Urban Hymns (2LP) by The Verve, released on the Hut Records label in 1997, value £45

FRONTED by Richard Ashcroft, The Verve made their live debut at Winstanley College, Wigan (three of the band members studied there). This, their third studio album, a double LP, elevated them to the rank of a supergroup. At 75 minutes in length, it featured three hit singles: Bitter Sweet Symphony, which eventually won a Grammy award for best song and also made the top ten in the USA; Lucky Man, came next followed by The Drugs Don't Work, which reached No1 in the UK and became a worldwide hit.

1998 became their best year; the band were voted Best British Band and Urban Hymns was named Album of the Year spending 124 weeks in the UK charts, 12 of them in the No1 position eventually selling 10 million copies. They were nominated for Best British album of the last 30 years at the 2010 Brit Awards but lost to Oasis (What's The Story) Morning Glory. Music critics gave mostly favourable reviews, one described it as "an achingly beautiful record that's just desperate enough never to get boring," another opined "it is one of the most bloated, boring and over praised albums of the 90s." Despite that, it has been named as the 19th best selling album in UK rock history. Perhaps their most acclaimed accolade was appearing on the cover of US magazine Rolling Stone.

A year or so later, the band went through different line-up changes caused by internal disagreements and health problems.

By 1999, the band had split up. Richard Ashcroft stated "there was more chance of the surviving Beatles reforming than us." In 2007 they did reform prompting Ashcroft to say "It's the power of the music that drew The Verve back together." Sadly, following internal frictions within the band, they finally called it a day in 2009.

Richard Ashcroft continued as a solo performer with several albums under his belt.