Ash are a Northern Irish alternative rock band, formed in Downpatrick in 1992 by vocalist and guitarist Tim Wheeler, bassist Mark Hamilton and drummer Rick McMurray. As a three-piece, they released mini-album Trailer in 1994, followed by 1977 in 1996. This 1996 release is regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time. After the success of their full debut the band recruited Charlotte Hatherley as a guitarist and vocalist, releasing their second record Nu-Clear Sounds in 1998. After narrowly avoiding bankruptcy the band released Free All Angels in 2001 and a string of successful singles.
Their fourth record Meltdown, released in 2004, was the band's final record with Hatherley before returning to their original three-piece lineup for their fifth studio album Twilight of the Innocents in 2007. After five conventional albums the band released 26 singles in The A-Z Series in 2009, one every two weeks. The band have had one silver, two gold and two platinum-selling (and chart-topping) records in the United Kingdom, as well as 18 songs in the top 40 of the UK Singles Chart.