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Bitter Sweet Symphony, Live From Abbey Road, A Song For the Lovers
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Richard Paul Ashcroft (born September 11, 1971 in Billinge Higher End, Lancashire) is an English singer-songwriter. He is the lead singer of The Verve, an English rock band that he helped form in 1989. He is also a solo artist in his own right and he is still scheduled to resume and continue with his solo career at some point in the future, despite being busy with newly reformed The Verve at present.
Ashcroft grew up in Up Holland, Lancashire with his mother, who was a hairdresser, and his sisters. His father died when Richard was 11 as a result of a brain hemorrhage. Ashcroft soon fell under the influence of his stepfather, Doug (who incidentally was also called Ashcroft) who belonged to the Rosicrucians.
While in Up Holland, Ashcroft was an avid football player. He still closely follows his favourite team, Manchester United. He has also admitted to cheering for Wigan Athletic, since he actually played for the youth team when he was young and they are geographically the closest professional team to where he grew up. Ashcroft`s slightly misshapen nose can be credited to a broken nose he sustained playing football at school.
At school, Ashcroft admitted to having nicknames such as `spliffhead` and he was also dubbed `the cancer of the class`.
The Verve years: 1989-1999
Ashcroft formed The Verve (although until 1994 it was named simply Verve) in 1989 with his high school friends. The band members shared a collective liking for The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Raspberries, Funkadelic, and Krautrock, as well as a near-legendary appetite for psychedelic drugs. They were signed to Hut Records and became a critical hit soon after.
The band released the Verve EP in December 1992 before their first full-length album, A Storm in Heaven, came out in mid-1993. It was a critical smash and extremely popular in the underground public, but it failed to match that kind of success in the mainstream. Around this time the band changed their name to The Verve due to legal reasons. Afterwards they released an album with outtakes and b-sides entitled No Come Down in 1994.
1995 saw the release of the album A Northern Soul. Here the band departed from the neo-psychedelic sounds of A Storm in Heaven and focused more on conventional alternative rock, although signs of their early sound are still present in the record. During this time the band was named as a member of the popular Britpop movement, mostly due to the band`s friendship with Oasis rather than their music. Popularity increased, but album sales were disappointing for the band with only 40,000 albums approximately sold - distinctly average in 1995. The album is now considered to be a `lost gem` of the nineties. Tensions within the band reached boiling point, in particular between Ashcroft and guitarist Nick McCabe and the band disbanded.
From Autumn `96 to Spring `97 the band regrouped and worked on the third album. Most of Ashcroft`s songs on this album were written while he was on holiday in Bath when the band had yet to reform. It was initially intended to be Ashcroft`s first solo album. With McCabe yet to be invited back to the fold, friend of the band, guitarist and keyboardist Simon Tong was draughted in. In 1997 McCabe returned, with Ashcroft realising if it was to be an album from The Verve, McCabe would have to be involved. The five members finished Urban Hymns and the release was in September 1997. With the release of the first single off the album the band saw never-imagined popularity. The song "Bitter Sweet Symphony" became a commercial and critical hit in both sides of the Atlantic. The album is regarded as a highlight in the timeline of Britpop and rock music from the 90`s, maybe being the last commercial success from alternative British acts in the US market, until the arrival of artists like Coldplay, James Blunt and others, at least 5 years later. The band toured all over the world in the period 1997-1998. But Nick McCabe suddenly pulled out of the tour in 1998. The band continued for several months, but ultimately announced their break-up in April 1999.
In June 2007, Ashcroft and the rest of the band announced that they were getting back together for a UK stadium tour in November and December 2007, and were working on a future release, probably for 2008. The New Album `Forth` was released in August 2008.
Solo career: 1999-2007
Alone with Everybody
Richard Ashcroft had already been working on solo material as early as 1996 when The Verve was on hiatus after he had left after A Northern Soul. Some of his work intended for his solo career were later found in the band`s next album Urban Hymns. But it was not until after the dissolution of The Verve in 1999 that he dedicated entirely to his new career.
In early 2000 he released his first single as a solo artist. "A Song for the Lovers" peaked at #3 in the UK charts in April. The song and its video were admired by critics. The new album was named Alone with Every
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Richard Paul Ashcroft
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RPA & The United Nations of Sound are a British alternative rock band formed by vocalist Richard Ashcroft, former lead singer of The Verve. Ashcroft announced the formation of the band (which is a pseudonym more than a real band) and presented the video of the first single, "Are You Ready?", on 18 January 2010 in an exclusive premiere on the NME website. "Are You Ready?" was released only in the UK on 1 April 2010 in a limited edition 12" vinyl. On 9 April 2010 the band released a fanclub-only track, "Third Eye (Colombus Circle)". In the first two weeks of June Ashcroft and his musicians completed a European tour (Ancona, Paris, Berlin, Cologne, Amsterdam, Manchester and London), then they played in Tokyo and Osaka on 7–8 August 2010 during the Summer Sonic Festival 2010 and also in Melbourne and Sydney respectively on 30 July and 31 July. The band played in Australia also during the Splendour in the Grass Festival in late July. The band's debut album as Richard's backing lineup, entitled "United Nations of Sound", was released on 19 July 2010. "Born Again", the first proper single, was officially released the same day of the album as a digital download.
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Posted by brian 11 months ago
what a hot band. love all their music
Posted by Joe 11 months ago
Would love to meet you before I die,
Posted by greg fischer 11 months ago
We are unable to find our family pictures. We would like to order our pictu...
Posted by Michael Wren 11 months ago
You can find the statue proposal on Kickstarter dot com