The Verve finally receive royalties for “Bitter Sweet Symphony”

A more sweet, and less bitter, end to a two-decade-long dispute.

Britpop band The Verve have finally resolved a dispute over royalties for their hit song “Bitter Sweet Symphony,” which samples an orchestral version of the Rolling Stones’ “The Last Time.”

The Verve’s frontman Richard Ashcroft—who won an Ivor Novello award last night—announced that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have agreed to return all publishing rights to Ashcroft, striking their names from the songwriting credits.


The Verve initially had approval from the Rolling Stones to sample a five-note segment of “The Last Time” in exchange for half the royalties of “Bitter Sweet Symphony.” But soon after the song was released, the Stones’ then-manager Allen Klein claimed The Verve used a larger-than-agreed upon segment and were in breach of their agreement.

Ultimately, the royalties and songwriting credit were divided between Jagger and Richards, along with publishing rights falling under Klein’s company—until now.

Revisit “Bitter Sweet Symphony” below:


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