by Ash

Album: 1977 (1996)
Charted: 5


  • One of the biggest and most enduring hits for Ash, "Goldfinger" was written by lead singer Tim Wheeler when he was still a teenager. In a Songfacts interview with Wheeler, he told the story: "When I was writing that, I was just finishing school and the band was just taking off. So, I was kind of leaving behind my provincial life in Northern Ireland. We were recording that record in Monmouth in Wales, which is quite a similar town to my hometown, Downpatrick. Just a small town with not much going on and not much in the way of escape. Probably the main way people would escape would be smoking hash and stuff like that - drinking.

    That kind of a town was the kind of place I was imagining because, in a way, it's slightly romantic to me because I was leaving it behind. So, I was kind of writing about that.

    As I was writing it my younger brother was going back to school, and I was like, 'S--t, I've left that behind, I'm never going back to that.' So, I just wrote this little romance story in this small, s--tty town. I was maybe imagining like a young drug dealer and his girl in the song."
  • Like many songs by Ash, the title doesn't appear in the lyric. They named this one "Goldfinger" because it uses a bit of the "famous James Bond song, recorded by Shirley Bassey and written by John Barry, in the middle eight. When the band was rehearsing the song, they called it "Goldfinger," and the name stuck. Tim Wheeler regrets that decision, as it led to confusion with the other song.
  • This song was more intricate than anything the band had done to that point, which were mostly three-chord punk numbers. It helped the album go to #1 in the UK.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Soul Train Stories with Stephen McMillianSong Writing

A Soul Train dancer takes us through a day on the show, and explains what you had to do to get camera time.

Trans Soul Rebels: Songs About TransgenderismSong Writing

A history of songs dealing with transgender issues, featuring Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Morrissey and Green Day.

Name the Character in the SongMusic Quiz

With a few clues (Works at a diner, dreams of running away), can you name the character in the song?

Billy Steinberg - "Like A Virgin"They're Playing My Song

The first of Billy's five #1 hits was the song that propelled Madonna to stardom. You'd think that would get you a backstage pass, wouldn't you?

Jeff TrottSongwriter Interviews

Sheryl Crow's longtime songwriting partner/guitarist Jeff Trott reveals the stories behind many of the singer's hits, and what its like to be a producer for Leighton Meester and Max Gomez.

Chris Frantz - "Genius of Love"They're Playing My Song

Chris and his wife Tina were the rhythm section for Talking Heads when they formed The Tom Tom Club. "Genius of Love" was their blockbuster, but David Byrne only mentioned it once.