Aslan, who took their name from the heroic lion in C.S. Lewis's series of books
chronicling the fictional land of Narnia, (Aslan is the Turkish for 'Lion'),
emerged from the working class areas of Finglas and Ballymun in Dublin's
Northside, in the mid 1980s. They released a demo single, 'This Is', in the
Spring of 1986, which was a huge hit and became the longest ever play-listed
single on Ireland's pop radio station, RTÉ 2fm.
In the summer of 1986 they played a series of rapturously received shows in
the UK and Melody Maker noted, 'Lucky the label that signs this band!'.
Janice Long at BBC Radio 1 recorded Aslan in session and went on to air it
for an unprecedented three times in the subsequent weeks. At the end of 1986
Aslan walked away with The Stag/Hot Press,' Most Promising New Band' award
and signed to EMI.
In 1988 they recorded their debut album, 'Feel No Shame' which shot straight
in to the No.1 spot of the Irish charts and remained there for weeks. Within
a couple of months it was certified Gold. Then in August 1988, just as the
option for their 2nd album had been picked up, Aslan infamously imploded,
torn apart by overindulgence of all kinds.
Five years and a day to the last time they gigged together (on the 11th of
July 1993) they played what was supposed to be a one off charity gig in
Finglas; the spark was reignited and Aslan landed a new record deal with
BMG. The first fruit of the deal, their single "Crazy World", entered the
charts at No 4 and stayed in the charts for 3 months, becoming one of the
most played songs on Irish Radio for the year. "Crazy World" also won the
"Single of The Year" in 1993's Hot Press Awards. A few months later the
follow-up single "Where's The Sun" reached No.3 on the chart.
The latter part of 1994 was spent touring consistently in Ireland and
recording their album, 'Goodbye Charlie Moonhead', which was released in
Ireland at the end of 1994 and charted at number one, going on to be
certified Gold weeks later. Then in 1995 the band were dropped, the victims
of boardroom changes at BMG.
Undeterred, Aslan went into the studio under their own steam and began
recording a new album, 'Here Comes Lucy Jones' in April 1996. Released in
October 1997, the album went into the Irish chart at 14 and Aslan were
nominated in seven categories of the 1997 Hot Press readers poll.
'Shame About Lucy Moonhead', a compilation of the best of Aslan's recorded
work on EMI, was released in July 1998, shot into the Irish albums charts at
No.1 and has since turned double platinum.
In March 1999 Aslan played 5 sell out shows in Ireland's most prestigious
intimate venue, Vicar St, during which their live album and video concert
movie/DVD 'Made In Dublin' were recorded. Both shot to No 1 in their 1st
week of release. The album turned platinum within 3 weeks and remained in
the top 10 for 8 weeks. Aslan finished 1999 on a high note by selling out
Ireland's largest indoor venue (9000 capacity) , the Point Theatre on 26th
In Summer 2000 Aslan toured Australia for the first time to promote the
release down under of the album "Shame About Lucy Moonhead" and in the
process, sold out shows in Sydney and Melbourne. Aslan ended 2000 by playing
their first gig in the Netherlands to a sell out crowd and then returned to
home soil to sell out the Point Theatre again on Dec 27th.
In the Spring of 2001 Aslan recorded a single, "She's So Beautiful",
(featuring Sinead O 'Connor on backing vocals,) which entered the Irish
singles charts at number 9. The band released the follow-up "Different Man"
which charted at number 7.
In September 2001, the band's most recent studio album, "Waiting For This
Madness To End" went straight into the Irish Album charts at number 1, out
selling the number 2 album four times over. The following week it remained
at number 1 and kept Kylie Minogue off the top spot! "Waiting For This
Madness To End" hit the platinum sales mark after only four weeks.
In Christmas 2001 Aslan again sold out the 9000 capacity Point, and in 2002
Aslan were nominated for eight categories of the Hot Press readers poll,
demonstrating the immense following the band have in their homeland.
October 2005 and the band release a 48 track CD, simply called The Platinum
Collection. The album chronicles the singles, b-sides and rarities of their
long career. The platinum collection went into the charts at no. 3 and after
a few weeks lived up to its name by achieving triple platinum sales.The same
year also say a successful sold out show in the Point marking the platinum
2007 was an exciting year for the band as it marked their 25 years together.
With their first single "Here Comes The Sun" from their 6th studio album
"For Some Strange Reason" entering the Irish Singles Charts at No. 5. The
album was a great success in Ireland and reached triple platinum status in
They started off 2008 with a Meteor Ireland Music Award for "Best Irish
Band" rivaling the cream of Irish talent. With this success came sold out
shows in Lanzarote, Germany and The Academy in Dublin. 2008 was also a
memorable year for the band as it was their first time performing at the
world famous Oxegen Music Festival to a jam packed crowd of thousands.
They start off 2009 with the release of a first time Covers Album performing
classics from the likes of Rod Stewart and Gilbert O'Sullivan to name but a
few so watch this space...