the band's 10th anniversary.
Tenth anniversary tour continues throughout Europe.
Twelve date UK tour.
Various UK and European festivals
Live recordings for a new live album are mixed at Wembley Music Centre, chiefly by Martin Turner.
September 20th 1980
Wishbone Ash Mk.2 makes its final live appearance at the Colmar Festival, France.
Founder member Martin Turner parts company with Wishbone Ash when the other members of the band announce to him their intentions of recruiting a lead singer/front person in a bid for the hit single success which had previously eluded the band. Feeling unable to go along with the majority decision and relinquish his lead vocalist duties, Martin Turner reluctantly stands down from his position in the band to pursue a career in record production but continues writing and recording new material.
October 16th 1980
Wishbone Ash begin rehearsing with new bassist John Wetton - formerly of King Crimson, Roxy Music, UK, Uriah Heep, Family, Mogul Thrash.
October 20th 1980
Live Dates Volume II album released, featuring live recordings of the Mk.2 line-up of the band spanning the period 1976-80. The first 25,000 copies of the album contain a free bonus live disc, while subsequent copies revert to a single disc.
Recording for Number the Brave album takes place at Miami's Criteria Sound Studios with producer Nigel Gray of Police fame. However, new recruit John Wetton feels frustrated when his vocal and songwriting talents are not used to their full extent and decides not to continue beyond the recording sessions.
April 10th 1981
Number the Brave, Wishbone Ash's eleventh studio album, is released. With Martin Turner absent the album naturally marks a departure from previous releases in sound and style. Number the Brave peaks at No.61 on the UK album chart.
April 14th 1981
Trevor Bolder (ex-Uriah Heep, David Bowie) joins Wishbone Ash as bassist.
The new line-up of Wishbone Ash makes its debut on a UK tour, with additional vocalist Claire Hamill augmenting the band. Hamill had previously appeared on the Just Testing and Number the Brave albums.
Wishbone Ash revert to a four piece - for their first US dates since 1977.
Wishbone Ash become only the third Western rock band to perform in India - the previous two being Kraftwerk and the Police.
Demoing new material at Surrey Sound.
Short UK tour. Meanwhile, MCA UK issue The Best of Wishbone Ash, featuring a selection of tracks from 1970-80.
Wishbone Ash record their twelth studio album at Jimmy Page's Sol Studios in Cookham, Berkshire with producers Ashley Howe and Stuart Epps.
Original founding member Martin Turner, meanwhile, forms a new band. The Wolfgang (also known briefly as Bamboo and Martin Turner's Stolen Face) features guitarist Stewart MacKenzie, keyboard player Eryl Pryce-Davies and drummer Ray Weston (later replaced by Tim Broughton). The band begins performing live shows and recording new studio material.
Following a parting of the ways between Wishbone Ash and long time record label MCA, the band's new album Twin Barrels Burning is released through AVM, a label founded by manager John Sherry. With a heavier rock direction and few of the subtleties which had characterised the band's sound, longtime Wishbone Ash fans are disappointed with the album. Despite this, the album makes no.22 on the UK album chart - the band's highest placing since New England.
UK and European tour.
Wishbone Ash undertake their second tour of India. On return to the UK the band film a live video at London's Marquee Club, celebrating the venue's 25th anniversary.
April 17th 1983
Trevor Bolder makes his final appearance with Wishbone Ash in Vaal, Holland. After a two year spell with Wishbone, Bolder decides to return to his former band Uriah Heep. Bolder is replaced by then 25 year old bassist/vocalist/songwriter Mervyn "Spam" Spence, who had played briefly with respected UK band Trapeze. It is Spence's positive attitude and considerable vocal skills which persuaded the band to recruit a relative newcomer.
Mervyn Spence debuts with Wishbone Ash on a six week US tour.
Various one-off European concert and festival appearances.
Wishbone Ash enter Surrey Sound Studios with engineer Jim Ebdon to record demo tracks of six new songs, penned for their next studio album. With the band seeking a new recording deal, the tapes are circulated to various record companies. Even the band's original manager Miles Copeland - who has meanwhile achieved enormous success as manager of the Police and has his own label IRS - is approached. Copeland says he would be embarrassed to be associated with Wishbone Ash again.
Raw to the Bone album recorded at Surrey Sound Studios with producer Nigel Gray. The musical direction continues in the heavy rock vein of "Twin Barrels Burning", albeit with the addition of the tremendous vocal range of Mervyn Spence.
Raw to the Bone is released in Germany coinciding with a major European tour. Release in other territories would follow later.
Wishbone Ash undertake their first full scale UK tour in almost three years.
May 31st 1985
Raw to the Bone album finally receives a UK release through the Neat label.
Various European appearances and festivals.
Short UK tour, followed by the band's third Indian tour. These shows mark the final live appearances by Laurie Wisefield as a member of Wishbone Ash.
December 31st 1985
Laurie Wisefield announces his decision to quit Wishbone Ash. He goes on to play with a wide variety of artists including Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, and Roger Chapman.
Laurie Wisefield is replaced by ex-Suzi Quatro guitarist Jamie Crompton. The new line-up undertakes a short tour of Europe, after which Mervyn Spence also quits the band. Spence later releases two solo albums under the name "O'Ryan".
Andy Pyle (ex-Blodwyn Pig, Rod Stewart, Kinks, Savoy Brown, Gary Moore, Alvin Lee, Chicken Shack) joins Wishbone Ash as bassist.
New Wishbone Ash line-up debuts on US tour.
Demo sessions at Surrey Sound. The band also plays occasional UK dates, for which Phil Palmer (ex-Joan Armatrading, Eric Clapton, Tina Turner, etc) holds down guitar duties. Jamie Crompton subsequently returns to the fold.
The four original members of Wishbone Ash - Martin Turner, Steve Upton, Andy Powell and Ted Turner - are approached by former manager Miles Copeland, who offers the band the opportunity to reform to record an instrumental album for IRS' upcoming No Speak series. The four musicians accept Copeland's proposition. Meanwhile, the existing Wishbone Ash undertakes tours of Europe and the USA.
May 11th 1987
Martin Turner, Steve Upton and Andy Powell begin writing and recording together for the first time since 1980, at Martin Turner's London studio. Ted Turner - who was living in Los Angeles and in the process of moving to Chicago - has yet to become involved in the reunion project at this stage.
May 24th 1987
Wishbone Ash (Crompton/Pyle line-up) makes a live appearance at Sun City in South Africa. The band has been advised that they would be playing to a 50/50 multi-racial audience, but the reality is not as expected. The band return to the UK and write to the United Nations expressing their regret at playing Sun City, and stating their support of the anti-apartheid cause.
Work on the reunion album continues. Martin Turner and William Orbit co-produce the sessions at Beethoven and Guerilla Studios, London. Ted Turner begins recording with the band for the first time since 1973.
Wishbone Ash (Crompton/Pyle version) becomes one of the first Western rock bands to tour the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, Nouveau Calls - the first album release by the original Wishbone Ash in fourteen years - is released through the IRS label. The album delights fans world wide and features many influences which had not been heard in Wishbone Ash's music for several years - Martin Turner's strident bass work, Ted Turner's lap steel guitar, and Andy Powell's folky guitar melodies. These classic influences merge successfully with 1980's technology on classic tracks such as "Real Guitars Have Wings" and "In the Skin". The original band members agree to tour together in 1988.
The original Wishbone Ash perform onstage for the first time since February 1974, playing the first concert of their reunion at Folkestone Leas Cliffe Hall on February 27th 1988. Due to a late arrival from Chicago due to immigration problems, Ted Turner misses the tour rehearsals and, as a result, the first few shows see Jamie Crompton performing with the band for the first part of the show, with Ted brought on mid-set.
Following the positive experience of recording Nouveau Calls, the reformed band record a second, song-orientated, album for IRS. Martin Turner and Adam Fuest co-produce the sessions at Beethoven, The Beat Factory and Air Studios, London.
As an extention of the No Speak project, Andy Powell and Ted Turner tour the UK as part of the Night of the Guitar tour - a Miles Copeland concept featuring nine respected guitarist performing individually, together and in various combinations during a three hour show. The event is captured on an IRS album and video release - the audio of which is produced by Martin Turner.
Martin Turner remixes Argus for future CD release.
Andy Powell and Ted Turner tour Europe with the Night of the Guitar.
Wishbone Ash undertakes a tour of the USA as well as dates in Brazil.
Wishbone Ash's fifteenth studio album Here to Hear is released featuring future stage favourites "Why Don't We", "Cosmic Jazz" and "Keeper of the Light".
UK and European tours. A live concert is filmed at Bristol Colston Hall on September 26th for Central Television's Bedrock programme. The show is later released on video and DVD.