The Verve

History #1

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Never has a band written its own epitaph as profoundly or as movingly as Verve -- the group's final single in its original incarnation, the epic "History" essentially details the demise of a romantic relationship, but lyrics like "It's you and me, we're history/There ain't nothing left to say" could just as easily speak to the end of a creative partnership as well. Even this disc's cover, depicting a theater marquee bearing the legend "All farewells should be sudden," foretells Verve's pending halt. But excepting the grandiose, symphonic title cut, inexplicably included here in an abbreviated and ham-fisted radio edit, the first half of the "History" single ends Verve 1.0 on a whimper, not a bang -- the B-sides are throwaways at best in comparison to the stellar material the band used to append to its singles. An acoustic reading of A Northern Soul's "On Your Own" and a percussive rewrite of "Brainstorm Interlude" retitled "Monkey Magic" shed little light on their LP versions -- only the spare "Back on My Feet Again," the inevitable and equally prescient post-breakup song, passes muster.

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