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Did The Verve Steal Bitter Sweet Symphony?
Posted by: Hansman ()
Date: May 24, 2018 17:19

Yes, it‘s a well known story that the orchestral part in the song was a sample off of Tell Me by the ALO Orchestra. But I wasn‘t aware that also Tell Me, credited by Jagger/Richards and allegedly their first self written song was more or less a cover version of a traditional gospel song.

[youtu.be]



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2018-05-24 17:21 by Hansman.

Re: Did The Verve Steal Bitter Sweet Symphony?
Posted by: keefriff99 ()
Date: May 24, 2018 17:22

Although the song's lyrics were written by Verve vocalist Richard Ashcroft, its distinctive passage for strings was sampled from the 1965 Andrew Oldham Orchestra symphonic recording of "The Last Time", arranged and written by David Whitaker, inspired by the 1965 Rolling Stones' song of the same title.[8][9] The Rolling Stones' song was itself strongly inspired by "This May Be The Last Time" from the Staple Singers.[10]

Originally, The Verve had negotiated a licence to use a six-note sample from the Oldham recording, but former Stones manager Allen Klein (who owned the copyrights to the band’s pre-1970 songs) claimed that The Verve broke the agreement and used a larger portion.[11][12] Despite its original lyrics and string intro on the album version (by Wil Malone and Ashcroft), the music of "Bitter Sweet Symphony" was sampled from the Oldham track, which led to a lawsuit with ABKCO Records, Klein's holding company, and eventually settled out of court. The Verve relinquished all of their royalties to Klein, owner of ABKCO Records, whilst songwriting credits were changed to Jagger/Richards/Ashcroft.[13]

The Verve bassist Simon Jones said, "We were told it was going to be a 50/50 split, and then they saw how well the record was doing. They rung up and said we want 100 percent or take it out of the shops, you don't have much choice."[14] After losing the composer credits to the song, Ashcroft commented, "This is the best song Jagger and Richards have written in 20 years",[15] noting it was their biggest UK hit since "Brown Sugar".[14] On Ashcroft's return to touring, the song traditionally ended the set list. Ashcroft also reworked the single for VH2 Live for the music channel VH1, stripping the song of its strings. Ashcroft is quoted as saying during the show: "It's very interesting stripping that song down and actually taking away all the strings, and just taking it down to the chords and my lyrics and my melody, and doing that kinda version it becomes much more bluesy. Also shows that ultimately take away the dressing, take away the strings, take away the sample, there's an actual song there."[16]

In a 1999 interview with Q magazine, when asked whether he believed the result was fair, Keith Richards replied, "I'm out of whack here, this is serious lawyer shit. If The Verve can write a better song, they can keep the money."[17][18]

In 1999, Andrew Oldham also sued for royalties after failing to receive the mechanical royalties he claimed he was owed.[19] After receiving his royalties, Oldham joked that he bought "a pretty presentable watch strap" compared to the watch Jagger and Richards would get with the money. In an interview with Uncut Magazine, Oldham stated, "As for Richard Ashcroft, well, I don't know how an artist can be severely damaged by that experience. Songwriters have learned to call songs their children, and he thinks he wrote something. He didn't. I hope he's got over it. It takes a while."[20]

Re: Did The Verve Steal Bitter Sweet Symphony?
Posted by: Cristiano Radtke ()
Date: May 24, 2018 17:32

Quote
Hansman
Yes, it‘s a well known story that the orchestral part in the song was a sample off of Tell Me by the ALO Orchestra. But I wasn‘t aware that also Tell Me, credited by Jagger/Richards and allegedly their first self written song was more or less a cover version of a traditional gospel song.

[youtu.be]

The Last Time, not Tell Me.

Re: Did The Verve Steal Bitter Sweet Symphony?
Posted by: sjs12 ()
Date: May 24, 2018 17:59

I think they got shafted by Klein the same as the Stones themselves did.

Re: Did The Verve Steal Bitter Sweet Symphony?
Posted by: Hansman ()
Date: May 24, 2018 18:20

Quote
Cristiano Radtke
Quote
Hansman
Yes, it‘s a well known story that the orchestral part in the song was a sample off of Tell Me by the ALO Orchestra. But I wasn‘t aware that also Tell Me, credited by Jagger/Richards and allegedly their first self written song was more or less a cover version of a traditional gospel song.

[youtu.be]

The Last Time, not Tell Me.

Of course, damnit! I should stop watching *%#$ while typing posts.

Re: Did The Verve Steal Bitter Sweet Symphony?
Posted by: jlowe ()
Date: May 25, 2018 00:28

Can't believe Oldham got so little financial reward.
Methinks he tells porkies.

Re: Did The Verve Steal Bitter Sweet Symphony?
Posted by: NICOS ()
Date: May 25, 2018 00:55

For years I still try to figure out what Bitter Sweet ..... or the original instrumental version of ALO has to do with The Last Time......I must be deaf...

__________________________

Re: Did The Verve Steal Bitter Sweet Symphony?
Posted by: little queenie ()
Date: May 25, 2018 01:28

Quote
NICOS
For years I still try to figure out what Bitter Sweet ..... or the original instrumental version of ALO has to do with The Last Time......I must be deaf...

i tried listening but barely hear Last Time -- it's more discernible in the parts not used by the Verve

[www.youtube.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-05-25 01:30 by little queenie.

Re: Did The Verve Steal Bitter Sweet Symphony?
Posted by: buttons67 ()
Date: May 25, 2018 19:28

it sounded nothing like the last time.

as for losing songwriting credits, i dont feel sorry for the verve, if your going to write a song, write the whole song, not half a song.

i dont agree jagger and richards should have got the credit though.

they should have relinquished them, i didnt take the credit for the moon landings.

Re: Did The Verve Steal Bitter Sweet Symphony?
Posted by: His Majesty ()
Date: May 25, 2018 19:52

Quote
NICOS
For years I still try to figure out what Bitter Sweet ..... or the original instrumental version of ALO has to do with The Last Time......I must be deaf...

Essentially, the ALO version is the Last Time at half the speed of the stones recording.

The ALO version has melody slightly altered phrasing wise and drawn out, Brians guitar motif played on different instruments acts as a riff, but also a bass part.

...


Re The Verve, they basically just added new lyrics to an instrumental version of a song that already existed. Recorded and performed much of the borrowed arrangement themselves, but also took a brief sample.

So, a cover version with new lyrics. 50/50 split would be fair.

Re: Did The Verve Steal Bitter Sweet Symphony?
Posted by: His Majesty ()
Date: May 25, 2018 19:55

[youtu.be]

Select playback speed of 0.5x and use your imagination to add in the extras.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-05-25 19:56 by His Majesty.

Re: Did The Verve Steal Bitter Sweet Symphony?
Posted by: Hairball ()
Date: May 25, 2018 21:23

I always liked Bittersweet Symphony - especially when it was first released.
And had there not been the lawsuit, I probably would have never guessed it was lifted as I was unfamiliar with the symphonic version.
With all the controversial sampling from rappers back then (and still to this day), a shame the Verve didn't change it up a bit before releasing it.

--------------------------------
"Rip this joint, gonna save your soul..."

Re: Did The Verve Steal Bitter Sweet Symphony?
Posted by: Deltics ()
Date: May 25, 2018 21:57

The Verve cleared the use of the sample with Decca who owned the original recording and paid the standard licencing fee for it.
The original CD single release credited the song to Ashcroft but also gave full details as to where the sample came from.



It wasn't until after the song became a huge hit that ABKCO took notice and insisted that Jagger and Richards were also credited as songwriters and grabbed all of the publishing. It's quite likely that, if it hadn't been so popular, ABKCO wouldn't have even noticed.
Of course, it's always Mick and Keith that get the blame for it.
The incident may well have been responsible for k.d. lang and Ben Mink being given a co-credit on "Anybody Seen My Baby" released later that same year.


"As we say in England, it can get a bit trainspottery"

Re: Did The Verve Steal Bitter Sweet Symphony?
Posted by: jlowe ()
Date: May 25, 2018 22:58

So can we assume that DECCA also received income from the Verve record?

Re: Did The Verve Steal Bitter Sweet Symphony?
Posted by: triceratops ()
Date: May 26, 2018 00:12

Klien was complete scum and rip off artist to Verve and Stones. A fair amount of royalties for The Verse would have been %25-%50.

At least The Stones rectified their financial situation and are worth millions today.

Re: Did The Verve Steal Bitter Sweet Symphony?
Posted by: rattler2004 ()
Date: May 26, 2018 05:25

This song, the Bittersweet Symphony, virtually disappeared as soon as the copyright infringement was filed.

the shoot 'em dead, brainbell jangler!

Re: Did The Verve Steal Bitter Sweet Symphony?
Posted by: His Majesty ()
Date: May 26, 2018 16:04

Quote
rattler2004
This song, the Bittersweet Symphony, virtually disappeared as soon as the copyright infringement was filed.

Not in UK, it was played, usually in ace remix form, in indie clubs etc etc a lot in 1997 and in to 1998.

A huge song for me and my friends and just about anyone I know of similar age.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2018-05-26 16:06 by His Majesty.

Re: Did The Verve Steal Bitter Sweet Symphony?
Posted by: Redhotcarpet ()
Date: May 26, 2018 22:07

Brian should have been credit along with Jagger/Richards. And the ALO orchestra.

Re: Did The Verve Steal Bitter Sweet Symphony?
Posted by: Deltics ()
Date: May 26, 2018 22:38

Quote
His Majesty
Quote
rattler2004
This song, the Bittersweet Symphony, virtually disappeared as soon as the copyright infringement was filed.

Not in UK, it was played, usually in ace remix form, in indie clubs etc etc a lot in 1997 and in to 1998.

A huge song for me and my friends and just about anyone I know of similar age.

I thought it was bloody wonderful.


"As we say in England, it can get a bit trainspottery"

Re: Did The Verve Steal Bitter Sweet Symphony?
Posted by: 35love ()
Date: May 27, 2018 00:03

I immediately liked the song as soon as I heard it, purchased it.
Never 1x have I heard the RS song in it.
After the lawsuit, I still cannot hear it.
I can not hear or catch the ‘Last Time’ out of it.
It was all odd to me, and too bad, I thought.

Re: Did The Verve Steal Bitter Sweet Symphony?
Posted by: His Majesty ()
Date: May 27, 2018 01:00

Quote
35love
I immediately liked the song as soon as I heard it, purchased it.
Never 1x have I heard the RS song in it.
After the lawsuit, I still cannot hear it.
I can not hear or catch the ‘Last Time’ out of it.
It was all odd to me, and too bad, I thought.

It's in there, but it's is half the time of The Last Time. grinning smiley

Anyway, what ever the origins, I think BSS is a magical masterpiece and brings up so many memories and vibes when ever I hear it. Pure music.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-05-27 01:04 by His Majesty.

Re: Did The Verve Steal Bitter Sweet Symphony?
Posted by: ovalvox ()
Date: May 27, 2018 01:42

Quote
Redhotcarpet
Brian should have been credit along with Jagger/Richards. And the ALO orchestra.

I agree since Brian's guitar part is the whole song. Take out his guitar and this song would have never been a hit. Bill stated Brian came up with this motif on his own. This one should have been a Nanker/Phelge at the very least. Jagger/Richard/Jones would have been more appropriate.

Re: Did The Verve Steal Bitter Sweet Symphony?
Posted by: His Majesty ()
Date: May 27, 2018 01:55

Quote
ovalvox

I agree since Brian's guitar part is the whole song. Take out his guitar and this song would have never been a hit. Bill stated Brian came up with this motif on his own. This one should have been a Nanker/Phelge at the very least. Jagger/Richard/Jones would have been more appropriate.

Keith told us too in in issue of Beat Instrumental from 1965.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-05-27 02:09 by His Majesty.

Re: Did The Verve Steal Bitter Sweet Symphony?
Posted by: DGA35 ()
Date: May 27, 2018 03:33

For those that don't hear The Last Time, sing it slow like Bittersweet: Well it's a bittersweet symphony this life... Well I told you once and I told you twice..

As Mick said in 25x5 video back in 89, we were only with Klein for a few years but the ramifications last to this day.

Re: Did The Verve Steal Bitter Sweet Symphony?
Posted by: rattler2004 ()
Date: May 27, 2018 03:59

Quote
Deltics
Quote
His Majesty
Quote
rattler2004
This song, the Bittersweet Symphony, virtually disappeared as soon as the copyright infringement was filed.

Not in UK, it was played, usually in ace remix form, in indie clubs etc etc a lot in 1997 and in to 1998.

A huge song for me and my friends and just about anyone I know of similar age.

I thought it was bloody wonderful.

I thought so too

the shoot 'em dead, brainbell jangler!

Re: Did The Verve Steal Bitter Sweet Symphony?
Posted by: Hairball ()
Date: May 27, 2018 05:13

Brief article including video w/comments from Ashcroft that explains everything:

Bitter Sweet Symphony: the controversy

Bitter Sweet Symphony
Single Release - 16/Jun/1997 - UK

In 1997, The Verve achieved a major worldwide hit with “Bitter Sweet Symphony.” The band negotiated a license to use a five-note sample from an orchestral version of The Rolling Stones' “The Last Time,” and received clearance from Decca Records.

After “Bitter Sweet Symphony” became a hit single, the group was sued by former Rolling Stones manager Allen Klein, and later, former Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham.
This well-known legal controversy in The Verve's history is a curiosity among fans and lovers of "Bitter Sweet Symphony" alike.
The video below combines both history and audio samples to help the viewer understand what happened, and why "Bitter Sweet Symphony" is, according to Richard Ashcroft, the biggest Rolling Stones hit since "Brown Sugar."

Video >The Story of The Verve's "Bitter Sweet Symphony"

In Freedom of Expression: Overzealous Copyright Bozos and Other Enemies of Creativity, Kembrew McLeod writes that current copyright law has been taken over by corporate types and instead of promoting the creation of new work, it stifles it. Below is an excerpt from the section on The Verve:

By caving in to the demands of overzealous copyright bozos, you could end up like The Verve,
a popular British band that scored a major worldwide hit in 1997 with “Bittersweet Symphony.”
The Verve negotiated a license to use a five-note sample from an orchestral version of one of the
Rolling Stones’ lesser hits, “The Last Time,” and received clearance from Decca Records.


After “Bittersweet Symphony” became a hit single, the group was sued by former Stones manager Allen Klein (who owns the copyrights to the band’s pre-1970 songs because of aggressive business practices). He claimed the Verve broke the agreement when they supposedly used a larger portion than was covered in the license, something the group vehemently disputed.

The Verve layered nearly fifty tracks of instrumentation, including novel string arrangements, to create a distinctly new song. In fact, the song’s signature swirling orchestral melody was recorded and arranged by the Verve; the sample from the instrumental record is largely buried under other tracks in the chorus.

The band eventually settled out of court and handed over 100 percent of their songwriting royalties because it seemed cheaper than fighting for a legal ruling that might not end in their favor. As if things couldn’t have gotten worse, they were then sued by another old Rolling Stones manager, Andrew Loog Oldham. Klein went after the Verve for infringing on the songwriting copyright, which he owned, but Oldham possessed the copyright on the sampled sound recording. They totally lost everything.

Not only couldn’t the Verve earn money from their biggest hit, they were stripped of control of their song. For instance, after the group refused Nike’s request to use “Bittersweet Symphony” in an ad, the shoe manufacturer aired the song after it purchased a license from Allen Klein.

“The last thing in the world I wanted was for one of my songs to be used in a commercial,” the despondent lead vocalist Richard Ashcroft said. “I’m still sick about it.” In one final kick in the groin, “Bittersweet Symphony” was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Song category, which honors songwriters. Because the unfavorable settlement transferred the Verve’s copyright and songwriting credit to Klein and the Rolling Stones, the Grammy nomination went to “Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.”

Ashcroft quipped that it was “the best song Jagger and Richards have written in twenty years.” He then suffered from a nervous breakdown and the group eventually broke up.

--------------------------------
"Rip this joint, gonna save your soul..."

Re: Did The Verve Steal Bitter Sweet Symphony?
Posted by: His Majesty ()
Date: May 27, 2018 10:14

Despite only using a short sample, they still borrowed heavily from the ALO orchestra arrangement, it's just that they played it themselves.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-05-27 10:18 by His Majesty.

Re: Did The Verve Steal Bitter Sweet Symphony?
Posted by: guitarbastard ()
Date: May 27, 2018 11:18

it's a shame: the verve should have got at least 50% or more. it's a completely different song with a unique feel.

Re: Did The Verve Steal Bitter Sweet Symphony?
Posted by: RollingFreak ()
Date: May 27, 2018 21:36

Yeah, thats unfair that they got shafted so much. It was a good song. And its a new band, that you literally buried in the ground. Sad state of affairs.

Re: Did The Verve Steal Bitter Sweet Symphony?
Posted by: drbryant ()
Date: May 27, 2018 22:49

Of course the Stones stole it in the first place, from the Staple Singers haunting rendition of “This May Be the Last Time.” The song is public domain so no infringement.

video: [m.youtube.com]

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