The Verve biography



One of the U.K’s biggest Alternative Indie Rock bands of the 90s!

The Verve was a British alternative rock band that formed in Wigan, Greater Manchester, in 1990. Among their bigger hits, you find Bitter Sweet Symphony, Lucky Man and The Drugs Don’t Work.

Since their full-length debut album, A Storm In Heaven, critics always favored The Verve as one of the best British bands of the 90s.

The band made a big impact on U.K popular culture alongside bands such as Radiohead, The Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, My Bloody Valentine, Primal Scream, The Charlatans, Blur, Oasis, and Elbow. All contributing to the soundtrack of the 90s in the U.K.

After ten years of success, various lawsuits, internal conflict, and plenty of drug/alcohol-fueled misadventures, the band broke up in 1999.


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, but mainly as a single from their best seller Urban Hymns.

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) from the album Urban Hymns in 1997, The Verve crossed over from, critically acclaimed but relatively unknown, to mass-market fame during 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 got the album finished.


Post The Verve

After The Verve dissolved in 1999, Ashcroft pursued a solo career but didn’t reach the same heights as the band had with Urban Hymns.

In 2007, when they reunited, all seemed to fall into place again. When tickets for the tour became available, they sold out in twenty minutes.

As late as 2021, Richard is back with a new album. Instead of recording new songs or releasing the greatest hits, he’s re-recorded his best songs in a collection dubbed Acoustic Hymns Vol 1.

On the song C’mon People (We’re Making It Now), he’s teamed up with former Oasis frontman and close friend, Liam Gallagher.


The Drugs Don’t Work – Chords

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.

Go to The Drugs Don’t Work chords.


The Drugs Don’t Work – Lyrics + Official video

All this talk of getting old,
it’s getting me down my love.
Like a cat in a bag, waiting to drown,
this time I’m comin’ down.

Go to The Drugs Don’t Work lyrics.