A one-of-a-kind modern English rock band all too often lumped in with the likes of Oasis and Coldplay, while actually being the influence for both and a far higher quality group. The only song they are widely known for is "Bittersweet Symphony", from their third album Urban Hymns. But they have an incredible collection of songs and a history.
Composed of four amazing musicians - Richard Ashcroft, Nick McCabe, Simon Jones and Pete Salisbury - The Verve have really been playing together since the late 1980s, when they were influenced by the shortlived British shoegaze movement. Their earlier work, including debut album A Storm in Heaven, has a distinct spacy, drony sound. From around 1994 onward, the group's music - heavily due to singer Ashcroft's personal troubles and growth as an individual - began to develop into something more melodic and lyrical. 1995's A Northern Soul is an excellent blend of McCabe's strong guitar work and Ashcroft's soul-searching poetry. It also introduces a recurring use of strings. A psychedelic masterpiece.
Conflicts within the band led to a split after A Northern Soul, which was not a commercial success. Ashcroft's creative energy continued brewing, however, and eventually led to a make-up. Ashcroft always said "it might take us three albums" and his band fulfilled that prophecy with the release of Urban Hymns in 1997. Packed with catchy tunes and more strong lyrics, the album was ther most successful to date. However, after a long span of touring on its heels, The Verve split once again.
Many thought that the late 1990s were the end for this special group. Ashcroft continued with a moderately low-key solo career, but in June 2007 the stunning announcement came : The Verve were back together in the recording studio. Since then, they have enjoyed several sold-out dates in the UK, as well as top spots in the summer's most coveted festivals, including Glastonbury. In mid-August, the long-awaited "Forth" will hit the stores, giving old and new fans alike the chance to see whether The Verve still stand tall.
Guy : Your favorite band is The Verve ?
Guy : Isn't that the band that did...*hums Bittersweet Symphony melody*
Me : *rolls eyes*