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A Northern Soul

The Verve Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 16.89 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

A Northern Soul + Urban Hymns (W/1 Bonus Track)
Price For Both: CDN$ 28.39

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Product Details

1. A New Decade
2. This Is Music
3. On Your Own
4. So It Goes
5. A Northern Soul
6. Brainstorm Interlude
7. Drive You Home
8. History
9. No Knock On My Door
10. Life's An Ocean
11. Stormy Clouds
12. (Reprise)

Product Description

Product Description


The Verve's first album, A Storm In Heaven was a little too much like a wet weekend to really live up to its title, dallying in intangible psychedelia. Bolstered by Oasis producer Owen Morris, A Northern Soul delivered a lot more. The opening "A New Decade" was imbued with all the glorious bombast that its title suggested, and "This Is Music" sounded like some furious gospel, with shamanic lead singer Richard Ashcroft bellowing the title like he was administering to his flock. Inconsistencies marred A Northern Soul, however, with "Brainstorm Interlude" hardly even worthy of inclusion, and "Life's An Ocean" simply unrolling as an overlong jam. The album's clincher, surely, is the almighty "History". The Verve's greatest achievement, "History" is an epic, tearful elegy, and to date one of rock music's greatest moments. It alone proves that A Northern Soul is a failed masterpiece. By the next album, Urban Hymns, The Verve had learnt to dispense with the filler. --Louis Pattison

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Caveat emptor Jan. 15 2001
Format:Audio CD
Having bought this based on the great reviews on Amazon, i feel a bit duped. There are some good songs and some great moments here. The ballads are spine tingling and the guitar work is great on the more extended jams. "On Your Own" is a stand out track. But even stronger tracks like "History" only hint at the more lyrically and musically sound "Urban Hymns". It seems like there's a lot of off the cuff wordplay going on that just doesn't work on this album. The production is another matter and usually I don't care about production. Guided By Voices "Bee Thousand" sounds horrible but i still think it's a great album. The engineers should be shot for putting this out as it is and the Verve should never have let this get out by approving this final mix. This sounds at times like it was recorded in an empty bar. To be commended is the guitar playing especially the last 12 minute reprise track. It is stellar. But beware the hype...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By justin
Format:Audio CD
If you know of the Verve as the "Bittersweet Symphony" song and the Urban Hymns album, then you're definitely missing out on what the Verve is all about. A Northern Soul is in many ways, even better than Urban Hymns. Soul hads a slightly harder sound, with songs like "A New Decade","This is Music", the title track "A Northern Soul", and "No Knock on My Door". But the album also contains ballads like the excellent "On Your Own" and "So It Goes". It also contains a song that sounds a lot a track from Urban Hymns, which is "History". It also contains a few songs that sound a lot like A Storm in Heaven, their debut album, these being "Stormy Clouds", "Life's An Ocean", and "Drive You Home" All in all, the album has the right balance of sound, and at times, it's simply amazing. The album does have a weak song or two, one of which is "Drive You Home" But one of the best things I like about this album is being able to understand most of the lyrics. In their previous albums, the lyrics are echoed out and tough to hear, but A Northern Soul is much better, with Richard Ashcroft's lyrics coming to the front of the music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars like it Feb. 23 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Northern Soul by Verve
every one has heard urban hymns but in reality this album is better. it does not contain any top 10 hits but every tune is solid. i was surprised this band never made it big in Canada, hardly ever hear them. great vocals, good guitars and excellent lyrics. their from scotland, they must be good. Lol. if you enjoy good rock'n'roll you will like this album. Check it out.
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Format:Audio CD
Okay, hello fellow Verve listeners and amateurs alike. This is the best verve album, Urban Hymns cannot compare to this mastery. The first track is called A new Decade, and it shows that the verve can rock as well as show it's perfect ambient side. The seconbd track is the aptly titled "This Is Music", Which when I first heard it, I knew what music was. n your own is probably my least favorite track. The next track, so it goes, is half hard half not, and I enjoy it. A spotlight in the album is track five, A Northern Soul. This song not only rocks, but it's lyrical intensity gives me chills, when he [Richard Ashcroft] screams... I'M GONNA DIE ALONE IN BED, You'll understand pain and suffering of emotions. The brainstorm Interlude is still proof that they can rock out. Drive you home shows the incredible beauties of what they have done. History is a string-laced piece of art, I only wish the strings wouldn't be so piercing. No Knock on my door is just a bluesy beauty. Life's an ocean is a true gem ... "Imagined the future, woke up with a scream, I was buying some feelings, from a vending machine" Thats the shi*. Stormy clouds is a great song, but not the best, and the final reprise is the most incredible guitar work and emotional song that is instrumental that I have ever heard. I own so many good CD's, and this one is definitely in my top five. Buy this after Urban Hymns, only if you like the song The Rolling people and Come on.
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4.0 out of 5 stars what a band... Jan. 14 2002
Format:Audio CD
I grew up in Indiana and went to school in Ohio. Before the internet, I relied on word of mouth and Rolling Stone for cd purchases. I bought Urban Hymnes during my Junior year and it really blew my mind. It is my favorite album of all time for me. "Loaded" by Velvet Underground is second. This band is easy to LOVE for the masses because it has the 'unknown, uncommercialised' appeal and because they are truly a great band. For some reason I waited to buy 'A Northern Soul', maybe out of fear that it would ruin my feelings toward the band. The album is cool to listen to because I can feel there movement towards "Urban Hymnes". It is less layered and complex than "urban hymnes" and "So it Goes" is already a classic in my mind, along with "Drive you Home." I bought Richard solo effort and it was too calculated. BUT, Richard Ashcroft truly is incredible, defiently the most under rated rock artist in the last ten years. Maybe he is huge in the UK, but not in the states. Buy this album if you want to listen to some great music. Ryan Adams and The Strokes media machines and alcolades make me sick while "The Verve" goes unnoticed, but hey, isn't that how we like it?
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Indie Heaven
This album contains "History", one of the finest indie anthems of the 90's. For that reason only, it gets a 5 out of five from me!!!
Published on Nov. 29 2003 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely essential
This album attains a level of perfection few bands ever achieve. Everything is perfect, from construction of individual songs to the over-arcing concept of the record as a whole. Read more
Published on Aug. 12 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting transistion
The Verve is one of the greatest bands in the world, having been able to weild atmospheric and spacy tunes with soul-searing vocals. Read more
Published on April 20 2003 by Gene Kim
3.0 out of 5 stars Good album - but they've done better
You can't listen to "A Northern Soul" without thinking of The Verve's stunning 1993 offering, "A Storm in Heaven. Read more
Published on April 19 2003 by Sal Nudo
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
This album is just that. Everytime I listen to it I want to pick up the guitar and make music just like this. Read more
Published on Nov. 29 2002 by D. Padilla
5.0 out of 5 stars the verve
This record is one of the finest by any band ever. Ashcroft and McCabe take all their influences Marvin Gaye, Sly and the family stone, The roses and craft somethin unique I cannot... Read more
Published on July 11 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic album
Although the Verve is really only known for Bittersweet Symphony from 1997, they've been around longer than that. Read more
Published on June 22 2002 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT ALBUM!
That sums it up. This record is raw, intense, atmospheric, emotive, chilling, and it definitely lurks somewhere in my top 10 of favorite albums. Read more
Published on March 4 2002 by M. D Poe
5.0 out of 5 stars One listen
There are few albums which elicit the response in me that Northern Soul does. I find it impossible to put this CD into the player without listening all the way through. Read more
Published on Dec 4 2001
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