Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Flashback - Royal(t)y Crappy Deal Edition

The Verve - "Bitter Sweet Symphony"

Friday Flashback is baaaaaaaaaack!

In this reintroduction edition of FF, we present The Verve's most recognizable single. This gem from 1998 is not without controversy. "Bitter Sweet Symphony" heavily sampled a song performed by Andrew Oldham Orchestra, which was a remake (or reinterpretation) of "The Last Time" by the Rolling Stones. In the end, the song writing credits for "Bitter Sweet Symphony" were awarded to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, leaving the Verve high and dry (FF note: vocalist Richard Ashcroft wrote the lyrics but got zero composer credit for it). Imagine not getting one penny in royalties for your biggest, international smash hit!

You can check out the original Stones tune here and the Andrew Oldham Orchestra track here

The richer get richer, no? Besides all the legal issues, "Bittersweet Symphony" stills stands up today as an amazing single. 

A Keith Richards quote to the end the post? Absolutely! His reply when asked by Q magazine if it was harsh for Jagger/Richards to get 100% writing credit on "Bitter Sweet Symphony":


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