Wishbone Ash learned their songcraft via English folk and jazz, as well as ’60 British traditions of white-boy blues, American R&B, and later-era Beatles. When their songs evolved, the four-piece became quite capable of honing said influences into a pop premium, and 1972’s Argus (named after a mythological Greek monster) showed they weren’t at all interested in plodding prog or in boring jams and solos. The English music weekly Melody Maker accurately said the band had the “most interesting two-guitar team” since “Beck and Page graced the Yardbirds.” Songs here shift seamlessly between folksy asides (“Leaf and Stream”), ascending anthems (“Time Was”; listen for its fab one-take guitar solo), radio-playable modal pop (“Blowin’ Free”), and ear-bending tempo changes (“Sometime World”). Sword and sorcery imagery plays a minor role (“The King Will Come,” “Throw Down the Sword”), but don’t hold that against them; the band rose out of Britain’s prog movement of the early '70s, and that stuff was also in the imagination of many kids then. It’s a great album, both as a stand-alone and as a timepiece of the era.