I have been listening to a lot of Ash lately, so I thought it would only be right to go back to where it all began for me. This one is quite special to me and I imagine it still will be when I am 90!
I was 17 at the time of release, only a couple of years younger than Tim and Mark from the band. 1977 just seemed to hit the spot at the time quite brilliantly. I played it so often (and loudly) I am sure it drove my parents mad. Although my folks were quite into the Stones and Hendrix, I am not sure what they made of Ash.
Listening to it now, I still love it as much as I did then. To me 1977 is the epitome of youthful abandon. These days it makes me feel incredibly happy and a bit sad at the same time. Happy that there is a record that portrays that feeling of being young so well and sad because it makes me realise I am no longer (that) young! Don’t worry, I am not as bitter as that sounds – Being in my mid thirties is much easier than being a teenager!
The opening of of ‘Lose Control’ always reminded me of something being ripped open, a can of awesome songs in this case 😉 . Although I do think that the singles ‘Kung Fu’, ‘Girl From Mars’, ‘Angel Interceptor’, ‘Goldfinger’ and ‘Oh Yeah’ are the strongest songs on the album, there is no filler on it. I think I read somewhere that Tim Wheeler wrote ‘Lost In You’ under pressure one evening while they were recording the album, because they needed one more song. No idea where I read that OR whether it is true. ‘Kung Fu’ apparently only took five minutes to write and one take to record. Pretty awesome stuff. ‘Innocent Smile’ has always been a favourite and so has the opener (Lose Control). Every single song is worth listening to… Well, apart from ‘Sick Party’ the hidden track. I thought it was hilarious when I was 17 – now I simply shrug and shake my head at youthful foolishness! 😉
One of the great things about the album is that Tim’s vocals do sound young and undeveloped. It adds something incredibly unique. You don’t want a band of teenagers to sound too… formed, if that makes sense. And Ash didn’t. They sounded like the young guys they were, like they were having a blast making the album and taking a good shot at being what they wanted to be.
That Ash have been around for over twenty years now is crazy. That it has taken me fifteen years to rediscover them is even crazier and I feel deprived that I have not taken the journey with them. Now Ash are extremely experienced and accomplished musicians, who have done things their own way, though not always through choice, and that deserves a lot of praise. Their new album Kablammo! is out at the end of the month and I am looking forward to at least hear this one straight away. But, however great that record may prove to be, no other Ash album could ever beat 1977 in my mind, simply because of the memories that go with it.
One word to describe this record: Youthful
Play it when… You want to feel like eighteen for an hour
Songs you need to hear: Girl From Mars, Kung Fu, Oh Yeah, Lose Control