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Richard Ashcroft


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  2. The Verve
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As the frontman for the epic British drone-pop band the Verve, Richard Ashcroft proved himself the spiritual descendant of rock & roll icons like Mick Jagger and Jim Morrison -- rivetingly charismatic, menacingly serpentine, and possessed of an almost shamanic intensity, he embraced and articulated the anthemic fervor of rock music with a power and eloquence unparalleled by any of his contemporaries. Ashcroft was born September 11, 1971, in the Wigan suburb of Billinge, attending Upholland Comprehensive School alongside future Verve mates Simon Jones, Simon Tong, and Peter Salisbury; after losing his father at age 11, he fell under the influence of his stepfather, a member of the ancient secular order of the Rosicrucians, who regularly performed experiments in mind expansion and the healing arts. While a student at Winstanley College in 1989, Ashcroft co-founded Verve with bassist Jones, drummer Salisbury, and guitarist Nick McCabe; signing to Virgin's Hut imprint to issue their 1992 debut single, "All in the Mind," Verve earned widespread praise for their majestic, oceanic guitar pop, with the eminently quotable Ashcroft earning the dismissive nickname "Mad Richard" from the U.K. press. Despite their critical acclaim, Verve often seemed at the mercy of forces outside their control -- while touring with the Lollapalooza festival in support of their 1993 debut LP, A Storm in Heaven, Ashcroft was hospitalized after suffering from severe dehydration, and within months the band also entered into a protracted legal battle with the American jazz label Verve, which resulted in an official name change to "The Verve." Recorded under the influence of a massive intake of ecstasy, 1995's brilliant A Northern Soul effectively split the band apart, although Ashcroft re-formed the lineup a few weeks later. The re-formed Verve achieved international success with 1997's celebrated Urban Hymns, scoring a series of hits including "Bittersweet Symphony," "The Drugs Don't Work," and "Lucky Man"; however, legal hassles awarded 100 percent of "Bittersweet Symphony"'s publishing rights to ABKCO Music -- the song was built on a Rolling Stones sample -- and as friction between Ashcroft and McCabe resurfaced, the guitarist quit the group, and following a final tour, the Verve again disbanded, this time for good. Ashcroft's solo debut, Alone with Everybody, followed in mid-2000. Later that fall, Ashcroft celebrated his solo success with a ten-date sold-out American tour. Two days prior to kickoff in Chicago, the entire tour was postponed due to Ashcroft's illness, and speculations were quickly linked to his previous drug-using behavior with the Verve. Those rumors were also wiped out quickly, and the U.S. dates were rescheduled for January 2001. The following year, Ashcroft returned with his soul-searching, spiritual second album, Human Conditions. Over the next few years, Ashcroft returned to living a quiet life with his family. He also inked a recording contract with Parlophone after his longtime label home, Hut, went bankrupt in mid-2004. Ashcroft's long-awaited third album, Keys to the World, was released in March 2006. Shortly after the release of Keys to the World, rumors started circulating that the Verve were set to reunite. The band confirmed these rumors in 2007, playing a brief tour at the end of the year and then setting to work on a new album. Punningly entitled Forth, the record appeared in the summer of 2008 and was a reasonable success, yet the bandmembers didn't weather their reunion well, splitting once more in the summer of 2009. Ashcroft then formed the solo project RPA & the United Nations of Sound, whose debut appeared in the summer of 2010 in every territory but the U.S., where it was released in early 2011. ~ Jason Ankeny
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Stations Featuring
Richard Ashcroft

Albums by
Richard Ashcroft

Top Songs by
Richard Ashcroft

  1.   Song
  2.   Words Just Get in the Way
  3.   A Song for the Lovers
  4.   Break the Night with Colour
  5.   Music Is Power
  6.   Keys to the World
  7.   C'Mon People (We're Making It Now)
  8.   You on My Mind in My Sleep
  9.   Man on a Mission
  10.   Why Do Lovers?
  11.   World Keeps Turning
  12.   Precious Stone
  13.   Sweet Brother Malcolm
  14.   On a Beach
  15.   Third Eye
  16.   She Brings Me the Music
  17.   Music Power
  18.   Why Not Nothing?
  19.   Nature Is the Law
  20.   Running Away
  21.   Science of Silence
  22.   Bright Lights
  23.   Check the Meaning
  24.   Everybody
  25.   Simple Song
  26.   Lord I've Been Trying
  27.   God in the Numbers
  28.   New York
  29.   This Thing Called Life
  30.   Royal Highness
  31.   Let My Soul Rest
  32.   How Deep Is Your Man?
  33.   Good Lovin'
  34.   Glory
  35.   Born Again
  36.   Beatitudes
  37.   Are You Ready?
  38.   America
  39.   Long Way Down
  40.   A Song for Lovers
  41.   The Direction
  42.   Buy It in Bottles
  43.   For the Lovers
  44.   Make a Wish
  45.   XX YY
  46.   (Could Be) a Country Thing, City Thing, Blues Thing
  47.   Slow Was My Heart
  48.   Money to Burn
  49.   Crazy World
  50.   Leave Me High
  51.   Bittersweet Symphony
  52.   Cry Til the Morning
  53.   Life Can Be So Beautiful
  54.   Circles
  55.   I Get My Beat
  56.   Lonely Soul
  57.   Slip Sliding
  58.   The Miracle
  59.   Journey's Just Begun
  60.   Paradise
  61.   Brave New World
  62.   Dont Take Me In

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