A Storm in Heaven

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Not to be confused with Storming Heaven (disambiguation).
A Storm in Heaven
The Verve – A Storm in Heaven.jpg
Studio album by Verve
Released 21 June 1993 (1993-06-21)
Recorded December 1992 - January 1993 at Sawmills Studios, Cornwall[1]
Genre Psychedelic rock, Space rock, Dream pop, Shoegaze
Length 47:07
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 (1993-05-10)
  2. "Slide Away"
    Released: 20 September 1993 (1993-09-20)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[2]
Alternative Press Positive[3]
Head Heritage Positive[4]
MustHear.com Positive[5]
NME 8/10[6]
Stylus Magazine Positive[7]
Sputnikmusic 5/5 stars[8]

A Storm in Heaven is the debut studio album by the English rock band The Verve, at the time known just as Verve, released in June 1993 on the Hut label. It charted at number twenty-seven in the UK.

Overview[edit]

A Storm in Heaven originated during the band's four-week stay outside of Llandudno, Wales. After the autumn 1992 Gravity Grave tour, they relocated to Sawmills Studios in Cornwall where sessions were recorded for four weeks in December 1992 (a brief break for Christmas followed by a return to recording) and three weeks in January 1993 with producer John Leckie.[9]

Guitarist Nick McCabe, in reflection, has said "I think something of us as a band got lost" after Storm in Heaven. "For the next ten years after that, that sensation was missing from the music for me. That was the last time we made that kind of landscape for the imagination to run about in." According to producer John Leckie, the band worked until "4 a.m. every night...they were quite a nocturnal band...they didn't get much sleep. They smoked a lot of dope." Drummer Pete Salisbury's percussion was inspired by Dr. John, the Night Tripper's Gris-Gris album, while the brass section from the Kick Horns on "The Sun, The Sea" and "Butterfly" was influenced by Fun House (The Stooges album). Only three of the songs that ended up on the album had been previously played in live performances ("Slide Away", "Already There", and "The Sun, The Sea"), while the remaining seven songs were composed at Sawmills Studios in Cornwall. "Virtual World" was recorded in two versions, one with Yvette Lacey on flute (who had previously contributed her flute to "Gravity Grave") and the other with rare slide guitar from Nick McCabe. The lyrics of "Already There" were changed and developed further from their previous live performances. It is the only song by The Verve in which Richard Ashcroft and Nick McCabe collaborated together on the lyrics.[10]

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. Nick McCabe has stated that the track was recorded at 3:00 a.m. while playing along with a Steely Dan sample.[11] 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.

Other songs which did not end up on the album yet were recorded during the Sawmills Studios sessions included "Shoeshine Girl", "South Pacific", "No Come Down", "Twilight", "6 O'Clock", and "Where The Geese Go".[12] 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.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written 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
Total length:
47:04
2016 Collector's Deluxe Reissue (Disc 2)
No. Title Length
1. "All in the Mind"   4:15
2. "One Way To Go"   7:18
3. "A Man Called Sun"   5:48
4. "She's A Superstar"   8:54
5. "Feel"   10:39
6. "Gravity Grave"   8:23
7. "Endless Life"   5:33
8. "A Man Called Sun (live Clapham Grand 17.07.92)"   5:30
9. "Gravity Grave (live encore Clapham Grand 17.07.92)"   8:23
10. "Twilight"   3:03
11. "Where The Geese Go"   3:14
12. "No Come Down"   3:27
13. "Blue (USA Mix)"   3:16
14. "6 O'Clock"   4:33
2016 Collector's Deluxe Reissue (Disc 3)
No. Title Length
1. "Make It 'Til Monday (acoustic)"   2:45
2. "Virtual World (acoustic)"   4:44
3. "Gravity Grave (live Glastonbury '93)"   9:24
4. "Butterfly (acoustic)"   7:37
5. "Slide Away (BBC Radio 1 Session 07.03.92)"   5:53
6. "She's A Superstar (BBC Radio 1 Session 07.03.92)"   5:02
7. "Already There (BBC Radio 1 Session 07.03.92)"   4:26
8. "Brake Lights (BBC Radio 1 Session 07.03.92)"   3:16
9. "Star Sail (BBC Radio 1 Session 07.12.93)"   4:12
10. "A Man Called Sun (BBC Radio 1 Session 07.12.93)"   4:40
11. "6 O'Clock (BBC Radio 1 Session 07.12.93)"   4:44
12. "Gravity Grave (BBC Radio 1 Session 07.12.93)"   8:28
13. "Shoeshine Girl"   4:00
14. "South Pacific"   3:50

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
  • 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[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Storm in Heaven Collector's Deluxe Reissue (Liner Notes)
  2. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/r184470
  3. ^ Segal, Dave. "A Storm in Heaven – Alternative Press 1993". Alternative Press. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "Unsung – Reviews – A Storm in Heaven". Head Heritage. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  5. ^ Rollins, Tim. "The Verve – A Storm in Heaven". MustHear.com. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  6. ^ 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..."
  7. ^ Southall, Nick. "Verve – A Storm in Heaven – On Second Thought". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  8. ^ "The Verve: A Storm In Heaven review". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved on 9 July 2013.
  9. ^ Storm in Heaven Collector's Deluxe Reissue (Liner Notes)
  10. ^ Storm in Heaven Collector's Deluxe Reissue (Liner Notes)
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ Storm in Heaven Collector's Deluxe Reissue (Liner Notes)
  13. ^ Verve Universe

External links[edit]