Bitter and not very sweet Symphony

Bitter Sweet Symphony, the lead single off The Verve’s Urban Hymns album, is what I consider to be one of the greatest songs of all time. If I had to pick one song to listen to for the rest of my life, this song will be my top pick. It doesn’t get old. It was released on the 16th of June, 1997 and was nominated for a Grammy award.

I only recently discovered that The Verve made no money from this song because they plagiarized the Andrew Oldham Orchestra’s version of The Rollin Stone’s song, ‘The Last Time’. When I first found out, I was a peeved at The Verve. After doing some research, I changed my mind.

The Last Time actually sounds nothing like ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’. I am not a fan of this song.

The Verve managed to get the rights to use the sample of the orchestra version but used a bit too much. Take a listen:

Wow, great song, but I still don’t see how the Andrew Oldham Orchestra created this from ‘The Last Time’. It does not have the same impact ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’ has.  The song lyrics of ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’ were written by The Verve’s vocalist Richard Ashcroft. Regardless, the band lost all rights to the song due to its popularity. “The Rolling Stones got greedy when the song became successful” (Superwells). This is where it’s unjust. The Verve made the song their own and it is way better than the original. He wrote the lyrics! The Verve deserved fifty percent of the rights. At the Grammy Awards the nominees for the song were Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

Well, that’s all in the past now. Let’s all remember what a brilliant song The Verve revolutionized and the impact it left on this planet.

*Purchase their last album, which was released in 2008, titled “Fourth”. The band has broken up and gotten back together so many times, I don’t know if they’re still together or not.

Source: Superwells – Sampling Law

5 thoughts on “Bitter and not very sweet Symphony

  1. I totally agree with you. The Rolling Stones are just jealous because their version wasn’t as successful. Bittersweet Symphony is one of the many songs that inspire and motivate me. Don’t ask me why.

  2. I hate the fact that you found my blog, because now I’m absolutely addicted to yours and must find time to sit down and go back through your archives!

    Just had to say that I agree with you 100% that ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ is quite seriously the greatest song of all time, (And Urban Hymns? Legendary album.) I get chills every time I hear it, and get emotional every time I watch that funeral scene from Cruel Intentions, too.

    I’d heard about the fact that the Verve never made any money off it, but never really researched it. Now that I have, I’m even madder…not just the fact that they didn’t profit from it, but because the Stones pulling that shit makes the song seem ‘stolen’ and ‘tainted’.

    Sorry for the rant, this is just a song I’m really passionate about!

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