The long-running copyright dispute between the Rolling Stones and The Verve’s Richard Ashcroft is over.
The two camps became embroiled in a legal spat through The Verve’s 1997 track Bitter Sweet Symphony, which featured a string sample of Andrew Loog Oldham’s orchestral version of the Stones’ The Last Time.
A subsequent lawsuit brought by former Stones manager Allen Klein forced Ashcroft to pass on 100% of the royalties from the song to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.
However, it’s emerged that Ashcroft recently appealed to the Rolling Stones duo directly, with the pair “unhesitatingly and unconditionally” agreeing to deal with the situation and hand the songwriting credit back to Ashcroft.
A spokesperson from the Rolling Stones said: (via Music Week): “Permission for the use of the recording was obtained but for whatever reasons at the time permission for the use of the song was overlooked.
“By the time the mistake was realised, a huge number of copies of the Urban Hymns album had been manufactured around the world and the record company were reluctant to scrap them.
“They were confident they would be able to do a deal with the publishers and convinced Richard to allow the release of the album as it stood. However Mr Allen Klein, the owner of ABKCO, was very protective of his copyright and the only deal that he was prepared to do involved Richard effectively signing away all of his rights in one of his most iconic songs including the total lyrical content.
“Of course there was a huge financial cost, but any songwriter will know that there is a huge emotional price greater than the money in having to surrender the composition of one of your own songs. Richard has endured that loss for many years.”
Responding to the news as he picked up an Ivor Novello award for Outstanding Contribution To British Music, Ashcroft said: “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.”
Bitter Sweet Symphony was closely associated with the mid-90s Britpop era and picked up several awards and was nominated for many more – including a Grammy in the Best Rock Song category.
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ROLLING STONES I Go Wild (1995 US 1-track promotional only CD featuring the Album Version, issued to reviewers and radio with a custom picture sleeve and back inlay DPRO-12709)
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ROLLING STONES Got Live If You Want It (1990s US London/ABKCO digitally remastered audiophile issue of the 1966 12-track stereo LP pressed on 100% VIRGIN VINYL, housed in a barcoded picture sleeve which which is still factory sealed from new and therefore mint and unplayed)
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ROLLING STONES Anybody Seen My Baby (1997 US 3-track promotional 12" vinyl single includes Armand Van Helden Rolling Steelo Mix 4:08, Soul Solution Vocal Dub 3:44 & Casanova New Vocal Mix 4:00; custom multi gold tongue logo picture sleeve. Thesleeve displays only light wear and the vinyl looks barely played SPRO-12746)
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ROLLING STONES Out Of Control (1998 UK promotional only double 12" vinyl pack featuring In Hand With Fluke Full Version & Instrumental, Bi-Polar's Fat Controller Mix & Bi-Polar At The Controls. Issued in a green and blue custom title stickered sleeve VSTDDJ1700)