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Ash are an alternative rock band that formed in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland in 1992. The band has sold 8 million albums worldwide.
Band beginning, Trailer and 1977 (1992–1998)
Ash 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 a 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.
Ash in Bangkok, Thailand 1999
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 17 February 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.
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