The Verve Pipe
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The Verve Pipe was an American post-grunge band from Coldwater, Michigan. It was formed in 1991 by Brian and Brad Vander Ark, Brian Stout and Donny Brown. In 1992, working with producer/engineer Jon Frazer, they released their first album, I've Suffered a Head Injury, which featured an acoustic version of the band's calling-card hit, "The Freshmen." The original 10-song version of the CD is no longer available. A 7-song version, without the original recording of "The Freshmen" and two songs written by Stout, was later released as an EP. The band, known for its energetic live performances, began building strong followings during this time, especially in the college towns of Kalamazoo and East Lansing. In the fall of 1993, the band released a second album, Pop Smear again working with Frazer that helped them gain a devoted following in their native state of Michigan and their eventual signing with RCA Records in 1995. A.J. Dunning replaced Stout on guitar for the recording of Pop Smear and remained in the band for their three RCA records. This album featured the popular tracks "Spoonful of Sugar" and "Victoria" among others. Their first major label release was 1996's Villains, which was a minor hit and launched two respectably selling singles, first "Photograph" then the No. 1 hit "The Freshmen". They came back with a new album, The Verve Pipe, in 1999, a critical success on the strength of such tracks as Supergig, Generations and She Has Faces. The album, however, failed to contain the commercial appeal of its predecessor. The band's most recent full-length release is 2001's Underneath. The song "Colorful", from Underneath, was featured on the soundtrack of Rock Star. Since the release of their last album, lead singer Brian Vander Ark has released three solo albums: 2003's Resurrection, 2006's Angel, Put Your Face On, and 2008's self-titled release. Currently, Vander Ark can be seen playing shows around the country. No official word has been given about the current status of The Verve Pipe, although every now and then Vander Ark and some incarnation of the group will play a show together. As of now, the band is unsigned and has no public plans to release another album.