Are these Richard Ashcroft's best ever solo tracks?

7 April 2020, 17:07 | Updated: 7 April 2020, 17:35

Richard Ashcroft plays Finsbury Park in 2018
Richard Ashcroft plays Finsbury Park in 2018. Picture: Jon Mo Pictures

Celebrate the former Verve frontman by looking back at some of his best solo works, and vote for your favourite in our poll.

This week marks 17 years since The Verve legend released his Buy It In Bottles song on 7 April 2003.

The hymn-like third single from Ashcroft's Human Conditions album is surely up there with some of the best songwriting he's ever done? But how does it measure up against some of his other solo works?

See our round-up of some of the best ever Ashcroft solo tracks and vote for your favourite at the end.

  1. Song For The Lovers (Alone with Everybody)

    The opening track from his debut solo album Alone with Everybody (2000) saw The Verve man coming straight out of the gate.

    If it wasn't clear to his doubters whether he could command as much attention as a solo artist, this proved them wrong.

    The iconic video for A Song For The Lovers, which ees him pottering around a hotel suite, is simple and yet as memorable as the track itself.

    And who can argue with that epic intro?

  2. Surprised by the Joy (Natural Rebel)

    2018 saw Richard Ashcroft return with his fifth solo album- and from it came Surprised By The Joy, which sees him back in the guise of the acoustic storyteller.

  3. This Is How It Feels (These People)

    The first track to be taken from Ashcroft's 2016's These People album saw him back to his ballad-ing best.

  4. Buy It in Bottles (Human Conditions)

    Track two and the third and final single to be taken from Human Conditions is a must in the Richard Ashcroft canon.

    Part-pop song, part-hymn, Buy It In Bottles hits all the right spots with some heavier Verve-esque elements in its middle eight to keep all the fans happy.

  5. Music Is Power (Keys to the World)

    The second track from Ashcroft's 2006 Keys to the World LP has plenty of musical history, featuring a sample from Walter Jackson's It's All Over and being written by Curtis Mayfield.

    Despite not penning the track itself, Ashcroft brings it to life during his performances as there's no doubt he believes every word.

  6. Lord I've Been Trying (Human Conditions)

    The penultimate song on Human Conditions has the blueprint of some of Richard Ashcroft's best album tracks; deeply contemplative lyrics, sumptuous strings, vocals which just get bigger and bigger as the song goes on.... Need we go on?

  7. They Don’t Own Me (These People)

    A definite highlight from Ashcroft's These People album, They Don't Own Me sees him hit the sweet spot vocally.

    Watch his stirring performance live for Radio X's Gordon Smart above.

  8. Come On People (We’re Making It Now) - Alone with Everybody

    It's an absolute live favourite, and with good reason. The 2000 Alone with Everybody track has all the markings of a great Verve single... and that's probably due to the fact that it (along with Song For The Lovers and New York) was originally recorded for band's seminal album, Urban Hymns (1997).

  9. Check The Meaning (Human Conditions)

    Another Human Conditions track that seems to have stood the test of time, Check The Meaning sees Ashcroft explore themes of mental health and spirituality which he manages to wrap up in a beautiful bow.

  10. Break the Night with Colour (Keys to the world)

    The first single to be taken from 2006's Keys to the World, Break The Night with Colour entered the UK charts at number three and it's easy to see why.

Don't agree with us? Vote for your favourite Richard Ashcroft solo song below:

READ MORE: Why The Verve's Sonnet almost wasn't released as a single

Watch Richard Ashcroft talk about The Verve's Sonnet:

READ MORE: Why Richard Ashcroft's A Song For The Lovers owes a debt to Joy Division