Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Mastering and source details on the forthcoming Verve vinyl reissues

Universal Music has confirmed with SDE the details around the mastering of the forthcoming vinyl reissues of The Verve‘s A Storm in Heaven and A Northern Soul.

The sources for the albums were digital files prepared from the original half-inch tapes. The record label are keen to stress that much care and attention has been taken during this whole process, and, for example, there has been no de-noising with only clicks and drop-outs, repaired where necessary.

The remastering for the project was conducted by Chris Potter (at the band’s request), Tony Cousins at Metropolis and Sabian at Fullsound. The vinyl lacquers were cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy and the records were pressed by Optimal Media.

The vinyl editions will be issued on 9 September 2016 along with the super deluxe edition box sets, which come with a large amount of bonus material.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Richard Ashcroft: I'm Ready For The Fight When I Release New Music

The former Verve frontman tells Radio X about his "epic" "They Don't Own Me" single, and explains why he's not nervous about releasing new music.

Richard Ashcroft says he's not worried about unveiling new material, but is "always ready for the fight" when he releases his music.

Asked by Radio X's Phil Clifton if he ever gets nerves about bringing out new music, he replied: "I don't really."

He added: "I know at the same time when I'm realizing it there'll be a certain strain of the music industry that will have a resistance against what I do."

"It's always gonna be there, so I'm ready for the fight when I release something."

Speaking about his "They Don't Own Me" single, Ashcroft said: "I think I went for it as a contrast to 'Hold On,' to show the album's got other sides to it as well."

"It's an epic."

Listen to "They Don't Own Me" below:

Despite the former Verve frontman's confidence in his own abilities, he said he still constantly rebels against other people's expectations of him.

"I wasn't allowed to take GCSE in music," revealed the "Hold On" singer. "I was banned from taking art. I was told I was the cancer of the class. I was given a ceiling and still at 40-something, people try and put a ceiling on what you are or what you should aim for."

He added:  "I don't care which school you went to, I don't care how safe you are. I don't care where you're coming from. My stuff is up there with yours."

Talking about his upcoming arena shows in December, "The Drugs Don't Work" singer said: "There are gonna be nights hopefully where we're gonna have that thing again that me and my audience had at those smaller gigs a few weeks ago, so I'm really looking forward to that as well."

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Q Interview: The Incredible Aventures of Captain Rock...Continue!

This month Q Magazine boasts an audience with Captain Rock, AKA Richard Ashcroft, as he relives a life of madness, music and redemption.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

2016 Reissues: Further details and track lists

Back then, of course, they were known simply as ‘Verve’… But can it really be almost 25 years since Richard Ashcroft (vocals), Nick McCabe (guitars), Simon Jones (bass) and Pete Salisbury, (drums) arrived like a bolt from the blue into a grey musical universe and reminded the world quite how transcendent rock’n’roll can be?

On September 9th UMC release expanded editions of The Verve’s seminal first two albums A Storm In Heaven and A Northern Soul. Both remastered by Chris Potter (co-producer of the band’s Urban Hymns) at Metropolis studios, the albums feature previously unreleased and never-heard-before tracks, E.P. and B-sides material and BBC sessions.

Both albums are presented as 3CD box sets (A Storm In Heaven also contains a bonus DVD) and both come with booklets featuring new interviews and previously unseen photos. Limited edition vinyl versions will also be released in faithful reproductions of the original packaging.

2016 Reissues: Artwork & Contents

Description: The Verve’s stunning debut album from 1993 gets a thorough overhaul with this wonderful 4-disc Super Deluxe box set. Remastered by Chris Potter (co-producer of the band’s ‘Urban Hymns’) the original album comes amply augmented by all of the legendary pre-album EP tracks, associated acoustic versions, as well as two previously unreleased BBC radio sessions and two excellent previously unreleased studio albums – ‘South Pacific’ and ‘Shoeshine Girl’. The DVD presents a 1992 Camden Town Hall concert, the US promo video for ‘Blue’ plus unseen footage of the band in New York in October 1992. There’s also a new video for the unreleased ‘South Pacific’, made from the album’s recording sessions, as captured by producer John Leckie. The package, which comes in a lift-off-lid box, also includes four post cards, a poster and a 48-page book featuring new interviews and previously unseen photos. 

Description: Undoubtedly one of the most powerful British rock statements of all time The Verve’s second album spawned three Top 40 singles – ‘This Is Music’, ‘On Your Own’ and ‘History’. For this sumptuous 3-CD Super Deluxe box set the original audio has been remastered by Chris Potter (co-producer of their ‘Urban Hymns’ album) and comes augmented by all of the associated B-sides, two previously unreleased BBC radio sessions and seven unreleased studio tracks, including early versions of ‘The Rolling People’ and ‘Come On’. The package comes in a lift-off-lid box covered in silver mirrorboard as with the original LP release and contains four postcards, a poster and a 36-page book with new interviews and previously unseen photos.

The Verve announce box-sets of first two albums

Deluxe versions of A Storm In Heaven and A Northern Soul will include unreleased material

The Verve are to release box-set versions of their first two albums A Storm In Heaven and A Northern Soul on September 9.

The albums will be available as 3CD-box sets, with A Storm In Heaven also adding a DVD. These will feature unreleased songs as well as B-sides and BBC session tracks. They also feature interviews with all the band bar singer Richard Aschroft.

A Storm In Heaven, released in 1993, adds songs from The Verve’s early pre-album singles, as well as B-sides, acoustic versions and two unreleased BBC sessions. There are also two previously unreleased songs, "South Pacific" and "Shoeshine Girl."

The DVD for A Storm In Heaven features a 1992 gig from Camden Town Hall, footage of the band in New York, the videos for the album’s five single, the U.S. video for "Blue" and a video for "South Pacific" comprised of footage of the band recording the album, taken by producer John Leckie.

The box adds a poster, four postcards, a 48-page book of interviews and previously unseen photos by bassist Simon Jones and sleeve photographer Michael Spencer Jones.

The box-set for 1995’s "A Northern Soul" adds B-sides and two previously unreleased BBC sessions. It also has seven previously-unreleased songs, including two that were later released on Urban Hymns ("The Rolling People" and "Come On") and two that were finally recorded on 2008’s comeback album Forth ("Muhammad Ali" and "Mover"). The other unreleased songs are "Echo Bass," "King Riff" and "Brake Lights." The box also features a poster, four postcards and a 36-page book of interviews.

Both albums are remastered by Urban Hymns producer Chris Potter, with gatefold vinyl versions also available.
  • Source: NME, by John Earls

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Jocks&Nerds Magazine: Richard Ashcroft

On the release of These People, his first solo album in six years, Richard Ashcroft discusses digital versus analogue, insanity and psychedelia, and making music in his basement.

For the story, Ashcroft was styled by Mark Anthony Bradley, interviewed by Andy Thomas, and shot by Dean Chalkley.

“Richard has always stood up for what he believes in and always has something to say," says Chalkley. "Sometimes it can be about the state of the world or it can be much more internal. Richard is unflinching and can express what we all feel."

“I first met Richard at Metropolis Studios, Chiswick around 2000. It was my first shoot for the NME actually. Since, I’ve photographed him several times. In 2007, I toured with The Verve before the release of their album Forth. The shoot for Jocks was on the banks of the Thames, west London. It was one of those magical days… Richard is an extraordinary man. It’s an honour to know and work with him.”

Friday, June 3, 2016

Exclusive - These People review

The Captain Returns
Richard Ashcroft’s These People In Review
By J. Adams

Few rock ’n’ roll icons are so resented by so many of their longtime fans as Richard Ashcroft, former frontman of space rock legends The Verve. Having thrice broken up the band for a mostly underwhelming solo career, and released four flawed albums that amount to promising demos for potentially brilliant Verve songs, Ashcroft has long since exhausted the patience of many who miss the shamanic intensity of old, back when he would still work with artists as gifted as his former bandmates.

Ashcroft’s fifth solo LP, These People, just released after a six-year hiatus, may not change the haters’ minds: it’s inconsistent as per usual, and no doubt would have been better with input from Nick McCabe, Simon Jones, and Pete Salisbury. But taken on its own terms, it’s a rich and rewarding record that demonstrates why Ashcroft is still grabbing headlines and selling out gigs nearly 20 years after “Bitter Sweet Symphony” and Urban Hymns ushered in his brief heyday.

He sounds fantastic, for one thing—Ashcroft’s voice and articulation have become more bruised and nuanced over the years, deepening a magnificently emotive instrument that gives gravity to his wide-screen philosophizing and mostly outshines occasional lapses in songwriting and production. Unlike the bloodless arrangements of previous solo albums, or the blunt overcompensation of 2010’s failed R&B crossover United Nations of Sound, the collection strikes a generally tasteful balance between Ashcroft’s usual acoustic singer-songwriterisms and comfortable retro-electronica with French producer Mirwais, who has worked with Madonna and Fischerspooner, framed with longtime collaborator Wil Malone’s elegant string arrangements. And much of the album was recorded in Ashcroft’s basement, lending the songs a warmth and intimacy beyond most of his prior work.