History (The Verve song)

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The Verve History Single.jpg
Single by The Verve
from the album A Northern Soul
Released18 September 1995
FormatCD, Cassette
StudioOlympic Studios, London
GenreSymphonic rock, Britpop
Length5:28 (album version)
4:02 (radio edit)
LabelHut Records
Songwriter(s)Nick McCabe, Richard Ashcroft, Simon Jones, Peter Salisbury
Producer(s)Owen Morris, The Verve
The Verve singles chronology
"On Your Own"
"Bitter Sweet Symphony"

"History" is a song by English rock band The Verve, and is featured on their second album, A Northern Soul. It was released 18 September 1995 as the third and final single from the album, charting at #24 in the UK Singles Chart (see 1995 in British music); the song is notable for being released after the band's sudden first break up (the sign on the CD1 cover reads 'all farewells should be sudden'). In 2014, NME ranked it at number 312 on their list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[1]

Composition and lyrics[edit]

The song begins with a string intro that is very similar to the intro of "Mind Games" by John Lennon;[2] this was the first song by the band to feature strings (a formula that would later be used for several Urban Hymns singles). The opening lyrics of the song are based on the first two stanzas of William Blake's poem, London; the song is quite melancholic, with Melody Maker describing it as "an epic, windswept symphony of strings, flailing vocals and staggeringly bitter sentiments".[3] It has been claimed the song was written about Ashcroft's split with his girlfriend, although Ashcroft denied this.[3]

The clapping featured on History was performed by Liam Gallagher.

There was no original music video filmed for the single, probably because the band had already split when the single was released. Instead an official compilation of clips from The Verve's previous music videos was created by Ashcroft.

Track listings[edit]

  • CD 1 HUTCD 59
  1. "History" (Radio Edit)
  2. "Back on My Feet Again"
  3. "On Your Own" (Acoustic)
  4. "Monkey Magic" (Brainstorm Mix)
  • CD 2 HUTDX 59
  1. "History" (Album Version)
  2. "Grey Skies"
  3. "Life's Not a Rehearsal"
  • Cassette HUTC 59
  1. "History" (Radio Edit)
  2. "Back on My Feet Again"
  • Promo CD HUTCDP 59
  1. "History" (Radio Edit)


  1. ^ http://www.rocklistmusic.co.uk/nme_500_greatest_songs_2014.htm
  2. ^ "PAST ARCHIVES The Verve". Pastarchives.co.uk. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Verve Interview". Musicsaves.org. Retrieved 6 January 2012.

External links[edit]