The Never Ending Playlist – Week #5

22. Shining Light – Ash (2001, Infectious Records, Taken from ‘Free All Angels’)

After receiving rather mixed reviews for ‘Nu-Clear Sounds’, their second album, Ash, sensed commercial decline.  Fearing their careers were over before they reached 22, they returned to their native Northern Ireland and effectively went back to basics.  The result was a clear and resounding success.  Gone was the disjointed, overly heavy, unfriendly garage rock sound that the band explored on ‘Nu-Clear Sounds and in its place was a return to the radio friendly indie power pop brilliance of their earlier work. 

Which was excellent news.  Only the news was unexpectedly better, because the third album ‘Free All Angels’ was bigger, more janglier and more tuneful than anything that they had recorded before or afterwards for that matter.   It went to the top of the UK album charts, spurned five Top 40 singles and charted across the world.  Take that commercial decline. 

It was kind of inevitable really. ‘Shining Light’ is textbook Ash.  Addictive power pop with a huge chorus designed to conquer festivals, indie discos and every radio station from here to Alaska.  It is a straightforward enough love song that reminds us that when things are bad we always have the good times and the good things are brilliant.  It stormed into the Top Ten and Ash were one of the biggest bands on the planet again.

Here is one of the B Sides should you wish to listen to it

Warmer Than Fire – Ash (2001, Infectious Records) – Actually a cover version of a song by instantly forgotten indie band Little Hell (so forgettable that Songwhip has precisely zero links to their songs)

1 Comment

  1. JC says:

    It remains an incredibly enjoyable album to listen to. ‘Burn Baby Burn’ is almost equally as good as ‘Shining Light’.


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