Urban Hymns (Ogv) (Dlx)



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    Urban Hymns (Ogv) (Dlx) Virgin EMI
    1. Urban Hymns (Uk) Polydor
    2. Urban Hymns (Ltd) (Ogv) Capitol / Virgin
    3. Urban Hymns (Ogv) (Dlx) Virgin EMI

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Review Text 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. 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

Track Listing

Record: 1

  1. 1. Bitter Sweet Symphony
  2. 2. Sonnet
  3. 3. Rolling People
  4. 4. Drugs Don't Work
  5. 5. Catching the Butterfly
  6. 6. Neon Wilderness
  7. 7. Space and Time
  8. 8. Weeping Willow
  9. 9. Lucky Man
  10. 10. One Day
  11. 11. This Time
  12. 12. Velvet Morning
  13. 13. Come On

Record: 2

  1. 14. Lord I Guess I'll Never Know
  2. 15. Country Song
  3. 16. Bitter Sweet Symphony [James Lavelle Remix]
  4. 17. So Sister
  5. 18. Echo Bass
  6. 19. Three Steps
  7. 20. Crab
  8. 21. Stamped
  9. 22. Drugs Don't Work [Original Demo]
  10. 23. Never Wanna See You Cry
  11. 24. (Bitter Sweet Symphony) MSG
  12. 25. Longest Day
  13. 26. Lucky Man
  14. 27. Bitter Sweet Symphony [Extended Version]
  15. 28. This Could Be My Moment
  16. 29. Monte Carlo

Record: 3

  1. 30. This Is Music [Live at Haigh Hall]
  2. 31. Space and Time [Live at Haigh Hall]
  3. 32. Catching the Butterfly [Live at Haigh Hall]
  4. 33. Sonnet [Live at Haigh Hall]
  5. 34. Rolling People [Live at Haigh Hall]
  6. 35. Neon Wilderness
  7. 36. Weeping Willow [Live at Haigh Hall]
  8. 37. Drugs Don't Work [Live at Haigh Hall]
  9. 38. Lucky Man [Live at Haigh Hall]
  10. 39. Life's an Ocean [Live at Haigh Hall]
  11. 40. Velvet Morning [Live at Haigh Hall]
  12. 41. Bitter Sweet Symphony
  13. 42. One Day
  14. 43. History
  15. 44. Come On

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