The Verve’s ‘A Northern Soul’ Goes Super Deluxe

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A Northern Soul Exploded Packshot

A Northern Soul box set

Prior to the English psychedelic band The Verve‘s commercial breakthrough with 1997’s Urban Hymns (and its hit single “Bitter Sweet Symphony”), they were known simply as ‘Verve.’ It’s now been roughly 25 years since Richard Ashcroft (vocals), Nick McCabe (guitars), Simon Jones (bass) and Pete Salisbury (drums) formed the band and on September 9, Universal Music Enterprises will release expanded editions of The Verve’s early albums A Storm in Heaven and A Northern Soul.

Remastered by Chris Potter (co-producer of the band’s Urban Hymns), the albums feature previously unreleased and never-before-heard-tracks, B-sides and BBC sessions.

Per the announcement, the 3-CD super deluxe edition box set of 1995’s A Northern Soul comes with a booklet featuring new interviews and previously unseen photos. (Pre-order is available here.) Limited edition, remastered vinyl versions of the original LPs for both A Northern Soul (2-LP gatefold) and their 1993 debut album A Storm in Heaven (1-LP) will also be released in faithful reproductions of the original packaging.

A Storm in Heaven was a modest U.K. hit (#27 on the album chart) but, as the release notes: “Over the past two decades [it] has come to be regarded as something of a psychedelic classic. Drenched in echo and reverb it is highly atmospheric, extremely nuanced and, for many long-term fans, remains the band’s ‘lost’ masterpiece.”

As Simon Jones says: “It was pretty much improvised. It was quite bold on our part to… not tell the record company that we didn’t have enough material to make a record. We had the ability but we didn’t have the material. That really put the pressure on making that record, but we didn’t want to put the singles on the album. When it was done, the feeling was all really positive. As a band we were happy – we’d made something we could be proud of, especially considering how young we were. The Americans, especially, were delighted. We picked up a big following on college radio and did a tour across the whole country. We had a big underground following and ‘Slide Away’ was being played on MTV all the time.”

Ashcroft adds: “We were waiting for the magic all the time. Then it’d just happen.”

A Northern Soul yielded three U.K. Top 40 singles – “This Is Music,” the ballad “On Your Own” and “History” –  and reaching #13 on the U.K. album chart.

For this reissue, the album has been remastered and augmented by the inclusion of all associated B-sides, two previously unreleased BBC radio sessions and seven unreleased studio tracks, including early versions of “The Rolling People” and “Come On” (later re-recorded for Urban Hymns) as well as “Mover” and “Muhammad Ali,” songs that were to be revisited for The Verve’s 2008 reunion album, Forth.

The package comes in a lift-off-lid box, covered with silver mirri board as with the original 2-LP vinyl release, and features postcards, a poster and a 36-page book featuring interviews with members of the band and never-before-seen photos.

A Northern Soul (3-CD Super Deluxe Edition)

CD1: The Remastered Album
A New Decade
This Is Music
On Your Own
So It Goes
A Northern Soul
Brainstorm Interlude
Drive You Home
No Knock On My Door
Life’s An Ocean
Stormy Clouds

CD2: B-Sides
Let The Damage Begin
You And Me
I See The Door
Little Gem
Dance On Your Bones
History (radio edit)
Back On My Feet Again
On Your Own (Acoustic)
Monkey Magic (Brainstorm Mix)
Grey Skies
Life’s Not A Rehearsal

CD3 – Unreleased Studio and BBC Sessions
Brake Lights
Funky Jam (aka The Rolling People)
Echo Bass
Muhammad Ali
Come On
King Riff (aka This Is Music)

BBC Radio 1 Session – 28/6/1995
On Your Own
So It Goes

BBC Radio 1 Session (19/6/1995)
A New Decade
This Is Music
Life’s An Ocean
Come On

Best Classic Bands Staff

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