You probably remember the Verve song “Bitter Sweet Symphony” from the late ’90s. But you might not remember that there was a dispute over the songwriting credit.
It was largely original, but it sampled a 1966 symphonic variation of “The Last Time”, which is a Rolling Stones song. The Verve cleared the orchestra’s version . . . but they did NOT get the Stones to sign off on it.
So, when “Bitter Sweet Symphony” came out, the Stones’ lawyers went after them, and they got the songwriting credit.
But now, 22 years later, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are giving the credit back to Verve singer Richard Ashcroft.
Richard thanked them in a statement: “This remarkable and life-affirming turn of events was made possible by a kind and magnanimous gesture from Mick and Keith, who have also agreed that they’re happy for the writing credit to exclude their names and all their royalties derived from the song they will now pass to me.”
“A huge unreserved heartfelt thanks and respect to [them]. Music is power.”
(Of course, there’s no indication the Stones will return all the previously-earned royalties from the song. For more info on the rights controversy, hit up this YouTube link. It’s extremely complicated.)
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