The Rolling Stones finally give 'Bitter Sweet Symphony' songwriting credit to Richard Ashcroft

News 24/05/2019

The iconic The Verve hit 'Bitter Sweet Symphony' famously samples an orchestral cover of the Rolling Stones' 1965 song 'The Last Time'. 

The portion sampled was written by arranger David Whitaker, and is not part of the original Stones song. But while the Verve cleared the rights to sample the orchestral recording, they never sought publishing rights from the Stones. 

Because of this, Rolling Stones manager Allen Klein, who's company ABKCO Records owned the copyright to 'The Last Time', sued the Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft in the late 1990s. This resulted in Mick Jagger and Keith Richards receiving songwriting credit and 100% songwriting royalties from 'Bitter Sweet Symphony' for all these years. 

According to a press release from Ashcroft's management though, Jagger and Richards have now agreed to unconditionally give their songwriting credits and publishing rights for 'Bitter Sweet Symphony' to Ashcroft. This was the result of Ashcroft's management making a direct plea to the Stones members. 

The full statement 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."