Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Verve - A Northern Soul

If love is a drug then I don’t need it
-The Verve, “This is Music

The Verve was probably the most underrated band of the 1990s. At the time, the band was known basically because Noel Gallagher dedicated “Cast No Shadow” to Richard Ashcroft, The Verve’s singer, and because it had a legal problem with the Rolling Stones after releasing “Bittersweet Symphony”, its first and only commercial success in the United States. The band split in 1999, after releasing only three albums. All the members acknowledged that the lack of success was one of the reasons –probably the main one- behind the breakup, in addition to the legal problem with the Stones. Most people remember The Verve for a song that brought up its disappearance.

Enter the 21st century and the band is widely recognized by a new generation. Its second album, A Northern Soul, has made it to the lists of the best albums ever recorded, periodically released by the British press. The album is not as polished as Urban Hymns (the album that contained “Bittersweet Symphony”), and that is probably its main virtue. Urban Hymns was the band’s last try to get some attention from the media; A Northern Soul was the last album of a rock & roll band that just tried to make music. The voice of Ashcroft is powerful and full of angst; the guitars are crazy. Although, “History” and “On Your Own” are the most recognized tracks of the album, “No Knock on My Door” is probably the most representative of its spirit.

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