Daniel Ash Wednesday

15 03 2007

Ash Wednesday three weeks ago would have been the perfect time to post this piece and use the punny title. But I’m Jewish, and I always forget about these events until I see people walking around with gunk on their foreheads, at which point I invariably think: “Right, I almost forgot about Daniel Ash!”

Best known for being a founding member of seminal post-punk outfit Bauhaus (notice I didn’t dare say “Goth”, though I suppose I have now…oops), Ash has arguably made his best, and certainly most diverse music in the, er, wake of that band’s, um, ashes. (Sorry, I really am trying to avoid the “G” word, but the puns are damn inescapable).

Bauhaus

“Bela Lugosi’s Dead” is a fantastic song for which the lyrics were written as Peter Murphy read randomly from the newspaper. But you already know that one, so here’s my favorite goth/dub reggae jam, “She’s in Parties.” I think Ash’s playing on this song is probably the single biggest influence on me as a guitarist. Not that you asked but…it’s not your damn blog, is it?

Mp3: “She’s in Parties” – Bauhaus
Official site: http://www.bauhausmusik.com
Buy music and DVDs by Bauhaus on Amazon

Love and Rockets

Ash’s most commerically successful band was Love and Rockets, who had a huge hit with the inescapable (in 1989) guaranteed-to-separate-the-old-fans-from-the-new-fans 120 Minutes-pandering radio-friendly single “So Alive.” Here’s a far, far better song from that album, a glam stomper about his love affair with a machine:

MP3: “Motorcycle” – Love and Rockets
http://www.loveandrockets.org
Buy music and DVDs by Love and Rockets on Amazon

Tones on Tail

But Ash’s most criminally underrated band was the utterly fantastic Tones on Tail, an experimental electronic-pop band he formed with Bauhaus’s drummer Kevin Haskins (brother of bassist David J) and their roadie, Glenn Campling. The band only lasted about 2 years, just after Bauhaus ended and before Ash and Haskins reconnected with J. to form Love and Rockets. During this time they recorded about 25 songs, most of which were released as singles and EPs. While they never quite got as big as the bands which precedeed and followed them, Tones on Tail did have one fairly successful single, “Go”, which is still being played in clubs to this day. Apparently Moby sampled it on his track of the same name, but I’ll never know for sure as I have a pretty strong “no Moby” policy and I don’t intend to change.

Going with the lesser-known tracks again, here is my favorite song in the T.O.T. oeuvre, the Moroderriffic “Performance” (a.k.a. “Shakes”).

MP3: “Performance” – Tones on Tail
Buy the aptly titled “Everything” by Tones on Tail from Amazon

Ash has been making solo records as well for the past 15 years or so, which you can check out here. I, however, need to get some work done.

And even if you don’t like his music, you really need to give it up to a man’s having such amazingly consistent hair all these years.

The Official Daniel Ash site.
Buy Daniel Ash solo music from Amazon