Released in the UK in July 1995, the Verve's A Northern Soul, which spawned the three Top 40 hit singles - "This Is Music," "On Your Own" and "History" - was well-received by critics and fans alike, reaching No. 13 on the UK album chart, and over the past two decades has continued to gather acclaim. Undoubtedly, it is one of the most powerful British ‘indie-rock' statements ever.
A darker, starker, and more personal affair than their debut, A Northern Soul saw Richard Ashcroft eschewing the strung-out positivism of their debut for sober ruminations on the human condition. The result? Timeless ballads like "On Your Own" that contrasted with ambitious workouts even more explosive than before - notably "A New Decade" and the titanic "This Is Music."
A general mood of doubt, and even ennui, however, is there as an undercurrent, best exemplified by the prophetic torch song "History," a Top 30 hit. When news of the band's break up came shortly before its release it sounded like it might even become the band's epitaph. Remastered by Chris Potter (co-producer of the band's Urban Hymns) from the original ½ inch analogue tapes.