Most American’s had never heard of Verve until after they became The Verve and “Bittersweet Symphony” became a hit in 1997. However, their most defining and creative work, in my opinion, came years before in 1993. At a time when aggressive and angst-ridden alternative rock (ie. Nirvana and Soundgarden) were ruling American airwaves, this band from Wigan England was journeying through soundscapes and swells completely unique and mind-blowing.
As anyone who knows me can tell you, A Storm In Heaven is my favorite album of all time. From the opening chord of “Star Sail” to the last trailing reverb soaked sounds of “See You In The Next One (Have A Good Time)” I always find myself mystified and lost in the sea of tones and grooves that weave their way through this LP.
The way Nick McCabe’s amazing free form textured guitar work layers over the top of Simon Jones and Peter Salisbury’s rhythmic grooves lays a perfect foundation for a pre-ego driven Richard Ashcroft to truly explore his mind lyrically and let his voice become an instrument.
The way the songs rise and fall takes the listener on a journey that isn’t complete until that final chord. This was (The) Verve at their very best and most creative and it blows my mind every time I hear it.