The Verve life and biography

The Verve picture, image, poster

The Verve biography

Date of birth : -
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Wigan, Greater Manchester, England
Nationality : English
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2012-04-02
Credited as : Rock band, Bittersweet Symphony, Urban Hymns

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The Verve were an English rock band formed in 1989 by lead vocalist Richard Ashcroft, guitarist Nick McCabe, bass guitarist Simon Jones and drummer Peter Salisbury. The guitarist and keyboard player Simon Tong later became a member.

The band originally split in 1995, but reunited in 1996 to great commercial success. They split once more in April 1999. The band reunited once more in June of 2007, but this reunion was short lived and the band split again in August 2009.

Beginning with a psychedelic sound indebted to space rock and shoegazer music, by the mid-1990s the band had released several EPs and two acclaimed records. They also endured name and lineup changes, breakups, health problems, drug abuse and various lawsuits. The band’s commercial breakthrough was Urban Hymns and its single Bittersweet Symphony, which became a massive worldwide hit.

Soon after this commercial peak, the band quit amid creative struggles within, and Ashcroft went onto a successful solo career. Tong briefly joined Blur as a replacement for Graham Coxon. It is rumored that Simon Jones did a studio album with Ari Pap of the Floor Monks called ‘Aint Nothing To It’ and was never released because they both had bigger projects going on at the time. Close family and friends assure us its a fabulous indie/rock/alternate album and they really wish it would have been released.

Tong and Jones formed a new group called The Shining, which initially included former Stone Roses guitarist John Squire; however Squire left the band before recording and touring had begun. The band released one album, True Skies, before disbanding in 2003. Jones went on to join the band of Irish artist Cathy Davey. Tong appeared as a live replacement for ex-guitarist Graham Coxon in Blur, and as additional guitarist for Gorillaz (both Jones and Tong played guitar for Demon Days Live).

Tong is also a member of an unnamed supergroup formed by Damon Albarn of Blur which released its first album The Good, the Bad & the Queen in January 2007. McCabe worked in different projects like the London-based Neotropic project and played with some established artists, including John Martyn, Leeds-based band The Music, The Beta Band and Faultline.

The band, reuniting in their original line-up, announced they would tour in November 2007, and release an album in 2008. The band stated: "We are getting back together for the joy of music", though they turned down a multi-album deal offer "because the "treadmill" of releasing albums and touring marked the beginning of the end for the band a decade ago".

The band announced the new album's title: Forth, which was released in the UK on 25 August and the following day in North America. The album reached #1 on the UK Albums Chart on 31 August. The lead single "Love Is Noise" was released in the UK on 3 August digitally and one week later (11 August) on its physical form, peaking at #4 in the UK. The song was a moderate success in Europe, charting at #16 in the European chart (with 6 weeks in the Top 20). "Rather Be", the second single from the album, was released in November 2008 but did not become as successful as "Love Is Noise" was, peaking at number 56 on the UK Singles Chart.

In August 2009 The Guardian speculated that The Verve have broken up for a third time, with Jones and McCabe no longer speaking to Ashcroft as they felt he was using the reunion as a vehicle to get his solo career on track. Being asked about the supposed split, Ashcroft told The Daily Telegraph, "I can confirm we did what we set out to do [...] Right now there are no plans to be doing anything in the near future."

McCabe and Jones have since started their own project, The Black Ships, along with electric violinist and arranger Davide Rossi and drummer Mig Schillace. Nick McCabe says "The Verve seems to be on holiday" on his MySpace page.

On July 7, 2010 Ashcroft confirmed that the band "is over for good", though some weeks later did not rule out another Verve reunion.

-Richard Ashcroft – lead and backing vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards, bass, percussion (1990–1995, 1996–1999, 2007–2009)
-Nick McCabe – lead guitar, piano, keyboards, accordion (1990–1995, 1997–1998, 2007–2009)
-Simon Jones – bass, keyboards, backing vocals (1990–1995, 1996–1999, 2007–2009)
-Peter Salisbury – drums, percussion (1990–1995, 1996–1999, 2007–2009)
-Simon Tong – guitar, keyboards (1996–1999)

-A Storm in Heaven (1993)
-A Northern Soul (1995)
-Urban Hymns (1997)
-Forth (2008)

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