The Verve’s Urban Hymns Get Super Deluxe Treatment For 20th Anniversary

I’m a big fan of “super deluxe editions” of great albums. I mean, who doesn’t love getting a chance to have one of their favorite albums expanded to multiple discs with rare and unreleased tracks, live versions and demos? Over the years, we’ve seen some of the biggest albums of all time get the super deluxe treatment, including classics from Pink Floyd and U2, as well as the recent super deluxe edition of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles.

Of course, the super deluxe treatment isn’t always reserved only for mega-classics by stadium filling superstars. Case in point: Urban Hymns by The Verve. This 1997 album is celebrating its 20th anniversary with an expanded edition including five CDs and one DVD.

To be fair, Urban Hymns was a huge hit in the UK, so European fans may not find this deluxe treatment so shocking. In America, though, the band is best (only?) known for “Bitter Sweet Symphony,” which was only a minor hit in the US. It is probably just as well known for the controversy surrounding its supposed plagiarism of The Rolling Stones song “The Last Time.” As a result of that incident, the band was forced to give up their royalties on the song and give additional writing credits to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

I don’t want to give the impression that I don’t think the album is worthy of a super deluxe edition, though. I really do think it is an excellent record! If you’re only familiar with “Bitter Sweet Symphony,” you should definitely dig deeper. The second single from the album, “The Drugs Don’t Work,” hit number one on the UK charts, but went virtually unnoticed in America. That’s a shame, because it’s one of the best songs on the album.

And as is usually the case with super deluxe releases, there’s also a 2CD version which will pair the original album with a second disc of live tracks.

Both the super deluxe edition and the 2CD edition of Urban Hymns come out on September 1. Here are the complete track lists:

Disc 1: Remastered album

01. Bitter Sweet Symphony
02. Sonnet
03. The Rolling People
04. The Drugs Don’t Work
05. Catching the Butterfly
06. Neon Wilderness
07. Space and Time
08. Weeping Willow
09. Lucky Man
10. One Day
11. This Time
12. Velvet Morning
13. Come On

Disc 2: B-sides

01. Lord I Guess I’ll Never Know
02. Country Song
03. Bitter Sweet Symphony (James Lavelle Remix)
04. So Sister
05. Echo Bass
06. Three Steps
07. The Drugs Don’t Work – original demo
08. The Crab
09. Stamped
10. Never Wanna See You Cry
11. (Bitter Sweet Symphony) MSG
12. The Longest Day
13. Lucky Man (Happiness More or Less)

Disc 3: B-sides and Session Tracks

01. Bitter Sweet Symphony (extended version)
02. This Could Be My Moment
03. Monte Carlo
04. Life’s An Ocean (BBC Evening session 27/8/97)
05. A Man Called Sun  (BBC Evening session 27/8/97)
06. The Drugs Don’t Work  (BBC Evening session 27/8/97)
07. On Your Own (BBC Evening session 27/8/97)
08. So Sister  (BBC Evening session 27/8/97)

Disc 4: Live at Haigh Hall 24/5/98

01. This Is Music
02. Space and Time
03. Catching the Butterfly
04. Sonnet
05. The Rolling People
06. Neon Wilderness
07. Weeping Willow
08. The Drugs Don’t Work
09. Lucky Man
10. Life’s an Ocean
11. Velvet Morning
12. Bitter Sweet Symphony

Disc 5: Unreleased Live Tracks

01. One Day – Haigh Hall (24/5/98)
02. History – Haigh Hall (24/5/98)
03. Come On – Haigh Hall (24/5/98)
04. A New Decade – Washington DC 9.30 Club (3/11/97)
05. The Rolling People – Brixton Academy (16/1/98)
06. On Your Own – Brixton Academy (16/1/98)
07. History – Brixton Academy (16/1/98)
08. The Drugs Don’t Work – Washington DC 9.30 Club (3/11/97)
09. Slide Away – Manchester Academy (11/8/97)
10. A Man Called Sun – Washington DC 9.30 Club (3/11/97)
11. A Northern Soul – Washington DC 9.30 Club (3/11/97)
12. Space and Time – Brixton Academy (16/1/98)
13. This Is Music – Manchester Academy (11/8/97)
14. Weeping Willow – Washington DC 9.30 Club (3/11/97)
15. Stormy Clouds (and Reprise) – Manchester Academy (11/8/97) 7.24


Later with Jools Holland

01. Lucky Man
02. Life’s An Ocean
03. The Drugs Don’t Work
04. Bitter Sweet Symphony

Live at Haigh Hall

01. This Is Music
02. Space and Time
03. Catching the Butterfly
04. Sonnet
05. The Rolling People
06. Neon Wilderness
07. Weeping Willow
08. The Drugs Don’t Work
09. Lucky Man
10. Life’s an Ocean
11. Velvet Morning
12. Bitter Sweet Symphony
13. One Day
14. History
15. Come On

The promo videos:

01. Bitter Sweet Symphony
02. The Drugs Don’t Work
03. Lucky Man
04. Lucky Man (US version)
05. Sonnet

The 2CD edition includes the same disc 1 (original album), and adds a second disc of live tracks, combining some of the material from discs 2 and 3 of teh super deluxe edition.

Urban Hymns – 2CD Edition Disc 2:

01. This Is Music – Haigh Hall (24/5/98)
02. Space and Time – Haigh Hall (24/5/98)
03. Catching the Butterfly – Haigh Hall (24/5/98)
04. Sonnet – Haigh Hall (24/5/98)
05. The Rolling People – Haigh Hall (24/5/98)
06. Weeping Willow – Haigh Hall (24/5/98)
07. The Drugs Don’t Work – Haigh Hall (24/5/98)
08. Lucky Man – Haigh Hall (24/5/98)
09. Life’s an Ocean – Haigh Hall (24/5/98)
10. Velvet Morning – Haigh Hall (24/5/98)
11. Bitter Sweet Symphony – Haigh Hall (24/5/98)
12. A New Decade – Washington DC 9.30 Club (3/11/97)
13. History – Brixton Academy (16/1/98)
14. Slide Away – Manchester Academy (11/8/97)