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 Post subject: His last great song
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:42 pm 
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Inspired by a comment in another thread.

What do you think is RA's last great song?

I'm going to say 'Rather Be'. There may be two or three he's done since that I might put in the "good" or "decent" category, but this is as far back at I have to go to find a classic.

He's in fine voice; affecting, but not overly emotive. The lyrics are simple, but not trite. And there's the added advantage of the band having worked their magic on it.


What's yours? Some will find slim pickings after 1998. Others, I'm sure, will hit me with an exhaustive and comprehensive list.

Just pick one, please.


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 Post subject: Re: His last great song
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:52 pm 
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I'll pick three, as I'm not certain if you mean solo, written solo but recorded & arranged with The Verve or with The Verve as an entity. Hope that's not a deal breaker.
With The Verve: All Night Long. Hits on every cylinder.
With The Verve but credited as written by Ashcroft solely: Appalachian Springs. His finest vocal on Forth. Some question the lyrics, but when they are delivered with that passion & with that band magic backing it, I can overlook that.
Solo: Check the Meaning. Probably about two minutes too long, but great vocal & lyrics. He seemed to truly believe what he was singing about then.

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 Post subject: Re: His last great song
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:20 pm 
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His? Bittersweet or The Drugs Don't Work. I like Check the Meaning, but it falls short of being considered "great".

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 Post subject: Re: His last great song
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:25 pm 
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Thank's, Joe. I mean any track where he is credited as the sole songwriter. It can be released under verve or from a solo album.


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 Post subject: Re: His last great song
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:24 pm 
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Out of My Body
This Is How It Feels
They Don't Own Me
Hold On
These People
Picture of You
Black Lines


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 Post subject: Re: His last great song
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:25 pm 
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choonin_in wrote:
Thank's, Joe. I mean any track where he is credited as the sole songwriter. It can be released under verve or from a solo album.


Under that criteria, I'd say Appalachian Springs for the reasons above.

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 Post subject: Re: His last great song
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:36 pm 
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jadams503 wrote:
Out of My Body
This Is How It Feels
They Don't Own Me
Hold On
These People
Picture of You
Black Lines
OK, care to elaborate?

Joe Col wrote:
choonin_in wrote:
Thank's, Joe. I mean any track where he is credited as the sole songwriter. It can be released under verve or from a solo album.


Under that criteria, I'd say Appalachian Springs for the reasons above.
The lyrics really do spoil that one for me.


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 Post subject: Re: His last great song
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:46 pm 
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On Yer Own. Should have put the acoustic down right then and got back to being a rock n roll star, not a pea-wet balladeer.


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 Post subject: Re: His last great song
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:56 pm 
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Lil ed wrote:
On Yer Own. Should have put the acoustic down right then and got back to being a rock n roll star, not a pea-wet balladeer.


:mrgreen:

Fucking hell.....

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 Post subject: Re: His last great song
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:53 pm 
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'Hold On' and 'Ain't The Future So Bright' bear comparison with his best work.


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 Post subject: Re: His last great song
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:54 pm 
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A truly baffling amount of respect for "Hold On" here :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: His last great song
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:07 am 
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andropov wrote:
'Hold On' and 'Ain't The Future So Bright' bear comparison with his best work.


Do you still think Hold On is 'an astonishingly acute articulation of the joys of political activism', reviewed in the current climate of politics?

'Untill you get some pepper spray, The water canons on the way
Fighting on your own, Can turn your heart to stone'

Interesting to see so many marches and protests following Trumps's inaugeration. No reports of 'stone-hearts' though.

'And truth is on the march again, Wipe those tears away
Apocalyptic mind, She soothe me with her soul.

I'm guessing Trump is the Apocalyptic mind, and Teresa May is the one that soothes Richard's soul?


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 Post subject: Re: His last great song
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:11 am 
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choonin_in wrote:
OK, care to elaborate?


I don't think it can be argued that Ashcroft solo has been as good as The Verve, or that he hasn't treated his bandmates shabbily. That being said, he has improved by leaps and bounds as a singer and with the new LP finally got the production right with a whole album's worth of consistent songs.

UNOS really did have some disastrous material on it -- America, Beatitudes, Born Again -- but These People is a return to form. I don't see how anyone who found something to like about Alone With Everybody or Human Conditions could hate it as much as people on this board do, except out of some sense of loyalty to the other guys. That's fair, I guess, but not about the music.


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 Post subject: Re: His last great song
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 4:43 am 
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choonin_in wrote:
Joe Col wrote:
choonin_in wrote:
Thank's, Joe. I mean any track where he is credited as the sole songwriter. It can be released under verve or from a solo album.


Under that criteria, I'd say Appalachian Springs for the reasons above.
The lyrics really do spoil that one for me.


Seriously, Appalachian Springs is destroyed by the lyrics. It's like the Verve version of the Hokey Pokey. You put your right foot in, you take your left foot out...


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 Post subject: Re: His last great song
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 6:25 am 
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jadams503 wrote:
UNOS really did have some disastrous material on it

It really was a courageous gesture by RPA to create an album that finally united his fan base

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And then he brings back the band for another new song that sounds more Andrew Lloyd Webber than titan of Britpop. It makes Ashcroft's farewell promise to return to our shores "soon" feel more like a threat than something to look forward to


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 Post subject: Re: His last great song
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:34 am 
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jadams503 wrote:
UNOS really did have some disastrous material on it


It's a better album than These People.

Disastrous material you say? Didn't you award UNOS a B-? Then downgraded it to a C+? Want to try again? Third time lucky :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: His last great song
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:00 am 
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I'd say Appalachian Springs


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 Post subject: Re: His last great song
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:54 pm 
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mayfield2 wrote:
Do you still think Hold On is 'an astonishingly acute articulation of the joys of political activism', reviewed in the current climate of politics?


It doesn't fit the current climate, but it makes perfect sense in relation to the Arab Spring—which was the primary inspiration for the lyric.

See: https://books.google.ie/books?id=rSzHAAAAQBAJ&pg=PA120&dq=%22activist+joy%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi_z_Xdg_7RAhWICcAKHXPkA1cQ6AEIHjAB#v=onepage&q=%22activist%20joy%22&f=false


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 Post subject: Re: His last great song
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:12 pm 
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Roman Candle wrote:
choonin_in wrote:
Joe Col wrote:

Under that criteria, I'd say Appalachian Springs for the reasons above.
The lyrics really do spoil that one for me.


Seriously, Appalachian Springs is destroyed by the lyrics. It's like the Verve version of the Hokey Pokey. You put your right foot in, you take your left foot out...


The lyrics never bothered me on this track. I understand the complaints regarding it, but it was never an issue for me. His vocal is simply fantastic on it. Especially the closing where he repeats the "... or ever own" bit. The band sound immense on it, hitting every note, sounding fresh & energized. It's a great album closer.

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 Post subject: Re: His last great song
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 5:51 pm 
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sean wrote:
Disastrous material you say? Didn't you award UNOS a B-? Then downgraded it to a C+? Want to try again? Third time lucky :roll:


What's bad on UNOS is baffling but what's good is excellent. Good Loving, Royal Highness, etc. are some of his best. The C+ is fair.

Joe Col wrote:
The lyrics never bothered me on this track. I understand the complaints regarding it, but it was never an issue for me. His vocal is simply fantastic on it. Especially the closing where he repeats the "... or ever own" bit. The band sound immense on it, hitting every note, sounding fresh & energized. It's a great album closer.


One of my pet theories is that a bunch of RPA's solo songs and stuff on Forth are more or less about the band and the state of his career. On Forth that includes Love Is Noise, Rather Be, and Appalachian Springs. I interpret the "step to the left, step to the right" as Ashcroft's trying different things in his solo career that weren't quite right and the song in general being about his ambivalence/regret at that time about breaking up the band. So the lyrics don't bother me.


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 Post subject: Re: His last great song
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 6:22 pm 
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This Is How It Feels
They Don't Own Me
Picture of You

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 Post subject: Re: His last great song
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:17 pm 
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jadams503 wrote:

What's bad on UNOS is baffling but what's good is excellent. Good Loving, Royal Highness, etc. are some of his best. The C+ is fair.




Hmmmm...baffling is more generous than disastrous isn't it?

Can't think of many above average rated album that have contained 'disastrous' material tbh.

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 Post subject: Re: His last great song
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:31 pm 
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As night follows day, all discussions lead back to Jadams' letter grades for UNOS :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: His last great song
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:54 pm 
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He's the Mel Gibson of vervecroft! :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: His last great song
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:48 pm 
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choonin_in wrote:
He's the Mel Gibson of vervecroft! :wink:



GIVE ME BACK MY SONG!!! :mrgreen:


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