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Ash

Ash began life in 1989 as Iron Maiden wannabe's 'Vietnam', with Mark Hamilton on bass, and Tim Wheeler on guitar. The inlay toIntergalactic Sonic 7"s claims that they quickly established a reputation as the worst band in County Down, so it was probably best thatcome 1992, 'Vietnam' split. Stuck for a drummer, Tim and Mark recruited Rick McMurray , and after picking the first short word they likedfrom a dictionary, Ash was born.

In their first summer together, they recorded around 50 songs at local 7-Track studio Cosmic Rays, funding themselves with the moneythey saved by starv ...read more

Ash began life in 1989 as Iron Maiden wannabe's 'Vietnam', with Mark Hamilton on bass, and Tim Wheeler on guitar. The inlay toIntergalactic Sonic 7"s claims that they quickly established a reputation as the worst band in County Down, so it was probably best thatcome 1992, 'Vietnam' split. Stuck for a drummer, Tim and Mark recruited Rick McMurray , and after picking the first short word they likedfrom a dictionary, Ash was born.

In their first summer together, they recorded around 50 songs at local 7-Track studio Cosmic Rays, funding themselves with the moneythey saved by starving themselves on their lunch breaks. Over the course of the following year, their demo tape topped the local charts, andthey established a firm following, but began to get dissilusioned at the lack of further progress. On the verge of breaking up, enter BillMcCabe, who sent their demos off to his contacts in London. Steven Taverner came across one of the demos, Garage Girl, and decided totake a huge leap of faith, sending the band into the studio to record ?300 worth of songs.

Their first single, 'Jack Names The Planets', was released on Taverners newly formed LaLaland label in 1994, gaining airplay on Radio 1courtesy of Steve Lamaq, and after a whirlwind tour of England during their Easter break, the band signed to Infectious Records. Two moresingles, 'Petrol' and 'Uncle Pat' topped the indie charts, and then the mini-album 'Trailer' was released.

1995 saw Ash making big strides forward, with the release of three singles, 'Kung Fu', 'Girl From Mars' (which peaked at #11 in the UKsingles chart) and 'Angel Interceptor'. 1996 brought another single, 'Goldfinger', their first album proper, '1977', and 'Oh Yeah' . '1977'reached #1 in the UK album charts, whilst both singles reached the UK singles chart top 10, at 5 and 6 respectively. Jackie Chan used'Kung Fu' in the end credits to Rumble in the Bronx, in reciprocation for the namecheck he recieved in the song.

The following year, Ash expanded, recruiting Nightnurse guitarist Charlotte Hatherley. After a couple of low key gigs, Hatherley made hermajor debut at the V97 Festival. The first single she recorded with Ash was 'A Life Less Ordinary', for the film of the same name, which wasanother top ten hit.

1998 brought troubled times for 'Ash'. Finding it difficult to cope with the pressure of following up 1977, Tim suffered from writers block,there were problems with producers, and deadlines were missed. Perhaps reflecting the mood of a band suffering from burn out, 'Nu-ClearSounds' was a much darker album, and despite critical acclaim, sales were overall rather poor, though it did reach a high of #7 in the UKalbum charts, and first single 'Jesus Says' made it to #15 in the singles chart. 'Wildsurf' came and went rather quickly at the end of the year,failing to capture the attention and reached a high of just #31.

In the wake of 'Nu-Clear Sounds' failure, Tim went AWOL, and the band came close to bankrupcy. After a return to Northern Ireland and a 6month break, Ash came back together at Tims parents house, and began writing and playing in the same garage it had all started in. Armedwith over 30 songs, they headed to Spain to record 'Free All Angels', knowing it might be their last record and had the summer of their lives. Feeling 'Free All Angels' marked their best effort to date, but knowing the public wouldn't be easy to convince, Ash used the internet to re-establish their fan base, embarking on a tour of tiny venues, all voted for by fans online.

'Shining Light' was the first single to be released, reaching #8, and when 'Free All Angels' followed in April, it smashed its way to #1,outmuscling Janet Jackson. This prompted Rick to ring Virgin Records, leaving then a stirring rendition of Outkast's 'Sorry Miss Jackson'.Later singles were the classic 'Burn Baby Burn' (#13), 'Sometimes' (#21), 'Candy' (#20), and 'Theres a Star' (#13). In March of 2002,'Walking Barefoot' was released in Australia only. The bands renaiseince was complete. 'Shining Light' won Best Contemporary Song at the2002 Ivor Novello awards and Q gave 'Burn Baby Burn' Single of the Year. Burn baby Burn was also voted Best Single by readers of NME.The Hot Press awards gave the band Best Irish Album and Best Irish Single for 'Free All Angels' and 'Shining Ligh.

To celebrate 10 years of Ash, Intergalactic Sonic 7"s was released in 2002, containing all their singles to date, a new song, 'Envy', as wellas a bonus cd containing 22 b-sides voted for by fans. The year also saw the release of Free All Angels in the US, on Kinetic Records.

2004 saw Ash cement their place as a giant of Brit rock, with he release of new album 'Meltdown', which went top 5, and the first single fromit 'Clones', which was released as a download only (in the days before downloads were included in the charts). 'Clones' was also used in StarWars Republic Commando, and was the first music to be used in anything Star Wars related that hasn't been composed by John Williams.'Orpheous' was the first official single, reaching #13, and was used in the film Shaun of the Dead (alongside title track, 'Meltdown'), and thevideo games Burnout 3 and NHL 2005. Next single 'Starcrossed' reached #21, and in December, 'Renegade Cavalcade' peaked at #33. InMarch 2005, 'Meltdown got its US release (with 3 bonus tracks) through Record Collection, but failed to make an impact.

In January 2006, Charlotte and Ash parted company, after 9 years together, and the band were back down to 3. The split was described asamicable, and so far no replacement has been brought in.

Their first album since Hatherley's departure, Twilight Of The Innocents was released in 2007, but failed to make much commercial orcritical impact. Even before the albums release, the band had announced that they would not release another album, instead opting forsingles only. They sited the changing ways in which people buy music, mainly single track downloads as a reason for this. The first fruits ofthis new approach to making music are expected before the end of 2009. « hide

Similar Bands: Feeder, Blur, Oasis, AFI, Green Day

LPs
Twilight Of The Innocents
2007

3.2
16 Votes
Meltdown
2005

3.7
56 Votes
Free All Angels
2001

3.8
52 Votes
Nu-Clear Sounds
1998

3.2
22 Votes
1977
1996

3.7
52 Votes
Trailer
1994

3.4
16 Votes
EPs
Little Infinity EP
06/16/2012

3
2 Votes
Live Albums
Live At The Wireless
1997

3.7
3 Votes
Compilations
The Best of Ash
2011

4.5
1 Votes
A-Z Vol.2
2010

3.5
1 Votes
A-Z Vol.1
2010

3.9
7 Votes
1977 3 disc collector's edition
2008

5
1 Votes
Intergalactic Sonic 7s
2002

4.1
20 Votes

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