The Verve - portrait of a long and arduous journey.

The Verve - portrait of a long and arduous journey.
The Verve – portrait of a long and arduous journey.

The Verve – Live At Reading Festival 1997 – BBC Radio 1

The Verve were one of those bands who went through the struggle and the slog of gaining an audience and a following. And when they achieved the success they were working so hard for, disintegrated and self-destructed because of it.

Forming in 1990, The Verve had achieved a modicum of success and critical acclaim for a sound that was considered heavily psychedelic, but also displayed flashes of Indie, Britpop and Shoegaze. By the mid-1990s they had three albums and several eps to their credit.

Beginning with a psychedelic sound with their debut LP A Storm in Heaven, by the mid-1990s the band had released several EPs and three albums. They also endured name and line-up changes, break-ups, health problems, drug abuse and various lawsuits. The band’s commercial breakthrough was the 1997 album Urban Hymns, one of the best-selling albums in UK Chart history. The album features the hit singles “Bitter Sweet Symphony”, “The Drugs Don’t Work”, “Sonnet” and “Lucky Man”. In 1998, the band won two Brit Awards—winning Best British Group, appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in March, and in February 1999, “Bitter Sweet Symphony” was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rock Song.

The journey ended in 1999 with an acrimonious split, amid personality clashes, rumored drug addiction and lawsuits.

But tonight, it’s The Verve poised to achieve huge recognition, and this concert from the 1997 Reading Festival is a stunning record of just how great the band was.

Play loud.

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