[rumori] bittersweet symphony

Steev Hise (steevATdetritus.net)
Sun, 30 Apr 2000 12:42:32 -0700 (PDT)

Sun, 30 Apr 2000 found Nicola Battista writing:

>>conflicting interests. Actually, that recent Verve case, anyone have the
>>court decision on that one handy? Their song utilized a sample of a string
>I don't think there is a court decision on that, anyway in that case it
>wasn't Rolling Stones's fault from what I know... If I'm not wrong the
>Stones ex-manager who for some reason has the rights to the song
>(publisher?) also owns the rights to the orchestral cover (either he was
>the conductor or he owned master recordings...). So he had claims on both
>publishing and recording rights... and ended up stealing both (if I was
>Richard Ashcroft I would sue the guy as lyrics and all other instruments in
>"Bitter Sweet Symphony" are original, not sampled from other sources...
>okay now please don't kill me with another thread on what's "original" and
>what's "unique" and how can you "create" something... ;))))))))

yeah i don't think it ever went to court either.

here's an article with a paragraph about it:

the interesting irony (more interesting than the irony they discuss in
the article) is that it sounds like no one REALLY lost, to my
mind. the single was a really big hit; from a bizness point of view even
if Allan Klein (the Stones mananger) gets all the royalties from it, that
track is just loss-leader for the album. millions of people probably
bought the album just for that song, but since it's only 1 out of 12 or so
tracks the Verve is only handing Klein a small part of their earnings.
I'm sure their accountants and lawyers told them something similar.
Their alternatives were 1) yank the track off the album (in which case
sales of the album might drop, a lot) or 2) go to court, possibly lose
anyway plus have a bunch of legal fees either way. So they just let it
go. The single became what most singles really are anyway, a commercial
for the album.

This was probably part of Klein's strategizing as well. It was a lot of
money but the Verve could afford to lose it, so threaten them and see if
they'll fork it over quietly. and it worked.

the other weird thing is that that sample is so generic-sounding, to me.
when i first heard the song a couple years ago i thought it was pretty
cool for a pop song, to have this hook that was obviously a sample. i
didnt even recognize it as a Stones song. Not that I'm a big Stones fan,
but i wonder how many people did recognize it? i thought it must be some
really old public domain clip. to me the song and the production of the
song and the sample were all about evoking that "sound of found sound" and
that "old music", "symphony" feel. I think they could have easily found
some other dumb string orchestra loop from something public domain and the
effect of the single would have been essentially the same.


Steev Hise, Syssy Admin
steevATdetritus.net http://detritus.net/steev
"Business is amassing great sums by charging admission to the ritual
 simulation of its own lynching."
                 -Thomas Frank, 'Alternative to What?'

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