Sunday, August 24, 2008

Number 462 - Verve


Number 462

Verve

"Drugs Don't Work"

(1997)
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Genre:Neo-Psychedelia
art by t4m3r
Post Oasis and pre Coldplay. They were the hottest thing in 1997. While most of the songs on their album "Urban Hymns" were world class, there was this dreaded feeling of despair to the album. I use to joke to friends it was the album suicides would listen before jumping off the Sky Tower. Great album, just extremely sombre. So what other albums have been recorded that are just plain sombre and make you feel suicidal? Well according to some experts these are the most saddest [in no order] 1: Grace by Jeff Buckley [the album is heartbreaking enough. knowing that it was the only complete album Jeff ever made makes it even sadder] 2: Blue by Joni Mitchell [Joni's breakup album, is also one of the saddest, and loneliest albums ever recorded] 3: Berlin by Lou Reed [a concept album about a speed freak couple, who wind up losing their kids, and the wife kills herself. drugs, loss, suicide, the gangs all here] 4: Made to Love Magic by Nick Drake [I'm avoiding putting five leaves left, and bryter layter on here, but i had to put this just because of black eyed dog, which is the saddest song ever] 5: Closer by Joy Division [this album is more so the most depressing thing ever recorded, then just being sad. Ian Curtis last words] ~ [Source for the saddest albums ever:Amazon.com]
You're right, they didn't work
Not long after the release of A Northern Soul, the Verve imploded due to friction between vocalist Richard Ashcroft and guitarist Nick McCabe. It looked like the band had ended before reaching its full potential, which is part of the reason why their third album, Urban Hymns -- recorded after the pair patched things up in late 1996 -- is so remarkable. Much of the record consists of songs Ashcroft had intended for a solo project or a new group, yet Urban Hymns unmistakably sounds like the work of a full band, with its sweeping, grandiose soundscapes and sense of purpose. The Verve have toned down their trancy, psychedelic excursions, yet haven't abandoned them -- if anything, they sound more muscular than before, whether it's the trippy "Catching the Butterfly" or the pounding "Come On." These powerful, guitar-drenched rockers provide the context for Ashcroft's affecting, string-laden ballads, which give Urban Hymns its hurt.
We're serious mate
The majestic "Bitter Sweet Symphony" and the heartbreaking, country-tinged "The Drugs Don't Work" are an astonishing pair, two anthemic ballads that make the personal universal, thereby sounding like instant classics. They just are the tip of the iceberg -- "Sonnet" is a lovely, surprisingly understated ballad, "The Rolling People" has a measured, electric power, and many others match their quality. Although it may run a bit too long for some tastes, Urban Hymns is a rich album that revitalizes rock traditions without ever seeming less than contemporary. It is the album the Verve have been striving to make since their formation, and it turns out to be worth all the wait. ~ [Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide]
Triv Time
Urban Hymns 1997
* ~ The single was also noted during Channel 4's "100 Greatest #1 Singles" programme as unintentionally capturing the spirit of the nation as it was released the day after Princess Diana died.
* ~ It was released on 1 September 1997 as the second single from the album, charting at number 1 in the UK Singles Chart, becoming the band's most successful single in the UK Though the exact meaning of the song is unclear, it is generally believed that composer Richard Ashcroft wrote the song in response to the death of his father to cancer, and is also thought to be influenced by his relationship with his wife, Ashcroft saying in an interview "to me, it's a lovesong".
* ~ The song has been covered by Ben Harper on his live album Live from Mars, and has also been covered by Skin. In Australia it was also covered by Grinspoon for youth radio station Triple J's Like A Version CD. Adam Gontier has released a version of this song; it has also been covered by Devorah project on its album Bitter sweet synphony / Drugs don't work (Euro House genre) in the 90's (1996). ~ [Source:Wikipedia]
For Oasis see Number 574
For Coldplay see Number 769
For Jeff Buckley visit MM Vol 2 #125
For Lou Reed see Number 918
What does Rolling Stone[d] think of the Verve?
Theft? Yeah, brilliant theft. Before the Verve sampled that bit of symphonic Stones in "Bitter Sweet Symphony," the riff -- cribbed from an old Muzak platter laughably credited to the Andrew Loog Oldham Orchestra (as if the Stones' old manager actually waved the baton) -- was just soft cheese. The Verve and their sunken-cheeked singer/lyricist Richard Ashcroft turned it into great theater, a swelling, swaggering pop treatise on heroic determination. "Urban Hymns," the British band's third LP, is an entire album on the subject, a defiantly psychedelic record -- soaked in slipstream guitars and breezy strings, cruising at narcotic-shuffle velocity -- about coping and crashing, about how "The Drugs Don't Work" (as Ashcroft puts it in the album's most ravishing song). What does work: Ashcroft yelling, "Fuck you! Come on!" in the last track over a big riff tide that leaves you stunned, cleansed and jones-ing for more. ~ [Source:RS 1997 David Fricke]
For Rolling Stones see Number 689 & #767
Rolling Stone magazine deemed their '462nd Song of all Time' was "Respect Yourself" by The Staple Singers. The Staple Singers has not appeared in The Definitive 1000
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (No way, not this song) and the Album ranked at (It depressed us to much)
This song has a Definitive 1000 rating of 76.7 out of 108
Search Artist here:1-2-3-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z
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