A Storm in Heaven

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A Storm in Heaven
Studio album by Verve
Released 21 June 1993
Recorded Winter 1992-Spring 1993,
Sawmills Studio, Cornwall
Genre Psychedelic rock, space rock, shoegazing, dream pop
Length 46:44
Label Vernon Yard, Hut, Virgin
Producer John Leckie
Verve chronology
Verve
(1992)
A Storm in Heaven
(1993)
Voyager 1
(1993)
Singles from A Storm in Heaven
  1. "Blue"
    Released: 10 May 1993
  2. "Slide Away"
    Released: 20 September 1993
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
NME 8/10 stars[2]
Stylus Magazine Positive[3]
Alternative Press Positive[4]
Must Hear Positive[5]
Head Heritage Positive[6]
Sputnik Music 5/5 stars[7]

A Storm in Heaven is the debut studio album by English alternative rock band The Verve, at the time known just as Verve, released in June 1993 on the Hut Records label. It charted at No. 27 in the UK.

Overview[edit]

Like the band's prior EPs and singles, most of the songs on this album are bathed in heavy layers of delay (echo) and reverb, used on both the guitars and the vocals, to give a disorientingly psychedelic overall effect. The lyrics of "Butterfly" pertain directly to the so-called Butterfly effect, and the song "Catching the Butterfly," from the band's 1997 album Urban Hymns, is apparently a continuation of this theme. Guitarist Nick McCabe has stated that the track was recorded at 3:00 a.m. while playing along with a Steely Dan sample.[8] The album's closing song, "See You in the Next One (Have a Good Time)", is built on a subdued piano motif played by McCabe and atmospheric acoustic guitars played by vocalist Richard Ashcroft. After this album, the band's music moved in a less psychedelic, more structured direction, and their name was officially changed to "The Verve" for legal reasons, so as not to clash with the record label Verve Records.

As with all of the band's releases, A Storm in Heaven features enigmatic artwork designed by Brian Cannon. The cover photo was shot inside Thor's Cave in Staffordshire, England. The vinyl LP version came in gatefold packaging.

In a reappraisal of the album's historic importance, Delusions of Adequacy noted that A Storm in Heaven transcended the other albums of its time:

"A highly burnished synthesis of the warbling hard rock of the Doors, the infinite rhythmic groove of Can, the space-fried improvisations of Yeti-era Amon Düül II, and the effects-pedal anchor of My Bloody Valentine, A Storm in Heaven may well have been the best neo-psychedelic album released in the 1990s. While often clumped together with the other English bands leading the shoegaze movement during the same time period, the Verve was creating a far different version of the thick atmospherics the genre became known for. Despite some minor cosmetic similarities, Loveless this was not. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that guitarist Nick McCabe gazed shoe-ward with far better results than Kevin Shields ever did. While Loveless remained firmly anchored to the early-90s British scene, A Storm in Heaven flew figure eights somewhere over its head."

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by The Verve, except where noted. 

No. Title Length
1. "Star Sail"   3:59
2. "Slide Away"   4:03
3. "Already There"   5:38
4. "Beautiful Mind"   5:27
5. "The Sun, The Sea"   5:16
6. "Virtual World"   6:20
7. "Make It 'til Monday"   3:05
8. "Blue"   3:24
9. "Butterfly"   6:39
10. "See You in the Next One (Have a Good Time)" (Richard Ashcroft) 3:07

Personnel[edit]

  • Richard Ashcroft – vocals, bass, guitars on "See You in the Next One (Have a Good Time)", percussion on "Already There", "Beautiful Mind", "The Sun, The Sea", "Virtual World", and "Blue"
  • Nick McCabe – guitars, piano on "Beautiful Mind" and "See You in the Next One (Have a Good Time)", accordion on "See You in the Next One (Have a Good Time)", keyboard on "Make It 'til Monday"
  • Peter Salisbury – drums, percussion on "Star Sail" and "Virtual World"
  • Simon Jones – bass, backing vocals on "Star Sail"

Additional musicians[edit]

  • Simon Clarke – solo flute on "Virtual World", horn arrangements
  • The Kick Horns – trumpets, saxophones on "Already There", "The Sun, The Sea", and "Butterfly"
  • Yvette Lacey – chorus flute on "Virtual World"
  • Roddy Lorimer – horn arrangements

Technical personnel[edit]

  • John Leckie – production, mixing
  • John Cornfield – engineering, programming
  • Sleeve concept, design and art direction by Brian Cannon for microdot
  • Photography by Michael Spencer Jones[9]

External links[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/r184470
  2. ^ NME (Magazine) (6/19/93, p.33) – 8 – Excellent – "...some of the prettiest noises to ever escape from amplifiers....At best, you'll believe a man can fly..."
  3. ^ Southall, Nick. "Verve – A Storm in Heaven – On Second Thought". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  4. ^ Segal, Dave. "A Storm in Heaven – Alternative Press 1993". Alternative Press. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  5. ^ Rollins, Tim. "The Verve – A Storm in Heaven". Must Hear. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  6. ^ "Unsung – Reviews – A Storm in Heaven". Head Heritage. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  7. ^ "The Verve: A Storm In Heaven review". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved on 9 July 2013.
  8. ^ [1])
  9. ^ Verve Universe