Originally Posted by woomanmoomin
I was happy when the Stones (or their label?) kicked up a fuss about the song 'Bittersweet Symphony' by The Verve, insisting that they (the Stones) got the credit for the music. Any other result would've been ridiculous IMO.
The Verve sampled a small section of a version of "The Last Time" from an album called "Orchestral Music of the Rolling Stones".
It's not easy to hear the original Stones song in the Verve song.
But it was what it was, and the Stones got the dough.
I do believe that "Bittersweet Symphony" was a completely new song. But it probably would have been a bad precedent if the rights had stayed with the Verve.
But the melody that the Verve used from the orchestral version doesn't exist in the Stones original version. It almost seemed that whomever did the orchestral arrangement should have gotten the credit.
I read that the Verve made $1000.00 off of that song.
Andrew Loog Oldham produced the Verve song, and he produced the orchestral album as well as other Stones stuff.
In the end, though, I believe The Verve undid themselves. Somehow, the follow-up singles, "Lucky Man" and "The Drugs Don't Work" were slow to be released as singles; and the North American tour in support of "Urban Hymns" came a loooong time after "Bittersweet Symphony" was off the charts.
I think they were reluctant about the whole deal. Truly a great band. One of my favorites. Urban Hymns is a beautiful album, as are Northern Soul and Storm in Heaven.
"The Verve and The Rolling Stones : Truly Bittersweet
The now defunct British outfit The Verve sampled an orchestration on their song "Bittersweet Symphony" from The Rolling Stone's "The Last Time". Before the release of the album, The Verve negotiated a licensing agreement with The Rolling Stones to use the sample -- at least the composition rights to the sample. In 1997, The Verve's album "Urban Hymns" peaked at number 23 on the Billboard Charts. What ensued was a bitter (and not sweet) legal battle resulting in The Verve turning over 100% of the royalties to the Rolling Stones. The Rolling Stones argued that The Verve had violated the previous licensing agreement by using too much of the sample in their song. The Verve argued that The Rolling Stones got greedy when the song became successful. Herein lies the issue of moral rights of a samplist.
"The last thing I ever wanted was for my music to be used in a commercial. I'm still sick about it", The Verve's lead singer Richard Ashcroft said in a recent interview. So, that's exactly what Rolling Stones manager Allen Klein did. Capitalizing off the success of the song, Klein licensed The Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony" to Nike, who proceeded to run a multi-million dollar television campaign using The Verve's song over shots of its sneakers. Klein also used the song to hawk Vauxhall automobiles. Additionally, though the song was authored by The Rolling Stones, the Andrew Loog Oldham Orchestra performed the sampled recording and also filed suit upon the success of the song. (Herein lies a fine caveat to license both the recording and composition rights from whomever maintains them.) To add even more insult to injury, when "Bittersweet Symphony" was nominated for a Grammy, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were named the nominees and not The Verve. What could be more "Bittersweet" than your song reaching the top of the charts and not being able to enjoy a cent of its success?
"It could've been worse," Ashcroft continued. "If we hadn't fought, 'Symphony' could've ended up on a cheeseburger ad and never have been taken seriously again." Yum. "