Fans of The Verve?
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djgustashaw

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Just wondering if there were any other fans on the boards. I just picked up No Come Down, the acoustic version of "Butterfly" is awesome. I still need to pick up the Verve E.P. and A Northern Soul. I got into their stuff like most people through "Bittersweet Symphony," and I never realized they had so much great stuff before that... "She's a Superstar" and "Lucky Man" are two that I like more than that hit single. Good stuff for chilling out and thinking
 
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BONG is a Verve fanatic.............I also have all albums by them. From the dream pop/shoe gaze/trippy style of first album "storm" to the rich majestic climax of band on final album "urban hymns" style has evolved but quality of music remains at the highest level.

Buy all three albums without hesitation.......this probably means I am a fanboy.


NP: Foo Fightters - Color & Shape
 
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zoboomofo

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Hail Nick McCabe!

A Northern Soul has a couple of Richard's ballady songs Drugs Don't Work style (since you dig Urban Hymns). It also has some of the most beautiful guitar work I've ever heard (check out Drive You Home). That bluesy setup really works for me.

Some fans apparently turned away from The Verve on this album since it was a departure from their spacey earlier stuff. To me they were at the top of their game here. As a band they were really tight, and were able to showcase their individual talents at the same time. Also Richard doesn't sing as girly on this cd compared to earlier ones
.

I picked up a pawned cd single of theirs a month ago - All In The Mind. It's alright but not as good as any of the songs from No Come Down.


Favorite Verve tunes:

Feel
She's a Superstar
Already There
Beautiful Mind
Stormy Clouds, and especially reprise
Drive You Home
So It Goes
Life's An Ocean (for a while)

 
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bong

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heh... DA is right, i love The Verve.


Since djgustashaw already has "A Storm in Heaven" and "Urban Hymns," it's easy to say "A Northern Soul" is a transitional album. It has elements from both first and third albums, with balladry UH songs like "On Your Own," (which features handclaps from one of the Gallagher brothers, forgot which one) "So It Goes," or "History" mixed with the heavy feedback and echo laden shoegaze stuff like "A New Decade," the title track, and the trippy stuff like "Life's an Ocean" and "Stormy Clouds."

the progression from ASIN to ANS to UH is uncanny, even considering that the band split up shortly after the ANS tour. Nick and Richard had a falling out and a large percentage of UH tracks were demoed without Nick. Simon Tong was slotted as a replacement (with the band under the name Sensation) before Richard invited Nick back to finish UH. Richard always said it wouldn't be The Verve without Nick.

to me, The Verve EP is my favourite release. even considering the edited version of "Gravity Grave," which the amazing outro was severely cut off, "She's a Superstar" suffered a similar fate, the five songs featured are some of the best they've recorded, especially the fan favourite (and my fave Verve song) "A Man Called Sun" and the 10 minute echo laden trip out ambience of "Feel."

The Verve also has a wealth of amazing b-sides if you could find any of their UK CD singles, with no cover versions and only one bona fide remix to call to their name. most of the "A Storm in Heaven" b-sides were already compiled on the "No Come Down" CD, as well as the amazing b-side "One Way to Go" from the "All in the Mind" single. the full version of "Gravity Grave" is on the single CD, as well as a live version of "A Man Called Sun."

"Let the Damage Begin" from the "This is Music" single offers similar visceral depth, while the acoustic tinged "You and Me" calm things down.

"I See the Door" from the "On Your Own" single features the most heartfelt vocals from Richard with the best melodies from the band. "Little Gem" offers more melancholy while "Dance on Your Bones" is a drum and bass trip fest.

from the "History" CD 1 and 2 singles, "Back on My Feet Again" is a ballad that builds up and then winds down again, while "Grey Skies" is similar to the echo slow tempo "Drive You Home." "Monkey Magic" is a stripped down version of "Brainstorm Interlude," while "Life's Not a Rehearsal" is an insrumental to "Life's an Ocean."

UH b-sides offers a bit more depth and variety than the album counterpart. "Lord I Guess I'll Never Know" is an acoustic ballad, while "Country Song" leans heavily on blues. "Echo Bass" is an appropriate title for a surprisingly dancy, bluesy song. "The Crab" sounds like a ANS outtake with acoustic guitars, echo slide guitars, and much of nothing else besides Richard's vocals. "Three Steps" is a straight ahead rocker. "Never Wanna See You Cry" is an absolutely lovely ballad. "MSG" is a drum and bass instrumental version of "Bittersweet Symphony."

OK, i'm done!
 
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djgustashaw

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wow bong, thanks for the great info. I never realized they had so much more work on all their singles besides the first three that became the Verve E.P.

I definitely got into their stuff through their ballads/UH style work. IMO, Ashcroft is a great lyricist, his writing really strikes a chord with me. This is especially true of the later stuff, "Lucky Man" in particular. But I'm really latching onto their early psychadelic stuff as well. "Already There" is another favorite.

Was the breakup caused by a mutual personality clash between Ashcroft and McCabe or were there creative differences? Seems like Ashcroft would have made the push towards the ballad-style work whereas McCabe probably still wanted the psychedelic guitar work.
 
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markl

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Anyone plunk down their hard earned green on any of Ashcroft's solo snoozefests? He had so much potential, maybe he should go back on drugs.
 
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zoboomofo

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Quote:

Originally posted by markl
Anyone plunk down their hard earned green on any of Ashcroft's solo snoozefests? He had so much potential, maybe he should go back on drugs.


hee hee. I think I would have bought Richard's upbeat stuff if he had the band to support it. There was a lot of chemistry lost when when Simon and Nick left. The instruments just sounded ordinary. Plus I usually avoid songs with string arrangements like I avoid songs with saxamophones <cough> Butterfly <cough>.

For a look into why Richard and Nick split, do a search on the topic on the excellentonline site. Nick did a candid interview there.

Wow, it looks like Bong really is a Verve nut. I'd love to get my hands on the Life's Not A Rehearsal track. I loved the guitar on the Verve video (VHS only
) for Life's an Ocean. It makes the studio version sound so tame.
 
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I'd say I'm more of a fan of their shoegazer work. In the later stuff.. Ashcroft is just a little too forward.. I guess I like them better when he's more buried in the mix.

Anyway, I saw them in 1995, they were playing the 10th Anniversary party for Alternative Press magazine in Cleveland.

I think they got through one song ("Slide Away" I think), and in the middle of the 2nd, they stormed off stage. I'm still not sure what happened. They "promised" to come back and play a gig, but I don't think they ever did. I think they had a lot of mini break ups along the way!


It was disappointing, but I also got to see sets by the Catherine Wheel, Medicine, Flaming Lips, Helmet, Soul Coughing, Luna, Girls Against Boys and Jawbox.

Not a bad collection of bands, eh?

-jar
 
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JasonR81

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Just have to chime in as another Verve fan here. I tend toward their later work, mainly Urban Hymns which I consider to be one of my favorite albums. I could (and probably have!) sit and listen to the layers upon layers of guitar in Weeping Willow. Velvet Morning, Drugs Don't Work, Rolling People. I can't help but think that album is a masterpiece!

I've got A Storm in Heaven and A Northern Soul as well, but I just haven't been able to get into them as much. I guess the shoegazer side of me just hasn't shone through yet!

Bong, that's quite a great summary up there... looks like I'll be digging for some B-sides for awhile here. Thanks!
 
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bong

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Quote:

Originally posted by zoboomofo
For a look into why Richard and Nick split, do a search on the topic on the excellentonline site. Nick did a candid interview there.

Wow, it looks like Bong really is a Verve nut. I'd love to get my hands on the Life's Not A Rehearsal track. I loved the guitar on the Verve video (VHS only
) for Life's an Ocean. It makes the studio version sound so tame.


thanks for the comment guys!


yeah... i second the excellent online site. i'm a long standing member of their mailing list, it's a great resource of UK indie based music. anyway, an admin from excellent did a long interview with Nick McCabe and is posted on the site.

personally, i love the earlier spacey, shoegaze stuff from the Verve, but all their outputs are of great quality.

as for Richard Ashcrost's solo work, it has its moments, but the bulk of it are much a mild, tepid bore.
 
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zoboomofo

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I haven't listened to UH for ages, but as an album it really puts me in a comfy place. My fav track there is currently Catching The Butterfly.

Like most folks, my first exposure to them was through Bittersweet Symphony. The strings put me in a trance. I had to buy the album, but found that the rest of the songs weren't what I expected from a hungry mid-nineties Brit band. Then I heard the edge I wanted in "This Is Music". A friend later turned me onto their wild wall of sound type material. With each step I was more impressed with their work, and I became hooked. Still am, too
 
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Quote:

Originally posted by zoboomofo
I haven't listened to UH for ages, but as an album it really puts me in a comfy place. My fav track there is currently Catching The Butterfly.

Like most folks, my first exposure to them was through Bittersweet Symphony. The strings put me in a trance. I had to buy the album, but found that the rest of the songs weren't what I expected from a hungry mid-nineties Brit band. Then I heard the edge I wanted in "This Is Music". A friend later turned me onto their wild wall of sound type material. With each step I was more impressed with their work, and I became hooked. Still am, too


have you heard Slowdive yet?
 
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zoboomofo

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Quote:

Originally posted by Masonjar
have you heard Slowdive yet?


Oh yeah, the one with the redhead. I think I have a few mp3s of theirs from my Napster days
. I should dig em up. Actually there's a shoegazerish album I've listened to lots in the last month (on cassette
). Ever heard Pulp's His N' Hers? That whole album has that sunny late afternoon feel that I like about Verve's Storm In Heaven.
 
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djgustashaw

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I forgot to mention this earlier...

if you like The Verve's later stuff, check out David Usher. His second solo album, Morning Orbit, has a similar introspective writing style. As much as I love the early shoegazing stuff, I really dig the lyrics and depressed feel on Urban Hymns.

Does anyone know who wrote most of their lyrics? I always assumed it was Ashcroft, but after reading some of the excellentonline interviews, I'm starting to wonder.
 
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zoboomofo

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I never really thought about lyric duty. I always thought Richard took care of those. I do know that the acoustic songs tend to be penned not just lyrically but musically by Richard himself. He's quite good at it, but you know I'm always happy to hear the next song on the cd where the rest of them get to show their chops. This was a sore point for me on Richard's solo stuff. The arrangements just weren't on that awesome level anymore.
 
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