Saturday, I was transferring some of my CD's to my iPod. One of the CD's I transferred was "Urban Hymns" by the Verve. I haven't listened to the CD in it's entirety for over a year and I thought this is a good time as any. Doing this reconfirmed my opinion that Urban Hymn's is one of the best albums ever.
I don't know a lot of Verve fans, but I know 99% of you have heard the Verve before (unless you live under a rock or Cincinnati). Here is some background and history on their album "Urban Hymns" and about the Verve in general:
! The most popular song from the album is "Bittersweet Symphony". Nearly everyone has heard this song on commercials, at sporting events, and TV shows. The main riff was stolen from the Rolling Stone which caused a big legal to-do. However, the Q music mag out of England did name "Bittersweet Symphony" one of the 10 best songs ever written (up there with the Beatles, David Bowie, and Lou Reed).
! The Verve broke up around 1999 despite huge success in the U.S. and abroad. Last year they re-united and began touring to sold out crowds around the world (but never came close to Cincinnati).
! "Bittersweet Symphony" has the best music video ever. You can look up on Wikipedia about the production.
! Richard Ashcroft had a fairly successful solo career after the 1999 break up. He performed "Bittersweet Symphony" with Coldplay at Live8 in Hyde Park, England. It was a killer performance. It gives Amber and I goosebumps each time we watch it. He wrote and sings one of my all time favorite songs "Break the Night with Colour".
! the Verve came out of England in a real interesting time in English pop music, aka Brit-pop. They became wildly popular because of the soul and sincerity of their music. Oasis was the most well known in the States. Yet, while Oasis was so good at melodies and hooks, Pulp at glam, Supergrass at basic catchy garage tunes, and Blur at clever kitsch and purely addictive songs, the Verve was the most poetic and bluesy while maintaining their British identity. "Urban Hymns" really set them apart from the rest as songwriter and performers.
! BEST OF ALL... the Verve releases their first album in 11 years on August 26th called Forth! I'm so excited I could scream like Chelsea does for the Jonas Brothers. However, I will maintain my composure like an adult... as I wet myself.