A typical example of frontman Richard Ashcroft's anthemic songwriting, "Lucky Man" was released as the third single from Urban Hymns on November 24, 1997.
In a 2018 interview with Songfacts, Ashcroft said he hasn't written his definitive song yet, but this one sure comes close. "The definitive Richard Ashcroft song will be when the cream of a particular emotion or a particular scenario in the human condition plays out, and that song mirrors it," He said. "So, if it happens to be 'Lucky Man' for that feeling of transcendence, of liberty within yourself, your body, your partner in life, you can actually fleetingly feel that moment and you want to put it in a bottle. And that's what music's about. It should be about capturing those moments for yourself and then the listener can put it on over and over again, if they want."
The song was to be The Verve's final single release with the band together for a decade. Guitarist Nick McCabe did not finish the band's world tour dates in Summer 1998 - the first sign of problems and The Verve announced that they'd split on April 28, 1999. The band's original lineup reunited in June 2007, releasing the album Forth the following year, which spawned the hit single "Love Is Noise."
Richard Ashcroft told Q magazine in 2017 that he considers this to be his favorite song that he's ever written, "because it seems to be able to ignite or connect with an energy every time it's performed, without fail."
He added: "I'll have to be on death's door not to be able to connect to the energy with the audience and that's something special. It's a rarity to express that feeling, to try and seize that moment when you're on top of the world and you're stood there naked smiling, like it says."
Speaking with BBC Radio 2's Chris Evans, Richard Ashcroft said this was inspired by his relationship with his wife.
He added: "And that sense of, once you're beyond the sort of peacock dance that you have early in a relationship and you're getting down to the raw nature of yourselves - there's a beauty in that as well."