"Shining Light" is a song by Ash, which was released as the first single from their album Free All Angels. It was released on 29 January 2001. It was released as a singleCD (released on 2CD formats) and as a 7" vinyl (which came with a picture sleeve). It was also Ash's first single to be released as an enhanced CD. "Shining Light" is Ash's biggest selling single to date and one of their most recognisable hits. It reached #8 on the UK Singles Chart.

Contents Edit


  • 1 Recording History
    • 1.1 B-Sides
  • 2 Appearances in popular media
  • 3 Track listing
  • 4 Annie Lennox version
    • 4.1 Track listing
    • 4.2 Official versions
    • 4.3 Chart performance
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links

Recording History[edit] Edit

"Shining Light" was written about Tim Wheeler's now ex-girlfriend Audrey. Wheeler was driving home in his car when the line and tune "Yeah you are a shining light" came into his head. He rushed home and wrote it straight away on an acoustic guitar. The first time the band heard it, they say that they 'knew it was a hit'.

"Shining Light" was first played at a London Astoria gig in 2000, and is considered to be one of the band's greatest achievements, musically and lyrically. Ash once said of the song:

  • Tim: "I think Shining Light's a breath of fresh air"
  • Rick: "It's a very melodic song, it sticks in your head, so we thought it'd have a pretty good chance of getting in the Top 10. It was good being back there 'cos it's been a long time, over two years since we had a single out".
  • Charlotte: "It was the first song we recorded and we knew it would be the first single".

The song was extremely critically acclaimed and won, among others:

  • Ivor Novello Awards 2001 - Best Contemporary Song [1]
  • Irish Music Awards 2002 - Best Single

"Shining Light" can also be found on Ash's greatest hits compilation, Intergalactic Sonic 7″s as well as on the Tokyo Blitz DVD.

The song was re-recorded by Canadian artist Emm Gryner on her 2005 album Songs of Love and Death. In addition, this was the song played on the last ever episode ofRoswell as the group in the series drives away forever - signifying the death of the series. It has also been covered by Coldplay and Noel Gallagher claims it to be one of his favourite songs.

B-Sides[edit] Edit

The B-side "Warmer Than Fire" was originally written by Steve Ludwin of Little Hell. The song was intended to be a download only release for fans, but due to its immense popularity it was released on the "Shining Light" single as well as on the Cosmic Debris b-side collection. The song has also been performed several times live in concert. Rumours that Wheeler bought the royalties for the song from Ludwin for £35 have been denied by the band.

"Warmer than Fire" also had its own music video, directed by Darren Tiernan (Wheeler's cousin). It consists of footage of the band messing around in Puerto Banus,Spain, where Free All Angels was being recorded and climaxes in a burning of a piano. The video cost very little and has rarely been seen.

"Gabriel" also appears on CD1 (as well as on the Cosmic Debris collection) and is considered to be quite a retro-sounding Ash track, reminiscent of "Innocent Smile" on 1977.

"Feel No Pain" is the first b-side on CD2, and was one of the leftover tracks from the Free All Angels recording session. The song is mainly about actually writing a song.

"Jesus Says" originally released on the Nu-Clear Sounds appears as a remix entitled the "Hedrock Valley Beats Lightyear 12" mix which appears on CD2.

"Shining Light" has been used as song in advert for Toyota cars in Croatia.

There are 3 separate edits of "Shining Light." The album version is 5:09 in length and features an extended bridge. The song was edited for radio too at 4:07 with a shortened bridge and guitar solo. The third edit of the song was for the Cosmic Debris collection and is 4:23 in length. The band played the song live according to this edit at many gigs from the Free All Angels tour onwards, however on their latest tour in 2007, the longest version was played.

Appearances in popular media[edit] Edit

"Shining Light" was the closing song in the last episode of the popular American science fiction television series Roswell.

"Shining Light" also appears as the background music for the special film on the racehorse Fantastic Light, which appeared on the 2005 Darley Stud Stud Book.

The Annie Lennox recording also appeared as Elaine Hammond's (Sigourney Weaver) theme song in the USA Miniseries Political Animals.

Track listing[edit] Edit


  1. "Shining Light (Radio edit)" (Wheeler)
  2. "Warmer Than Fire" (Ludwin)
  3. "Gabriel" (Hamilton)


  1. "Shining Light (Album version)" (Wheeler)
  2. "Feel No Pain" (Wheeler)
  3. "Jesus Says (Remix)" (Hamilton/Wheeler)
  4. "Shining Light (Video)"


  1. "Shining Light (Album version)" (Wheeler)
  2. "Warmer than Fire" (Ludwin)

Promo CD

  1. "Shining Light (Radio edit)" (Wheeler)

German Version (Infectious Records / edel Records gmbH | 0124685MSH)

  1. "Shining Light (Radio edit)" (Wheeler)
  2. "Warmer Than Fire" (Ludwin)
  3. "Shining Light (Album version)" (Wheeler)
  4. "Gabriel" (Hamilton)
  5. "Shining LIght" (Video)

Annie Lennox version[edit] Edit

"Shining Light"
Single by Annie Lennox
from the album The Annie Lennox Collection
Released 2 March 2009
Format Digital download
Recorded 2008
Genre Pop
Length 4.05 (Album Version)

3.53 (Radio Edit)

Label RCA
Annie Lennox singles chronology


"Shining Light"


"Pattern of My Life"


Annie Lennox's cover of "Shining Light" was released as the first single from The Annie Lennox Collection. It was one of her most 'pop' recordings for some time. The video was premiered on MSN Music on 30 January 2009. The cover has attracted praise, with Tim Wheeler from Ash saying, "It's cool - I'm really into it. It makes me proud that someone of her stature and talent is doing something different with our song," and Popjustice making it its Song of the Day on 8 January 2009, saying "…after about 90 seconds it sounds like the greatest noise ever invented by a human". Lennox performed the song on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross on 6 March 2009 and also on The Paul O'Grady Show (9 March), The One Show (10 March), This Morning (11 March) and was also part of Comic Relief on 13 March 2009. [2] The single was only available by download via Amazon or iTunes. However, the single became Annie's first UK top 40 hit since 1995, reaching #39.

Track listing[edit] Edit

UK Digital single

  1. "Shining Light" (Radio edit) – 3:53

Official versions[edit] Edit

  • "Shining Light" (Album version) – 4:05
  • "Shining Light" (Radio edit) – 3:53

Chart performance[edit] Edit

Chart Peak position
UK Singles Charts[3] 39
Japan Singles Top 100[3] 97