If there is a song that can accompany “Wonderwall ”by Oasis and “Hotel California ”by The Eagles in the category “Songs that everyone has been in charge of listening to the point of exhaustion” is The Verve’s “Bitter Sweet Symphony”, the extinct group led by Richard Ashcroft and theme that has ironically has a history as bittersweet as its name. And is that if they did not know, Thanks to her Ashcroft and company were sued by The Rolling Stones.

On June 16, 1997, The Verve released the single “Bitter Sweet Symphony”, a song that would later be included on their Urban Hymns album. This piece of music, characterized by that string rhythm that we have all known, put The Verve on many of the US and UK chartsHowever, despite the fame it gave them, they never received a single weight from it.

21 years after its launch: the bittersweet story behind

21 years after its launch: the bittersweet story behind

For its creation, Ashcroft made a deal with The Rolling Stones and his record label to use a 5-note sample that Mick Jagger’s band had used in their song “The Last Time” from the Out of our heads album. This in exchange for the song’s earnings remaining at 50/50 for each group.

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But between them was a mix produced by Andrew Loog Oldham, former manager of The Rolling Stones, which he later sold to the new representative of the band, Allen Kelin. When Klein realized the impact of the song, he decided to file a lawsuit in 1998 against The Verve, arguing that they had breached the agreement because Richard Ashcroft used more musical elements than they had agreed to. They asked them for 100% of the profits from that topic.

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For his part The Verve, defended his creation to the brim, saying that in total they made about 50 arrangements to the song and that, therefore, it was an original creation. This is in addition to the fact that Richard Ashcroft composed a letter for said theme. However, to avoid a bigger problem, in the end They decided to transfer the full rights to the record company of The Rolling Stones and credited Mick Jagger and Keith Richards as composers.

21 years after its launch: the bittersweet story behind 21 years after its launch: the bittersweet story behind

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Thereafter it rained poor poor Richard: first because Nike wanted to use the song for one of its commercials, which he refused, but after transferring the rights to Allen Klein, he made an agreement with the sports brand who ended up using “Bitter Sweet Symphony”.

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Then in 1999 the song was nominated for a Grammy for “Best Rock Song”, a category that gives credit to the song writers, in this case it ended up being for Jagger and Richards. There is no doubt that in itself this song is sad, but for those of The Verve it is more, because it ended up being one of their most famous songs and the only one from which they could not collect a penny or demonstrate their originality.

Fortunately for Ashcroft, things changed in 2019. Through a message posted on his Twitter account, The Verve vocalist announced with hype and cymbal that after some talks, Both Mick Jagger and Keith Richards had agreed to assign their shares of the royalties. so that everything went directly to good Richard.

As if this were not enough, the members of the Rolling Stones agreed to remove their names as composers of “Bitter Sweet Symphony” in order to end this drama once and for all, which for years stained one of the most emblematic songs of the 90s. Without a doubt for Richard Ashcroft, composing this song was something very bittersweet that he can finally enjoy.

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