Listen to this track by post-Brit pop quintet from Wigan, The Verve. It’s “Bitter Sweet Symphony”, the first single from their high watermark 1997 album Urban Hymns. This was a landmark record that helped define an era.
This band formed at the end of the 1980s, building up steam into one of the most critically acclaimed bands in Britain by the end of ’90s. Vocalist and head writer Richard Ashcroft demonstrated his ability to come up with the goods on a songwriting level, while the rest of the band were able to fill out a big sound that brought that writing to life. Guitarist Nick McCabe in particular was instrumental in making the band what it was, returning after a period of estrangement after the completion of their previous record A Northern Soul.
This particular song was a top ten hit in the UK, top 20 in the United States, and with chart showings of similar caliber all over the world. By any measure, “Bitter Sweet Symphony” is a singular achievement. But, there was some controversy surrounding its creation and release. Read more