“Front Page News” was the 2nd album to feature Laurie Wisefield on dual Lead Guitar in the Wishbone Ash line up (ex CBS act Home) and was originally released October 1977 on MCA Records MCG 3524 in the UK and on MCA 2311 in the USA.
This 19 May 2010 Japanese-only CD reissue comes on the SHM-CD format (Super High Materials), which has the highest quality production values and is compatible on all CD players. Universal UICY-94493 is one of those 5” mini LP card sleeves which repros the original artwork; it comes in a gatefold sleeve like the original album, a ‘numbered’ card insert which reproduces both sides of the original UK MCA label (MCG 3524), a large foldout insert with lyrics (the “Wishbone Ash Part 2 - 1975-80” history is unfortunately entirely in Japanese), an Obi and a protective outer polythene wrap. The card insert on mine is numbered 1240 – it doesn’t say how many of these were made - but I’m guessing the number is as low as 3000 for the world.
The 2010 DSD Remaster has been done by HITOSHI TAKIGUCHI in Universal’s Mastering Studios in Japan (42:38 minutes) and is one of 13 albums released in this series (full list below). The sound quality is BEAUTIFUL throughout – especially the bass and drums. Until the May 2010 “Travelogue” 2CD set in the UK (reviewed separately), this album hasn’t been available as a good remaster for decades and hearing “Come In From The Rain” with its blistering guitar battles is a thrill – as is the rocking riffage of “Right Or Wrong”. “Midnight Dancer” and “Surface To Air” have loads of presence now too, but the peach for me is the last track on Side 1 of the original LP… You could never get a good sound out of it because of where it was placed – it’s a sort of lingering Jeff Beck instrumental circa 1975’s fabulous “Blow By Blow” called “714” (a Laurie Wisefield composition) – and it now sounds glorious.
I’ve always loved this album and Wisefield’s touch with a great rock melody (“Goodbye Baby Hello Friend” is a perfect example – lyrics above), so this is a treat for me. It is pricey, but it’s superbly done.
PS: the full list of 13 titles in this 19 May 2010 Japan-only SHM-CD re-issue series are:
1. “Wishbone Ash” (December 1970), Universal UICY-94483
2. “Pilgrimage" (September 1971), Universal UICY-94484
3. “Argus" (April 1972), Universal UICY-94485/6
(2CD set, 16-Page Booklet, 2007 Remastering, Repros The “Deluxe Edition”)
4. “Wishbone Four" (December 1973), Universal UICY-94487
5. "Live Dates", (December 1973 2LP Live Set), Universal UICY-94488/9 (2CDs)
6. "There's The Rub" (November 1974), Universal UICY-94490
7. "Locked In" (March 1976), Universal UICY-94491
8. "New England"(November 1976), Universal UICY-94492
9. "Front Page News" (October 1977), Universal UICY-94493
10. "No Smoke Without Fire" (October 1978) Universal UICY-94494
(Doe NOT include the 2-track live 7” single that came with original issues of the UK LP - “Lorelei” and “Come In From The Rain” on MCA PSR 431)
11. "Just Testing" (January 1980), Universal UICY-94495
12. “Live Dates Volume 2” (October 1980 2LP Live Set), Universal UICY-94496/7 (2CDs)
13. "Number The Brave" (April 1981), Universal UICY-94498
PPS: I’ve also noticed that certain CD sites in Japan are already showing these titles as “sold out” or “unavailable” – a mere 3 weeks after release.
I'd say purchase sooner rather than later...eBay UK is a good option - with not so extortionate p&p.