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After 20 years, the Rolling Stones have given up the rights to Bittersweet Symphony

The Verve’s best known track Bittersweet Symphony samples an orchestral cover of The Rolling Stones’ The Last Time.

While The Verve cleared the rights to sample the orchestral recording, they did not get the publishing rights from the Stones, despite the orchestral arrangement not being included in the original track.

the verve

In the late 90’s, Richard Ashcroft (frontman of The Verve), was sued due to this copyright issue, while Mick Jagger and Keith Richards received 100% of songwriting royalties from Bittersweet Symphony.

Now, in 2019, Jagger and Richards have agreed to give up their share of Bittersweet Symphony. A full statement from Ashcroft reads:

It gives me great pleasure to announce as of last month Mick Jagger and Keith Richards agreed to give me their share of the song Bitter Sweet Symphony. 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 are happy for the writing credit to exclude their names and all their royalties derived from the song they will now pass to me.

I would like to thank the main players in this, my management Steve Kutner and John Kennedy, the Stones manager Joyce Smyth and Jody Klein (for actually taking the call) lastly a huge unreserved heartfelt thanks and respect to Mick and Keith.

Music is power.

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May 24, 2019