Richard Ashcroft Announces New Acoustic Album, Shares New Version of “Bittersweet Symphony” | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Richard Ashcroft Announces New Acoustic Album, Shares New Version of “Bittersweet Symphony”

Acoustic Hymns Vol. 1 Due Out October 29 via RPA/BMG

Sep 08, 2021
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Richard Ashcroft, formerly of The Verve, has announced Acoustic Hymns Vol. 1, a new album featuring new acoustic versions of some of his previous songs, and shared its first single, a new seven-minute acoustic version of his most iconic song, “Bittersweet Symphony.” The new version still features strings. Acoustic Hymns Vol. 1 is due out October 29 via RPA/BMG. Check out the new version of “Bittersweet Symphony” below, followed by the album’s tracklist. Above is its cover art.

As its title might suggest, the tracklist for Acoustic Hymns Vol. 1 mainly pulls from The Verve’s biggest album, 1997’s Urban Hymns, with no songs from any of the other three Verve albums featured. Although, some of his solo work is also represented. One track, a new version of “C’mon People (We’re Making It Now),” which was originally found on Ashcroft’s debut solo album, 2000’s Alone with Everybody, features guest vocals from Liam Gallagher (formerly of Verve contemporaries Oasis).

In 2019, Ashcroft got the publishing rights to “Bittersweet Symphony” back from The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, making this new version of the song all the more triumphant.

Ashcroft produced the album with regular collaborator Chris Potter. Previous collaborator Wil Malone provides the string arrangements, which were recorded at Abbey Road Studios. The album also features Chuck Leavell (The Rolling Stones, The Allman Brothers) on piano, Roddy Bloomfield leads the brass section, and Steve Wyreman (Leon Bridges, Vic Mensa) adds acoustic guitar and backing vocals.

Back in February Ashcroft shared a new cover of John Lennon’s “Bring on the Lucie (Freda Peeple).” It was shared via a video shot at Abbey Road. Unfortunately, the cover appears to have been some kind of anti-lockdown/anti-mask statement. In fact, the singer recently pulled out of some festival appearances due to their COVID-19 restrictions, such as requiring attendees be vaccinated, and may have even recently caught COVID himself (we wish him a quick recovery). Contrary to the title of one of The Verve’s biggest hits, the drugs do work, at least the proven COVID vaccines do. Still, Ashcroft fans do have some UK tour dates to look forward to. They are listed below.

Ashcroft’s last solo album, Natural Rebel, came out in 2018 via RPA and BMG.

Acoustic Hymns Vol. 1 Tracklist:

1. Bittersweet Symphony
2. A Song For The Lovers
3. Sonnet
4. C’mon People (We’re Making It Now) (featuring Liam Gallagher)
5. Weeping Willow
6. Lucky Man
7. This Thing Called Life
8. Space & Time
9. Velvet Morning
10. Break the Night With Colour
11. One Day
12. The Drugs Don’t Work

Richard Ashcroft Tour Dates:


16th - London, Palladium (SOLD OUT)
17th - London, Palladium (SOLD OUT)
29th - Liverpool, M&S Bank Arena


1st - London, Royal Albert Hall

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