- 13 Sep 21
The two-time Ivor Novello Award winning musician has also shared a revamped acoustic version of 'Bittersweet Symphony'.
English singer-songwriter Richard Ashcroft is slated to release his new album Acoustic Hymns Vol 1 on October 29th via RPA / BMG.
The album features twelve newly recorded acoustic versions of classic songs from his back catalogue spanning both his solo career and his time with The Verve. The album is now available to pre-order, with Ashcroft also dropping his revamped rendition of ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ today.
The Orrell native was the lead singer and occasional rhythm guitarist of alternative rock band The Verve from their formation in 1990 until their original split in 1999.
The initial idea for the new version of ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ has special resonance, as it was the catalyst for the the initial conversation that led to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards returning the song writing credit to Richard. ‘C’mon People (We’re Making It Now)’ features Liam Gallagher, and is a favourite tune of theirs since Richard originally played it to Liam on a piano in Majorca in 1998.
Produced by Richard with Chris Potter, Acoustic Hymns Vol 1 features his regular live band boosted by some special collaborators. Wil Malone provides the string arrangements, which were recorded at Abbey Road Studios. In addition, Chuck Leavell performs piano, Roddy Bloomfield leads the brass section, and Steve Wyreman contributes further acoustic guitar and backing vocal arrangements.
Ashcroft recently announced details of four special shows, each billed as “an acoustic evening of his classic songs.” After quickly selling out two nights at London’s Palladium, he subsequently added two further shows at the Royal Albert Hall and the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool.
The two-time Ivor Novello winner (Songwriter of the Year in 1998 and Outstanding Contribution to British Music in 2019) has released five Top 5 solo albums, including the No.1 debut Alone With Everybody.
With The Verve, he released one of the biggest albums of the era in the shape of Urban Hymns as well as a succession of anthems which remain staples of his live set today, including ‘The Drugs Don’t Work’, ‘Bittersweet Symphony’, ‘Lucky Man’ and ‘Sonnet’.
Revisit Ashcroft's 1995 interview with Hot Press here.
Listen to his new version of 'Bittersweet Symphony' below:
Acoustic Hymns Vol. 1 track listing:
2.‘A Song For The Lovers’
4. ‘C’mon People (We’re Making It Now)’ featuring Liam Gallagher
5. ‘Weeping Willow’
6. ‘Lucky Man’
7. ‘This Thing Called Life’
8. ‘Space & Time’
9. ‘Velvet Morning’
10. ‘Break The Night With Colour’
11. ‘One Day’
12. ‘The Drugs Don’t Work’