Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
A founding member of the groundbreaking Bauhaus, Tones on Tail, and Love and Rockets, guitarist, singer, and songwriter Daniel Ash distinguished himself in the world of alternative rock during the 1970s, '80s, and '90s. Ash was born in Northampton, England, on July 31, 1957. As a child, he heard the Dave Clark Five's "Bits and Pieces" and was blown away by the massive booming echo of the song, but it wasn't the first single he purchased -- "The first record I bought was Dave & Ansel Collins' 'Double Barrel'," he recalls. Driven by a love of rock & roll, Ash began playing in cover bands: "The first gig I ever played was in the Glasgow Rangers Workman's Club." That show ended in a fracas. Ash had become friends with Peter Murphy in his teenage years: "We were two oddballs in the class who didn't fit in." Ash went to art school and Murphy went to work in a printing factory. They met up five years later and Ash suggested forming a band.
Rigging up a makeshift rehearsal space, Ash played an echo 12-bar blues, while Murphy sang a series of newspaper articles. "After 15 seconds," Ash says , "I knew we'd have some sort of success. Four weeks after, we formed Bauhaus, and we recorded 'Bela Lugosi's Dead'." That song, issued in 1979, became the cornerstone of the goth rock movement. After nearly five years of trailblazing recording and performing, Bauhaus broke up and Ash put together Tones on Tail with Bauhaus drummer Kevin Haskins. After several EPs, the full-length Pop, and a club hit in "Go!," the group mutated into the highly influential Love and Rockets in 1985, when Bauhaus bassist David J came on board. The band became one of the biggest alternative bands of the '80s, issuing respected LPs like 1986's Express and 1987's Earth, Sun, Moon, and finally enjoying a worldwide Top Ten hit with 1989's "So Alive."
While Daniel Ash's first solo album, Coming Down, was a moody, late-night rumination written in the aftermath of divorce, Foolish Thing Desire, his second, was a celebration of life's perils and pleasures, recorded at Woodbine Street Studios with longtime collaborator John A. Rivers. It's essentially positive, presenting a rush of passionate and powerful rock riffs. In 2002, Ash released a self-titled album that flirted with electronic dance which was followed three years later by a live album, Come Alive. In 2008, Ash would see the reunions of both of his primary bands with Bauhaus going on to release Go Away White, their first studio album in 25 years, and Love & Rockets reforming to play at the famed Coachella Music and Arts Festival.