Shining Light ~ Ash

ashAsh officially formed in 1992, reportedly having taken their name from the first word they liked in the dictionary. Prior to this, Wheeler and Hamilton were in an Iron Maiden cover band called Vietnam who formed in 1989. They created three demo tapes that year – Solar Happy in June, Shed in September, and the Home Demo in November. These tapes featured their earliest material and the first recordings of some songs that were later on their 1994 release, Trailer, including “Intense Thing”, “Get Out”, “Obscure Thing,” and their future single, “Jack Names the Planets”.

In 1993 the band recorded the Garage Girl demo tape, which featured “Jack Names the Planets” and “Intense Thing” taken from Shed, as well as some new tracks including “Petrol”. Following Garage Girl, they released their compilation demo tape, Pipe Smokin’ Brick later that year, which featured an assortment of songs from the other tapes. Downpatrick musician Ray Valentine recorded Ash’s demos at his studio, Cosmic Rays. At that time, the band were known as “Genuine Real Teenagers,” because they were so young when recording their early material. The demo tapes had not gained much attention yet and the band were still playing small shows at local clubs, but in early 1994, Stephen Taverner came across the Garage Girl demo tape. Taverner put up the money so that they could press 1,000 7″ copies of “Jack Names the Planets” on his own LaLaLand record label. Taverner subsequently became the band’s full-time manager.

Ash released their mini album, Trailer, in October 1994, which only included seven songs. They received some airplay from Steve Lamacq on BBC Radio 1 and so followed up their debut single with “Petrol” and “Uncle Pat” on their new label Infectious Records. In 1995, Ash left school and released their breakthrough singles “Kung Fu” (featured over the end credits of Jackie Chan’s North American breakthrough film, Rumble in the Bronx), “Girl From Mars” and “Angel Interceptor”. The movie Angus was released, which featured two of Ash’s songs, “Jack Names the Planets” and “Kung Fu,” and served to introduce Ash to American audiences. The band had offered two other tracks that were cut, along with “Pansy Division’s Deep Water”, which made the soundtrack but was cut from the movie due to time constraints.

1996 saw them release the singles “Goldfinger” and “Oh Yeah” either side of their album 1977, which saw considerable success. The track “Lose Control” from that album was featured in the video game Gran Turismo.  On February 17, 1997,  Ash released Live at the Wireless, a live album, recorded at the Triple J Studios in Australia. A limited edition version of the album was released in the UK on the band’s own Deathstar label.

Shining Light

Shining Light” is a song by Ash, which was released as the first single from their album Free All Angels. It was released in January 2001.

Shining Light” was written about Tim Wheeler’s now ex-girlfriend Audrey. Wheeler was driving home in his car when the line and tune “Yeah you are a shining light” came into his head. He rushed home and wrote it straight away on an acoustic guitar. The first time the band heard it, they say that they ‘knew it was a hit’.

“Shining Light” was first played at a London Astoria gig in 2000, and is considered to be one of the band’s greatest achievements, musically and lyrically. Ash once said of the song:

  • Tim: “I think Shining Light’s a breath of fresh air”
  • Rick: “It’s a very melodic song, it sticks in your head, so we thought it’d have a pretty good chance of getting in the Top 10. It was good being back there ‘cos it’s been a long time, over two years since we had a single out”.
  • Charlotte: “It was the first song we recorded and we knew it would be the first single”.

The song was re-recorded by Canadian artist Emm Gryner on her 2005 album Songs of Love and Death. In addition, this was the song played on the last ever episode of Roswell as the group in the series drives away forever – signifying the death of the series. It has also been covered by Coldplay and Noel Gallagher claims it to be one of his favorite songs.

Shining Light - Tim Wheeler

Roman candles that burn in the night
Yeah you are a shining light
You lit a torch in the empty night
Yeah you are a shining light
Yeah you light up my life

You have always been a thorn in the side
But to me you’re a shining light
You arrive and the night is alive
Yeah you are a shining light
Yeah you light up my life

We made a connection
A full on chemical reaction
But by dark divine intervention
Yeah you are a shining light
A constellation once seen
Over Royal David’s city
An epiphany, you burn so pretty
Yeah you are a shining light

You are a force you are a constant source
Yeah you are a shining light
Incandescent in the darkest night
Yeah you are a shining light
Yeah you light up my life

my mortal blood I would sacrifice
for you are a shining light
sovereign bride of the infinite
yeah, you are a shining light
yeah, you light up my life

We made a connection
A full on chemical reaction
But by dark divine intervention
Yeah you are a shining light
A constellation once seen
Over Royal David’s city
An epiphany, you burn so pretty
Yeah you are a shining light

These are the days you often say
There’s nothing that we cannot do
Beneath a canopy of stars
I’d shed blood for you
The north star in the firmament
You shine the most bright
I’ve seen you draped in an electric veil
Shrouded in celestial light

We made a connection
A full on chemical reaction
But by dark divine intervention
Yeah you are a shining light
A constellation once seen
Over Royal David’s city
An epiphany, you burn so pretty
Yeah you are a shining light
Yeah you light up my life
Yeah you are a shining light
Yeah you light up my life

Play 
  • Audio from the 2001 album, Free All Angels:

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About DJ Allyn

DJ Allyn is a burned out radio guy who went on to become a burned out sound engineer for a few Seattle area grunge bands in the 1980s and 1990s. Left the madness of worldwide tours with bands, cleaned up my act and went into the relative sanity of sound engineering for television series. Currently working as the Director of Sound for a television series being filmed in North Vancouver, British Columbia. I am always on the lookout for interesting videos, old music, and fun.

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