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Old 05-02-2003, 10:11 AM   #1
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Someone tell me about The Verve

Who they were, their music, their history, etc.

I actually have a few songs...more the big hits (Bittersweet Symphony, etc), but I would to learn more about them...
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Old 05-02-2003, 10:34 AM   #2
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They were a great rock band from Wigan. UK. First EP came out in 1992, with the epic soaring rocker-"She's a Superstar." A single followed later in 1992, "All In the Mind" a fast paced rock tune that highlighted the effects laden guitar work of Nick McCabe (kinda Edge like at times. Their first full albumi 1993, A Storm in Heaven is a trippy masterpiece. Echos, sound swells, bursts of intensity make this whole album a necessary listen. The next record, 1995's Northern Soul, turns more toward basic rock structures and sounds. Nevertheless, the opening track "A New Decade" screams out of your speakers. This record has the standout acoustic based track "On Your Own." This album is my favorite. This all led to Urban Hymms is 1997. BSS was a smash worldwide, but isn't the best on the album. "Sonnet" is an extension of the acoustic based work from the previous record, and shows the band incorperating pop sensibilities into their music. Not the say they leave their trippy past behind, thing still swell and echo on this record, and the final track "Come On" is big rock at it finest. I loved this group since 1993, saw them 4 times in NYC, and think they are very underrated.
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Old 05-02-2003, 01:06 PM   #3
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On Your Own is my favourite Verve song, it's so beautiful. Richard has launched a solo career and released two rather good albums. Simon Tong has joined Blur. The others are in a band called The Shining.

I still need to check out their pre-Northern Soul work.
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Old 05-02-2003, 01:45 PM   #4
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Long acclaimed among the most innovative and spellbinding bands on the contemporary British pop scene, the Verve finally broke through to the mass international audience in 1997 with the instant classic "Bittersweet Symphony." By no stretch a study in overnight success, the group's rise was instead the culmination of a long, arduous journey which began at the dawn of the decade and went on to encompass a major breakup, multiple lawsuits, and an extensive diet of narcotics; perfecting an oceanic sound fusing the exploratory vision of '60s-era psychedelia with the shimmering atmospherics of the shoegazer aesthetic, the Verve languished in relative obscurity while waiting for the rest of the music world to play catch-up, creating one of the most complex and rewarding bodies of work in modern rock & roll long before most listeners even learned of their existence only to again fall apart at the peak of their success.
Originally known simply as Verve, the group was formed in the small Northern English city of Wigan in 1989. Led by the magnetic Richard Ashcroft a swaggering, shamanic figure in the classic rock star mold the original lineup also included guitarist Nick McCabe, bassist Simon Jones and drummer Peter Salisbury. Sharing a collective fondness for the Beatles, Funkadelic and Krautrock as well as a legendary appetite for psychedelics the quartet signed to the Hut label within months, debuting in March 1992 with the single "All in the Mind," the first in a series of indie chart-topping efforts featuring the eye-catching artwork of designer Brian Cannon. Subsequent efforts like the brilliant "She's a Superstar" and "Gravity Grave" captured an original musical identity growing by leaps and bounds, distinguished chiefly by Ashcroft's elemental vocals and McCabe's echoing guitar leads.

While Verve's long, liquid jams found favor on the British indie charts, pop radio looked the other way their majestic debut LP, 1993's A Storm in Heaven, was a critical smash, but the good reviews failed to translate into strong record sales. The following summer, Verve appeared on the second stage at Lollapalooza, a tour tempered by a string of disasters not only was Salisbury arrested for destroying a Kansas hotel room, but Ashcroft was also hospitalized after suffering from severe dehydration. Around that same time, the American jazz label also dubbed Verve slapped the band with a lawsuit, forcing the quartet to officially change their name to "the Verve." Sessions for the 1995 follow-up A Northern Soul proved to be the last straw admittedly recorded under the influence of a massive intake of Ecstasy, the album's harrowing intensity was met with disappointing sales and little media recognition, and just three months after its release, Ashcroft exited.

Although Ashcroft quickly re-assembled the Verve a few weeks later, McCabe initially refused to return, and was replaced by guitarist/keyboardist Simon Tong. Finally, in early 1997, McCabe came back to the fold, and as a quintet they recorded Urban Hymns, their breakthrough LP. Heralded by the smash "Bittersweet Symphony" a single built around a looped sample of a symphonic recording of the Rolling Stones' "The Last Time" Urban Hymns launched the Verve among the U.K.'s most popular bands; still, even at their peak, the curse of their past lingered on, as legal hassles awarded 100 percent of the song's publishing rights to ABKCO Music, which controls the Stones' back catalog. The second single from the album, the haunting "The Drugs Don't Work," became the Verve's first U.K. number one smash; the hits "Lucky Man" and "Sonnet" soon followed. However, when McCabe pulled out of the group's 1998 U.S. tour, the group suffered yet another blow, and after months of rumors they officially split the following spring.
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Old 05-02-2003, 01:46 PM   #5
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Not to be confused with The Verve Pipe who had a hit with the song "The Freshman".

Everyone gets these two bands mixed up here in the US.
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Old 05-02-2003, 01:51 PM   #6
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I've never heard the Verve Pipe before...

um, back on topic, http://www.ashcroftunofficial.co.uk has a nice mp3 of a studio version of an acoustic version of On Your Own, as well as a BBC Radio recording of acoustic Bittersweet Symphony, as well as History, Lucky Man and Drugs Don't Work live and acoustic (although Drugs Don't Work cuts off for me), among other nifty Ashcroftian odds and ends.
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Old 05-02-2003, 01:53 PM   #7
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Yertle, there are 2 Bittersweet Symphony's there. Which do you recommend?
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Old 05-02-2003, 01:57 PM   #8
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the BBC one is the one I have. The other one isn't that great a recording. it's a little weird without the strings though, because every time I think of the song I think of the strings.
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Old 05-02-2003, 11:23 PM   #9
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I can't really add anything to the bios listed here, other than to say I them, or should I say loved them...Richard Ashcroft's solo gig hasn't really impressed me that much, sadly.
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Old 05-02-2003, 11:51 PM   #10
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HISTORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 05-03-2003, 08:04 AM   #11
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great stuff....

I've been working my way back a bit - just fairly recently started listening to 'a storm in heaven' a lot -
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Old 05-03-2003, 02:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by meegannie
HISTORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My favorite song!

I saw them in Boston on their last tour...they played this song and I screamed out "History!" when he hit the first chords. Everyone around me looked at me like I was an idiot, but I was in heaven.

A Northern Soul is a brilliant album IMO. Go buy it now, and pick up some of their singles if you can find them. Very worth it!
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Old 05-04-2003, 11:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by yertle-the-turtle
the BBC one is the one I have. The other one isn't that great a recording. it's a little weird without the strings though, because every time I think of the song I think of the strings.

Yertle, I forgot to tell you how great I think this version is!! Really cool. I like it a lot.
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