The song “Bitter Sweet Symphony” is a song by the British rock band The Verve, released in 1997. It was the lead single from the band’s third album Urban Hymns. The song was written by singer/guitarist Richard Ashcroft and is widely accepted to have autobiographical origins, having been written about an experience involving Ashcroft, a friend, and a pathogenically aggressive music industry executive—a ‘bitter sweet’ experience: neither ending happily nor unpleasantly, but one calling for reflection in its consistent ambiguity.
The song itself touches on themes of loneliness and despair, with Ashcroft singing of his inability to control his life and the negative aspects that come along with a “thorny road”. The lyrics also refer to running away from a battle confronting reality, and the difficulty involved with accepting a future without knowing the outcome of that battle.
The song’s music video is a metaphor for these themes, involving a crow stealing a banknote and being pursued into a desolate factory by its furious owner. Throughout the pursuit, the crow faces barriers and obstacles, a symbolism of an internal journey for Ashcroft through self-doubt and despair.
In the end, after overcoming the obstacles, the crow is victorious and escapes from the factory.
The song has become an anthem of perseverance and optimism in the face of difficulty, inspiring countless fans since its release. The song’s lasting popularity was solidified when it was used as the theme song for the television series Cold Feet in 1998.
Did The Verve get any money from Bitter Sweet Symphony?
No, The Verve did not get any money from Bitter Sweet Symphony. The song was notable for its legal battle over a sample used in the strings part of the instrumental track, which led to writing credit and copyright attribution being given to the Rolling Stones’ former manager Allen Klein, as well as Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones.
As a result, the songwriting royalties from “Bitter Sweet Symphony” went entirely to Jagger and Richards, with no money going to The Verve. The band did, however, receive a portion of the recording income, as well as royalties for live performances of the song.
This all caused a great deal of consternation for The Verve and its frontman, Richard Ashcroft, who stated that he felt he had been cheated out of his rightful due. The suit was eventually settled in the band’s favor in 2020, with Richards and Jagger giving Ashcroft a joint writing credit on the track, and allowing him to keep future royalties from the song.
Did The Verve commit copyright infringement?
The legal case of The Verve and the alleged copyright infringement of their song “Bitter Sweet Symphony” is a complex issue. The song samples an orchestral version of the 1965 Rolling Stones song “The Last Time,” which had been previously used by Andrew Loog Oldham of ABKCO Records in a recording by The Andrew Oldham Orchestra.
The Verve was sued by ABKCO for copyright infringement and the case went to court. The Verve was ordered to hand over the rights to the song, along with all the profits they had made from it.
The ruling was challenging, given The Verve had diligently credited Andrew Oldham and ABKCO as copyright owners in their song. While The Verve had sought permission to sample the song, they had been led to believe they would get their license.
After the lawsuit was launched against them, The Verve released a statement explaining their version adhered to sampling regulations and had been cleared by the original publisher of the Rolling Stones song.
In the end, the case went before the Court of Appeal who found in favor of the ABKCO Records, ruling that The Verve had infringed upon its copyright. While The Verve argued that their version of the song had its own unique sound, the court’s ruling stood and ultimately The Verve had to surrender all of their profits from the song, as well as their copyright in it.
Who did The Verve copy?
The Verve copied the Rolling Stones for the song “Bitter Sweet Symphony”. This single was released in 1997 and samples a portion of an Andrew Oldham Orchestra recording of The Rolling Stones’ 1965 song “The Last Time”.
This sample of the Rolling Stones’ song was used without permission, which led to a lawsuit and a settlement between the Rolling Stones, ABKCO Records, and The Verve. The Verve and Mick Jagger, along with Keith Richards, eventually agreed to give the songwriting credit to the Rolling Stones and it was eventually listed as a Jagger/Richards song.
The Verve promoted the single as an original song, which led the Rolling Stones to threaten legal action. The band was eventually forced to sign away most of their earnings and credit for the song.
When did the Rolling Stones sue The Verve?
The Rolling Stones sued The Verve on 12 March, 1997, alleging that the British rock band had used a substantial portion of their 1969 song “The Last Time” without permission in their own song, “Bitter Sweet Symphony”.
The Verve had sought and received permission from Decca Records, the copyright owner of the song, but the Stones didn’t consent to its usage as the writers of the song. In the end, The Verve had to give up all of the royalties from “Bitter Sweet Symphony” and the songwriting credit was given to Richard Ashcroft with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards given a co-writing credit.
As a result of the settlement, the Rolling Stones received all the songwriting credit and all the royalties from the song.
What ever happened to The Verve?
The Verve were an English alternative rock band that formed in 1989. Between 1992 and 1998, they released four studio albums that enjoyed moderate success. Unfortunately, the band split in 1999 due to tensions between the members.
The band’s frontman, Richard Ashcroft, went solo and has since enjoyed a successful career as a singer, songwriter, and producer. Together, the group released four studio albums: A Storm in Heaven (1993), A Northern Soul (1995), Urban Hymns (1997) and Forth (2008).
A Northern Soul and Urban Hymns both achieved international recognition and commercial success, thanks to the hit singles “Bitter Sweet Symphony” and “Lucky Man”. These two tracks remain the band’s most recognizable songs to date, though other songs such as “The Drugs Don’t Work” and “Bittersweet Symphony (Orchestral)” have also become popular among fans.
The Verve made an official reunion in 2007, touring around the world and performing festival dates until their eventual demise in 2009. Richard Ashcroft still makes music as a solo artist, while the other members have been involved in separate projects over the years.
Who won the lawsuit between The Verve and the Rolling Stones?
After a long court battle, the British rock band The Verve were ultimately unsuccessful in their lawsuit against the Rolling Stones. The Verve had alleged that the Rolling Stones had improperly used a six-second sample from the Verve’s song “Bitter Sweet Symphony” in their song “The Last Time.
” The Verve was seeking a 50-50 songwriting credit for the Rolling Stones’ song, which was denied by the judge. Ultimately, the Rolling Stones were allowed to retain the full copyright for their song, with the sample being credited as part of the Rolling Stones’ songwriting.
The Verve was also ordered to pay approximately $1 million in legal fees to the Rolling Stones.
Did The Verve make any money?
Yes, The Verve did make money during their career. Although the band is often most remembered for their iconic 1997 hit “Bitter Sweet Symphony”, they did release several more albums and singles, each of which had the potential to earn royalties.
Additionally, The Verve were headliners on a few major U. S. and U. K. music festivals, and they toured extensively throughout North America and Europe. This increased their visibility and allowed them to perform in front of large audiences, all of which contributed to their success and money-making abilities.
It has also been reported that The Verve earned a substantial sum for their “Bitter Sweet Symphony” sample usage rights. Overall, The Verve had some commercial success and were able to accumulate a smaller yet notable amount of money through their music and performances.
Did The Verve copy the Rolling Stones?
No, The Verve did not copy the Rolling Stones. In fact, the similarity between a guitar riff featured in the song “Bitter Sweet Symphony” by The Verve and a sample from an instrumental version of the Rolling Stones song “The Last Time” became the subject of a lawsuit.
The Rolling Stones contended that the guitars in The Verve’s song used a sample from their original. The Verve argued that the sample was used without permission and a settlement was reached, in which Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were credited as co-writers and given a portion of the copyright and compensation from sales of the song.
Therefore, although there is a strong similarity between the two songs, The Verve did not “copy” the Rolling Stones, but instead paid for the sample from the original.
Why did Nick McCabe leave The Verve?
Nick McCabe left The Verve in April of 1999, citing creative differences with the other members of the band. In 2000, he told Melody Maker that he was uncomfortable with the notion of being a “rock star,” and found the spotlight and attention overwhelming.
He also felt that his creative input wasn’t being taken into consideration and he was no longer able to create the music he wanted with the band. In an online chat with fans in 2007, he cited the members growing egos and lack of focus as the main reasons for his departure.
He also spoke of how he felt the band had been deliberately “boxed in” with a sound that was chosen by their management, rather than by the band themselves.
How much money did the Rolling Stones make from Bitter Sweet Symphony?
The Rolling Stones made an estimated $12 million to $15 million in royalties from the song “Bitter Sweet Symphony” due to the lawsuit they settled with The Verve over sampling without permission. Although The Verve had written and recorded the song, The Stones acquired full publishing rights on May 26, 2019 after the fashion designer, Nike, acquired the intellectual property rights from the band’s publishing company, Abkco.
The band has not officially released the exact figure, but it has been reported to be around $12 million to $15 million for the use of the sample from The Verve’s song and subsequent publishing rights.
This is one of the highest settlements ever paid in a copyright infringement case and it is likely that the Rolling Stones earned millions more from the performance rights due to the number of times the song has been played on radio, television and streaming platforms.
Why were The Verve sued?
The Verve were sued in the late 1990s over their song “Bittersweet Symphony”, due to issues over copyright. The song makes use of an orchestral sample of “The Last Time”, originally composed in 1965 by The Rolling Stones.
The Verve had obtained a licence to use the sample, however the terms as they were poorly written failed to specify that the sample should not be used as a basis for the music composition, and the writing credits of the song.
Consequently The Verve was sued by the publishers of The Rolling Stones and deemed that they were liable for some of the royalties made by the song. The Verve eventually settled with the publishers, paying them half of the song’s future royalties.
Additionally Mick Jagger and Keith Richards had their names listed in the writing credits for the track.