on 31 March 2005
Although only in their twenties, Northern Ireland's Ash have been around for many years, and have survived hard times as well as revelling in real success, including this collection of singles. Their tracks vary quite a bit, ranging from the intense shouty Numbskull to the pop-tastic Wildsurf, the beautifully poignant Sometimes and the exhuberantly orchestral Candy. Essentially they hinge around power-pop, with airy riffs and optimistic lyrics, mostly about love and lust. Anyone who likes Weezer or Fountains Of Wayne will love this.
Most of the tracks on here are extremely impressive - both Shining Light (a melancholic ballad which can be seen as being about love, God or drugs, depending on interpretation) and Burn Baby Burn (the ultimate in singalong rock) having won Single Of the Year awards (for the same year). Sometimes is my absolute favourite though, the sheer beauty has to be heard to be believed.
The earlier hits such as Girl From Mars and Oh Yeah have such wistful innocence and joie de vivre that it's hard not to be impressed, especially as the band wrote them while still at school. Although their Nu-Clear Sounds album wasn't as commercially successful, it supplies three great tracks here - Numbskull, Jesus Says and Wildsurf.
The second disk is superb as well, comprising some of their classic bonus tracks. They've clearly taken a lot of pride in many of these, most would be up to album standard, and several (especially The Sweetness Of Death, Nocturne and 13th Floor) could easily be hts in their own right. The Sweetness of Death is almost certainly the only song ever to make a melody out of the word 'melatonin', which has to be worth something in itself.
on 11 May 2003
Finally – a chance to have Ash’s best all on one CD! As much as I love their music, there is a tendency for Ash albums to contain a couple of dodgy tracks which always result in you pressing the skip button every so often. But a collection of all their best ends all that – there is not a single track on this album deserving of a skip. With a fantastic opening from their more recent “Burn Baby Burn”, through to the heavy “Numbskull”, this singles compilation is proof of Ash’s talent and range of sounds. The classics “Girl from Mars” and “A Life Less Ordinary” (which incidentally doesn’t feature on any other Ash album) both feature, along with a few of their really early tracks like the fantastic “Uncle Pat”, which you may not have heard if you haven’t heard their demo album. This will add to the collection of any fan and also gain them new fans along the way – if you don’t have any of the band’s material, buy this record because it will introduce you to the musical greatness that is ASH!
on 9 March 2007
In regards to the review below by Edna Sweetlove - your comments make no sense to me. If you want to criticize Ash for their music then fine, but having a go just because they dont sound "Irish" enough is ludricous and unfair. If they were from England would you be saying that they dont sound "English" enough? Ash have never set out to pander to the kind of faux Irishness that rubbish like the Coors do, and instead sound like their influences which is mainly US punk pop and classic rock.
Now whilst I admit that Ash are not one of the worlds greatest bands by any stretch of the imagination, they have nonetheless produced some corking classic singles - Kung Fu, Girl From Mars, Jack Names The Planets, Angel Interceptor, Goldfinger, Walking Barefoot, Burn Baby Burn - and seeing as this collection contains them all I will happily give this 4 stars.
Ash have produced several fine albums now, but ultimately their real strength is singles. Ash are absolute masters at their art of creation 3-and-a-half minute slices of punk pop perfection, and there are 17 here (plus the slightly wayward steps 'Candy' and 'Uncle Pat', but you'd be hard pressed to care with the range of other singles here). From very early tracks like 'Jack Names The Planets' and 'Petrol', through the classic 'Goldfinger' (probably their very best ever) and 'Oh Yeah', right up to 'Burn Baby Burn', 'Shining Light', 'Walking Barefoot' and most recent single 'Envy', Ash have produced total quality, fun, summery tracks. Even the singles from the commercially disappointing 'Nu-Clear Sounds' sound perfect here. 5 stars.
on 12 September 2002
I've been an Ash fan since I heard my friends band playing "Season" in high school. They'd just got the Trailer EP and I think it was around the time that Kung Fu had been released on single (the first song I learned to play on guitar) :D
I've bought every album since Trailer and be happy with what I've heard every time. Intergalactic Sonic 7s is a great compilation of each of Ash's singles from all 4 previous albums. The main selling point for me though was the Cosmic Debris bonus CD. I've only bought the odd Ash single and so I've missed out on some of their B-Side tracks. The bonus CD is packed full of 22 b-sides and rareties from their back catalogue.
The album is frankly amazing. Well produced, the songs all well written my Tim Wheeler. One thing I also liked was the fact they've used some US versions of the singles on CD1 which makes listening to old songs a new experience.
Well done Ash. This fan is still happy even after 10 years. Keep it up.
on 29 September 2002
When I first heard Ash, I was listening to Shining Light on one of the local Hong Kong television stations. At the time, I had just started secondary school and I was lead on by Spice Girls and Britney Spears, but I had to gawp at the band's music. After hearing the single, I immediately became a big fan of Ash. My friends thought I was weird, suddenly transforming from a preppy popster to a rock fan but I didn't care.
A few years later, being thirteen now, I still am a big fan of Ash, who influenced me to pick up the electric guitar and drums and make a rock band. I bought this CD on the day of it's release and listened to it for hours, the fast beat of 'Kung Fu', the soothing 'Candy' and the great 'Girl from Mars' single. I strongly suggest you buy this CD, whether you love rock, pop, R&B or anything else, it's worth it.
Now I'm glad that I was watching television that night.
on 21 September 2002
There are not many bands who warrant a 'best of' collection at an average age of 25, but for Wheeler and co it seems almost overdue.
Ash's brand of exuberant, melodic punk/pop (its difficult to pigeonhole) makes for an incredible listen. From the feel good rock'n'roll riffage of 'Girl from Mars' to the love lorn splendour of 'Sometimes', the album is never samey. Wheeler pens tunes that creep inside your head and remind you of all things summer, being young and wanting sex.
'Oh Yeah', 'A life Less Ordinary', 'Goldfinger', 'Walking Barefoot' and er, practically every track demonstrates how guitar rock should be, fun and catchy, with dynamite use of the wah wah pedal!
Ash lack the self-conscious misery of so many bands, so get involved with this album, it will transform your life and all for the price of a not very good haircut.
'Intergalactic Sonic 7's'' is the ultimate greatest hits compilation from brit-pop band Ash. I first discovered their music on 90s compilation albums, after playing the four Ash songs I had to death, I bought their debut album and decided to purchase this hits collection as well.
The first disc is a solid 19 track overview of their career from 1994-2002. All of the hits I loved, ''Girl From Mars'', ''Oh Yeah'', and my personal favourite: 'There's A Star' (what a song!) are all here, as well as equally fantastic tunes that were new to me like 'Shining Light' and 'Walking Barefoot'. Not to mention the bonus CD containing an amazing 22 songs (including 'Warmer Than The Fire', one of those rare occasions when a B side SHOULD have been released as an A) that were issued as B sides to the singles over the past decade before this compilation was released.
The set also contains a booklet with a detailed career history, band photos, the covers of all the singles, and lyrics to all of the hits.
In short, the perfect Ash greatest hits, and the best set for people who are only looking for one CD of the band in their collection. I will be playing catchup soon and buying all of the studio albums of a band who are fast becoming my favourite, in the meantime, I know that this is going to be played over and over.
on 10 September 2002
....cannot possibly have any taste in music.
Most of Ash's singles were excellent, energetic perfoamces, and are examples of songwriting at its best - and all 18 of them are included here (with the excellent Walking Barefoot thrown in for good measure). This definitley includes all of Ash's best songs and is a great introduction to the group for those who only know their recent stuff (it includes a great many of their brilliant early material such as Petrol, Goldfinger and Uncle Pat).
But the thing that really surprised me was the B-sides collection which makes up the second disc. A lot of the tracks can be found on the European tour version of Free All Angels, but there are a great many that have not yet been released as an album. The amazing thing about the collection is that many of these B-sides are about 20 times better than anything currently in the UK Top Twenty singles chart. Songs such as No Place to Hide and the ultimate "unrequited love" song Warmer Than Fire, plus the beautiful Nocturne really deserve a wider audience.
And that's why you should buy this album even if you've already got all of Ash's other albums (like myself).
Whilst most of the bands of the mid-90s rock explosion seem to have lost their way in recent years (Oasis, Blur, Manic Street Preachers, Supergrass, the Bluetones, etc), Ash have steadfastly continued their tradition of releasing excellent rock/pop songs. This singles collection brings together all of their singles to date, plus excellent album track Walking Barefoot. As a bonus, at least on this initial release, a 22-song B-side collection is also included, subtitled Cosmic Debris. Not having thought of Ash as a good B-sides band before, the quality of many of these songs comes as a surprise. But the main disc is the focus of attention here and it's quality is remarkable, even for a greatest hits collection. Early efforts Jack Names the Planets, Petrol and Uncle Pat (from their first album, 1994's Trailer), though lacking the polish of later work, all show promise, but it's the four songs from the album 1977 which impress immediately (Goldfinger, Kung Fu, Oh Yeah, Girl From Mars and Angel Interceptor). Girl from Mars may be everyone's favourite Ash singalong number, but Oh Yeah is the one that really hits the spot, being Tim Wheeler's wistful yearning for that 1st love from years ago. A Life Less Ordinary follows up the first album tracks and is good, but not remarkable. Then we have the singles from the massively underrated Nu-Clear Sounds album: the US-influenced rock of Jesus Says, straightforward guitar pop of Wildsurf and hard-edged, thrash-riffed Numbskull. A shame the excellent album tracks Folk Song and I'm Gonna Fall weren't released as singles as well. Then finally the singles from last years excellent Free All Angels album: Shining Light, Burn Baby Burn, Candy, Sometimes and There's a Star. The dull Candy aside, there isn't a duff song among them (and Sometimes, Shining Light and Burn Baby Burn are borderline classics). Finally, there is new song Envy (okay, but a bit Ash-by-numbers). With the exception of Candy (a bit boring) and the primitive Uncle Pat and Jack Names the Planet, every song on here is a bona fide classic, proving that Ash know when and how to release a great single. If you are a fan of British guitar music in general, or like Feeder or Blink-182's non-crap songs, then this is simply for you. Excellent.