The Drugs Don’t Work chords by The Verve


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The Drugs Don’t Work | Chords + Lyrics


Intro

| C Csus2 | C Csus2 | Am Asus2 | Am Asus2 |
| Em | Fadd9 G | C Csus2 | C Csus2 |

Verse 1

| C Csus2 | C G/B | Am Asus2 | Am Asus2 |
All this talk of getting old, it’s getting me down my love.
| Em | F/C G | C Csus2 | C Csus2 |
Like a cat in a bag, waiting to drown, this time I’m comin’ down.

Verse 2

| C Csus2 | C Csus2 | Am Asus2 | Am Asus2 |
And I hope you’re thinking of me, as you lay down on your side.
| Em | Fadd9 G | C Csus2 | C Csus2 |
Now the drugs don’t work, they just make you worse, but I know I’ll see your face again.

Chorus 1

| Em | Fsus2 G | C Csus2 | C Csus2 |
Now the drugs don’t work, they just make you worse, but I know I’ll see your face again.

Verse 3

| C Csus2 | C G/B | Am Asus2 | Am Asus2 |
But I know I’m on a losing streak, ’cause I passed down my old street.
| Em | F/C G | C Csus2 | C Csus2 |
And if you wanna show, then just let me know, and I’ll sing in your ear again.

Chorus 2

| Em | Fsus2 G | C Csus2 | C Csus2 |
Now the drugs don’t work, they just make you worse, but I know I’ll see your face again.

Bridge 1

| F | Em | Am | G |
Cause baby, ooh, if heaven calls, I’m coming too.
| F/C | Em | Am | G |
Just like you said, you leave my life, I’m better off dead.

Verse 4

| C Csus2 | C G/B | Am Asus2 | Am Asus2 |
All this talk of getting old, it’s getting me down my love.
| Em | F/C G | C Csus2 | C Csus2 |
Like a cat in a bag, waiting to drown, this time I’m comin’ down.

Chorus 3

| Em | Fsus2 G | C Csus2 | C Csus2 |
Now the drugs don’t work, they just make you worse, but I know I’ll see your face again.

Bridge 2

| F | Em | Am | G |
‘Cause baby, ooh, if heaven calls, I’m coming, too.
| F/C | Em | Am | G |
Just like you said, you leave my life, I’m better off dead.

Chorus 4

| Em | F/C G | C Csus2 | C Csus2 |
But if you wanna show, just let me know, and I’ll sing in your ear again.
| Em | F/C G | C Csus2 | C |
Now the drugs don’t work, they just make you worse, but I know I’ll see your face again.

Outro

||: C Csus2 :||
||: Yeah, I know I’ll see your face again :||

||: C Csus2 :||
||: Yeah, I know I’ll see your face again, oh Lord :||

||: C Csus2 :||
||: I’m never going down, I’m never coming down, no more, no more, no more, no more, no more :||


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The Drugs Don’t Work Chords: Learn the progressions


The Drugs Don't Work 8 step by step guitar lessons

Using almost only open-position chords, staying in one key with no variations, Richard Ashcroft has managed to write a song that sounds unique.

Don’t be fooled, writing a song having mainly simple open-position chords doesn’t mean it’s easy!

If you are a beginner, The Drugs Don’t Work‘s chords only have one difficult chord to fret, the mighty F.

You don’t have to play this as a big and painful barre chord, instead, it’s about finding a way to play that F and look beyond the seemingly impossible shape.

Most of the time, we get there by not fretting and playing all the strings. For example, an F/C will work well enough as a substitute for the big and clunky F.

Members get video lessons going through this in great detail as they learn how to play The Drugs Don’t Work on one acoustic guitar.

In order to understand The Drugs Don’t Work’s chord progressions, we must look at them using Roman numerals. Here are the intro, verse, and chorus chords in the key of C, with Roman numerals:

| C (I) | C | Am (VI) | Am |
| Em (III) | F (IV) G (V) | C (I) | C |

These simple chords are manipulated using extensions such as sus2 and add9. I demonstrate exactly how in the course and then give you a loop with rhythm slashes to play along with for each section.

Above you can try this already now, here’s the TAB for the verse – play along with the video above!

The Drugs Don't Work strumming pattern and chords verse, example 1.

After doing this to all sections in little chunks like you just saw, we play the complete song with a singer (see video at the top of this page).

Lastly, we learn the beautiful 2nd guitar as well, just like the original using TAB and play-along loops. Learning this means that you, me, and the singer can play The Drugs Don’t Work together, like a trio.

Here’s a link to the complete lesson series (members only): The Drugs Don’t Work – Guitar Lessons with TAB.

Become a member today and get unlimited access to all step-by-step guitar coursesTAB for the songbook, the Self-Eliminating Practice Routine, and the eBook Spytunes Method.

The Drugs Don’t Work is not about illegal drugs!

The Drugs Don’t Work has had a massive reach globally. Partly helped by Ben Harper who covered it on his Live From Mars album in 2001, but mainly as a single from The Verve’s best-seller Urban Hymns (1997).

As the title indicates, most of us would have thought this was an anti-drug song, which it is, but not in the way we may have all been led to believe.

Originally having the meaning that the drugs didn’t work for Richard Ashcroft’s father, who was dying of cancer, the song had its wording slightly tweaked in order to give off a more ambiguous statement.

Being one of three massive hits (including Bitter Sweet Symphony and Lucky Man), The Verve crossed over from a critically acclaimed but relatively unknown indie/rock band to mass-market fame in 1998.

Interestingly enough, the band had actually split up prior to the making of Urban Hymns which was their third record.

Luckily, Ashcroft managed to recruit an old friend in Simon Tong and eventually lure guitarist Nick McCabe back into the studio and get the album finished.

It’s Nick who wrote and played that amazing 2nd guitar. It took me several days to transcribe it, you can hear/see me play it in the second video of the playlist at the top of the page.



The Drugs Don’t Work Chords | Related Pages


Beginner Acoustic

There are more Beginner Acoustic Songs, with similar chords to The Drugs Don't Work.

This collection of beginner acoustic tunes will teach you how to arrange for one acoustic guitar, as well as how to create a supporting part.

Playing songs will help you with switching between open-position chords and give you the context you need to understand how music works theoretically.


Five similar tunes with chords and lyrics

When you can play The Drugs Don't Work's chords, try these five tunes from the songbook.


Ben Harper

Ben Harper covered The Drugs Don't Work.

Ben Harper is an American roots musician who stretched his appeal around the globe by recording covers of Sexual Healing and The Drugs Don’t Work.

Harper’s first album, Welcome To The Cruel World (94), was followed by Fight For Your Mind only a year later.


Ben Harper on the web

Listen to Ben Harper on Spotify


The Verve

The Verve wrote The Drugs Don't Work's chords.

The Verve is a British rock band formed in 1989, in Wigan. Among their bigger hits, you’ll find Bitter Sweet Symphony and The Drugs Don’t Work.

Since their first debut album, A Storm In Heaven, critics have always favoured The Verve as one of the best 90s British rock acts.


The Verve on the web

Listen to The Verve on Spotify


Ballads

When you can play The Drugs Don't Work, find more Ballads to play.

The perfect first dance or an emotional piece for your next audition, this collection of Ballads is great for working on your expression.

Learn tunes from Burt Bacharach, Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, Eva Cassidy, Ben Harper, Etta James, Chet Baker, Elvis, Norah Jones, and many more.


Pop & Rock

When know how to play The Drugs Don't Work, discover more Pop & Rock tunes.

Whenever a tune doesn’t fit into a specific genre, it tends to end up here, in the Pop & Rock section.

Learn tunes from Tom Petty, Eagles, Toto, Oasis, Elvis, Clapton, John Mayer, Kings Of Leon, R.E.M., Radiohead, Bruno Mars, and more.



About me

Dan Lundholm wrote this article about The Drugs Don't Work's chords.

This article on The Drugs Don’t Work’s chords was written by Dan Lundholm. Discover more about him and learning guitar with Spytunes.

Most importantly, find out why you should learn guitar through playing tunes, not practising scales, and studying theory in isolation.


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