Richard Ashcroft's Top 10 greatest solo songs

21 October 2023, 16:00

Richard Ashcroft press
Richard Ashcroft's solo career has spanned 23 years. Picture: Dean Chalkney/ Press
Radio X

By Radio X

Celebrate the former Verve frontman's genius by looking back at some of his best solo works.

Richard Ashcroft's Human Conditions is 21 years old this week.

Over the years, the Wigan bard has been the frontman with the acclaimed band The Verve, and made a number of guest appearances with the likes of The Chemical Brothers, UNKLE and the side project United Nations Of Sound.

But since 2000, the musician has forged an impressive career that kicked off with the incredible single Song For The Lovers. Here's our pick of solo Ashcroft.

Richard Ashcroft - and some of his biggest songs
Richard Ashcroft - and some of his biggest songs. Picture: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images
  1. Surprised by the Joy (Natural Rebel)

    Richard Ashcroft - Surprised by the Joy (Official Video)

    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.

  2. This Is How It Feels (These People)

    Richard Ashcroft - This Is How It Feels (Official Video)

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

  3. Music Is Power (Keys to the World)

    Richard Ashcroft - Music Is Power

    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.

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

    Lord I've Been Trying

    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?

  5. They Don’t Own Me (These People)

    Richard Ashcroft - They Don't Own Me (Official Music Video)

    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.

  6. Buy It in Bottles (Human Conditions)

    Buy It In Bottles

    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.

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

    C'mon People (We're Making It Now)

    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).

  8. Check The Meaning (Human Conditions)

    Richard Ashcroft - Check The Meaning

    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.

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

    Richard Ashcroft - Break The Night With Colour

    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.

  10. Song For The Lovers (Alone with Everybody)

    Richard Ashcroft - A Song For The Lovers

    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?

Watch Richard Ashcroft talk about The Verve's Sonnet:

Richard Ashcroft on The Verve's Sonnet