Symphony. A Bittersweet One.

The verveIts late night. And cold. You don’t think highly of the world around you and feel borderline betrayed by the shit that came to you in golden colours earlier. You want to listen to a song which isn’t ‘sad’ or ‘weepy’; a song which doesn’t ‘preach’ and a song which has ‘sounds that recognize the pain in you’.

It happened when I was in Punjab University Engineering college hostel while somebody in my wing played this song. All I could mutter was, “kaun gaa raha hai bhenchod”. The video (easily one of the most badass videos ever) showsed a dopey looking lanky guy walking a London street without changing his way and giving the least amount of fucks to have ever given in the history of mankind. This legendary song got me hooked on to the band behind it – ‘The Verve’.

Enter the “Bittersweet Symphony”.

The band, formed in ’89, were known for their haunting dopey melodies. Success eluded them in their first two albums (‘Storm in Heaven’ and ‘Northern Soul’) though but Songs such as ‘This is Music’ , ‘History’ and ‘On your own’ carved out a niche fan base. It was the release of their third album – ‘Urban Hymns’ – that they realized what commercial success was. ‘Bittersweet Symphony’, ‘Lucky Man’ and ‘Drugs dont Work’..worked wonders for the band.

Drugs dont work

Verve went the usual shitty way of breakup and a brief reunion afterwards. They did release an album – ‘Forth’ in 2008 after a super brief reunion but never touched the heights of ‘Urban Hymns’.

If you simply say that Verve’s style of music was rock, it will be a huge mistake. They belong to a niche rock sub-genre – what I would call ‘Narcotic Rock’. The songs fit perfectly when you just want to sit and get high while giving absolutely zero shits about the world around. Frankly, after Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain, only Richard Ashcroft has got this right. Just go ahead, get a kick while listening to the following song (doesnt have an official vid) and thank me later.

‘Judas’ from ‘Forth – 2008’

If you ask me, they were the last of the ‘we wont sell-out ever’ band phase. Even Linkin Park has sold out now. In a few years, LP will be having a song featuring Lady Gaga. But screw them. We all go gung-ho about the 70s and Kurt Cobain. Add The Verve to that list and enjoy the magic.

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