Last night in Boston several BULLETT colleagues and friends were together drunkenly discussing music. Some of us had never met in person, nor spoken about random ’90s Britpop, but a strange accord was reached: The Verve’s 1997 LP Urban Hymns is our favorite record of the decade. Largely forgotten today, The Verve were a huge Britpop act from the small northern England city of Wiggan that never recorded a bad album. On Urban Hymns the band took the Stone Roses added some Zeppelin and topped it off with a timeless Britpop production. The resulting album is a twelve song masterpiece. Songs like “Rolling People” and “Space and Time” should be staples of your playlists. Sadly, in America, we only hear “Bittersweet Symphony,” a great anthem but just the opener on one of the best albums of all-time. As ’90s nostalgia hits its snap bracelet breaking point, let us remember the truly wonderful moments of that decade, like the film and records below. BULLETT’s Luke O’Neil was a lucky mannn and interviewed singer Richard Ashcroft a few years ago–read it here.
Bucket hat, Clarks, desert expedition shirt? Check. Lead singer Richard Ashcoft–Mad Richard as hew as known in London–can be seen in this rare VHS tape upload below being crazy cool. Check out the 20-min mark when they arrive in NYC, Twin Towers and all, before a show at Irving Plaza. Also enjoy ‘chard Ashcorft’s all-white outfit.
Here’s the full album plus the (almost) equally impressive b-sides–anyone who has the vinyl version of this–it’s a four LP set, brown cover–call me, I will buy:
And here’s the almost as awesome A Northern Soul from ’95. Skip to minute 7:44 to hear “On Your Own,” the best song everrrrr…the whole album is a play-through:
Bonus track: Oasis wrote this underrated song “Cast No Shadow” about Ashcroft in ’95, off What’s The Story (Morning Glory):